The Portuguese State may enter Novo Banco and Haitong’s equity

  • ECO News
  • 29 May 2018

The matter concerns the special regime for deferred tax assets, which foresee the State's entrance in the banks' capital as a compensation for this benefit.

Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Novo Banco and Haitong might need to give away part of their equity to the Portuguese State. In the last four months, these banks accumulated 800 million euros in tax credits, which they can reclaim with the Portuguese Treasury, the Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Negócios disclosed. Yet, they will have to hand in the rights for equity conversion to the Portuguese State.

As for CGD, the public bank, the shareholder structure will remain unchanged. As for Novo Banco, the state will be able to increase its current stake (Portugal now owns 25% of the bank through the Resolution Fund). And as for Haitong, it could stop being 100% held by the Chinese.

The discussion concerns the special regime for deferred tax assets, which provides several advantages to companies that join this programme. They are right away able to recover these deferred tax assets, without any time restriction. On the other hand, they are able to claim the money that was not yet deduced, any time they incur in accounting losses or liquidation. However, they have to constitute a special reserve and give away a shareholder position to the Portuguese State, if they take on a credit on the State.

When asked by the same newspaper about the official balance of the programme, the Finance ministry refused to give away information about the portfolio under discussion. Although the official numbers are unknown, it is possible to estimate, according to the banks’ accounts reports, that Novo Banco, CGD and Haitong have bee able to invoice 800 million euros in tax credits (275 million for the bank headed by António Ramalho, 446 million for the public bank and 29 million for the Chinese bank).

Each institutions’ shareholders can avoid the entrance or reinforcement of the State presence by purchasing these securities from the Portuguese Treasury. However, Novo Banco has granted the State the conversion rights; Haitong refused to comment on the situation.