LISBON Oct 6 Portugal's Novo Banco, which the
state is trying to sell after a 2014 rescue, has several new
potential buyers, including China Minsheng Financial Holding, in
addition to four bids already registered, a senior government
official said on Thursday.
"This is positive because it creates buying pressure on the
asset and pressure on the four contenders," the State Secretary
for Finances and Treasury Ricardo Mourinho Felix told Reuters.
He said there have been several requests of privileged
information on Novo Banco and that Minsheng was one of the
institutions eyeing the lender in a possible sale of its shares
in the market.
The Bank of Portugal has been studying various ways of
selling Novo Banco, including the direct sale to one bidder via
the ongoing bidding process or by offering stakes to one or more
"All the interest in this second option is welcome because
this expands the range of possibilities and increases the price
that can be obtained."
As for the original four offers, he said the bidders were
likely to come up with final offers soon after receiving the
so-called confirmatory due diligence on the bank.
Mourinho Felix also said that the change of terms on a total
4.25 billion euros in loans to the bank resolution fund, mostly
linked to the Novo Banco rescue, would likely imply new loan
maturities of 25 to 30 years.
The exact terms are still being defined in order for banks
not to increase their payments to the fund, which should help
stabilize Portugal's banking system after two state rescues of
lenders in 2014 and 2015.
(Reporting By Sergio Goncalves, writing by Andrei Khalip)