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Offer to buy Banif which would have cost the State 1.7bn less refused by ECB
The North American Apollo Fund put forward an offer for Banif which would have saved taxpayers 700 million euros, that is, almost four times less than the solution imposed on the Government by the Bank of Portugal.
The Apollo Fund offered 200 million euros for Banif, which was the best of the five offers accepted by the Bank of Portugal in the open tender to buy the bank. The North American Fund’s offer included over 250 million euros to recapitalise the bank (which would have provided for the payment of the last Cocos tranche of 125 million euros). The Bank of Portugal did not favour this solution given that the fund was not a bank, thereby, according to the Bank of Portugal, not having capacity to ensure to the European Central Bank (ECB) continuity of funding.
The solution favoured by the ECB, the Bank of Portugal and the Ministry of Finance meant handing over the good assets of Banif to the Spanish bank Santander, together with a large injection of public funds by the Portuguese State. European institutions imposed the consolidation of Santander bank, taking advantage of the difficulties Portuguese banks have been facing in order to consolidate a Spanish bank. After the Banif intervention, European authorities are pushing forward the sale of Novo Banco to another big Spanish bank, such as BBVA, Banco Popular or La Caixa, or even Santander itself.
Translated by Anna Pires for esquerda.net/English.