Portuguese justice will freeze money from EuroBic sale, admits the Bank of Portugal

  • ECO News
  • 4 March 2020

Carlos Costa, governor of the Bank of Portugal, says seizure of Isabel dos Santos' assets is "a matter for the judicial authorities," which should want to "preserve the product" of the EuroBic sale.

Isabel dos Santos is selling her position in EuroBic to the Spaniards of Abanca. Faced with the fear that the money from the sale will be transferred to the Angolan businesswoman, Carlos Costa, governor of the Bank of Portugal, said this is a “matter for the judicial authorities”. But he also admitted that the courts will want to “safeguard the product” of the business.

“The authorities will want to preserve the value associated with these holdings. It doesn’t mean blocking the transactions, but safeguarding the product of the transactions,” Carlos Costa said Wednesday. “It’s not up to us to take a position,” he said. The governor was heard in the Budget and Finance Committee because of the Luanda Leaks.

“The proceeds of the sale will be up to the judicial authorities to know what to do,” said Carlos Costa.

The governor then explained that “payment will have to be made from the EU territory,” trying this way to reassure Communist MP Duarte Alves who had questioned him about Isabel dos Santos having offshore accounts and where it is more difficult to control transfers. “The destination is not what counts, it is the point of origin, it’s under the judicial supervision,” Carlos Costa said.

Isabel dos Santos put her 42.5% in EuroBic for sale following the controversy of Luanda Leaks. Last month, Abanca reached an agreement to acquire at least 95% of the bank’s capital. A thorough due diligence analysis of the bank is underway and will be completed in early April. Only after this analysis will Abanca and EuroBic shareholders formalize the agreement.

About the buyer, Carlos Costa said that this is a “credible entity with interest,” letting foresee that Abanca will not have authorization problems from the European Central Bank and the Bank of Portugal to conclude the purchase.