Banif Wins Temporary EU Approval for $1.46 Billion Portugal Aid

Banif SGPS SA won temporary European Union approval to receive 1.1 billion euros ($1.46 billion) in aid from Portugal’s government to help it meet local capital requirements.

Portugal must provide a far-reaching restructuring plan for the Funchal, Madeira-based lender by March 31 to allow EU regulators take a final decision on whether the capital injection meets EU rules on aid to banks, the European Commission said in a statement today.

“Portugal urgently needs to work out an in-depth restructuring plan, refocusing the bank on its core activities in Madeira and the Azores and leading to a significant downsizing of its operations,” EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in the statement.