Brussels, 13th March 2009
State aid: Commission approves Portuguese state guarantee for €450 million loan to Banco Privado Português
The European Commission has approved, under EC Treaty state aid rules, a state guarantee underwriting a €450 million loan granted to Banco Privado Português by six Portuguese banks. The Commission found the temporary rescue measure to be in line with its Guidance Communication on state aid to overcome the financial crisis (see IP/08/1495). In particular, the measure is necessary to remedy the severe liquidity problems of Banco Privado Português and to preserve confidence in the financial markets, and is limited to the minimum required to achieve this objective. The Commission has therefore concluded that the measure can be authorised because it is an adequate means to remedy a serious disturbance of the Portuguese economy and as such is in line with Article 87.3.b of the EC Treaty.
Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: "The Commission is satisfied that that the state guarantee for the loan to Banco Privado Português is necessary as a temporary rescue measure and would not give rise to disproportionate distortions of competition within the Single Market."
On 5 December 2008 Portugal issued a guarantee, assisted by collaterals, on a €450 million loan granted by six Portuguese banks to Banco Privado Português. Although the measure was initially notified on 5 December, complete information was only provided to the Commission on 20 February 2009.
The loan has a duration of six months and can only be used by Banco Privado Português to face its liabilities as registered in the balance sheet on 24 November 2008.
The aid is approved as a temporary rescue measure and Portugal has committed to provide a restructuring plan for Banco Privado Português within six months of the state intervention.
The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number NN 71/2008 in the State Aid Register on the DG Competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of state aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News.