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Banco Comercial Rises on Speculation of Angolan Interest

Banco Comercial Portugues SA, Portugal’s second-biggest bank by market value, rose 11 percent in Lisbon trading on speculation Angolan investors may raise their stake in the lender.

Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said last week he welcomed more Angolan investment in the country to help contend with Europe’s debt crisis. Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos said Portugal’s problems may require Angola to use some “trump cards,” without elaborating.

“There is some speculation Angolan investors may raise their stake in the bank,” Francisco Goarmon, a trader at Probolsa in Lisbon, said in a telephone interview. Angola’s state-owned oil company Sonangol EP is the bank’s biggest shareholder. “We also shouldn’t forget that the bank is trading at very low price,” he said.

Sonangol had an 11.6 percent stake in the bank at the end of June, according to Banco Comercial’s website. It has authorization from the Bank of Portugal to raise its holding to as much as 20 percent. Investors must inform the securities regulator when they raise their stakes in companies to more than 15 percent.

Erik Burns, a bank spokesman, declined to comment.

“Angola already has very important investments in Portugal from the financial to the industrial sector such as bank Millennium BCP and Galp,” Coelho told reporters at the presidential palace in the capital, Luanda. “Angolan capital is very welcome.”

Shares rose 11 percent to 13.6 cents, giving the bank a market value of 980 million euros ($1.3 billion), after trading at as much as 16.8 cents. The stock has been at historical lows after dropping to 10 cents on Nov. 10.

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