Government considers extension of company debt maturities

  • Lusa
  • 9 February 2021

The economy minister said that the government is discussing what to do about the moratoria on credit and is considering a possible extension of maturities.

The government is discussing with the Bank of Portugal and the Portuguese Banking Association what to do about the moratoria on credit and is considering a possible extension of maturities, the economy minister said on Tuesday.

“We realise that the impact of the end of the moratoriums will be important, so we are discussing with the Bank of  Portugal, with the Portuguese Association of Banks,” said the minister of state, economy and digital transition, Pedro Siza Vieira, who was speaking at the webinar on ‘The State of Tourism,’ run by the Confederation of Tourism of Portugal (CTP).

Concerning the moratoriums granted to companies, as part of the support to tackle the difficulties created by the pandemic, Siza Vieira said that an extension of maturities could be on the table eventually but that it must be seen if it is justified and under what conditions.

“We will need to launch instruments to capitalise companies. […] What is important, in coming out of this crisis, is to have a situation where companies are not overburdened with debt,” he said, recognising that the strengthening of capital instruments will have to come “largely” from the public sector.

Among the various capitalisation instruments, which are still being prepared, Siza Vieira also highlighted that of convertible debt, or equity loans, which will allow companies to strengthen equity and reduce the level of indebtedness.

The credit moratoriums have been extended until September 30 of this year, for most companies in the sectors most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, such as tourism.