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ECB Financing to Portuguese Banks Declines to Lowest in a Year

The European Central Bank’s financing to Portuguese lenders fell for a fourth month in February to the lowest level in a year.

ECB financing decreased to 49.51 billion euros ($65 billion) from 49.7 billion euros in January, the Lisbon-based Bank of Portugal said today on its website. That’s the lowest since February 2012, when financing was at 47.55 billion euros.

Banco Espirito Santo SA, Portugal’s biggest publicly traded bank, in October sold the country’s first benchmark senior bank bonds in more than two and a half years.

Portugal in April 2011 became the third euro-area country to seek a bailout after Greece and Ireland, and will receive 78 billion euros under the agreement with the International Monetary Fund and the European Union. The aid plan earmarks as much as 12 billion euros for the recapitalization of Portugal’s lenders, if needed.

The Portuguese government has injected a total of 5.6 billion euros in Portuguese banks that aren’t state-owned through the recapitalization facility that is available as part of Portugal’s financial aid program.

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