July 4 (Bloomberg) -- Banco Espirito Santo SA and Banco Comercial Portugues SA led Portuguese banks higher as Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho and Paulo Portas, the minister whose resignation this week threatened to bring down the government, meet to try to patch up their differences.
Espirito Santo, the nation’s second-biggest bank by assets, advanced 11 percent to 60.5 euro cents in Lisbon. Banco Comercial, the largest, climbed 9.9 percent to 8.9 cents.
Banco BPI SA, Portugal’s fourth-biggest bank, which along with Banco Comercial received bailout funds from the Portuguese government, rose 7.8 percent to 88.9 cents. Banif SA, the country’s eighth-largest bank, which also received state aid, rose 10 percent to 8.7 cents.
Portas departed as foreign-affairs minister on Tuesday in a row over budget policy with the prime minister. Coelho, whose finance minister, Vitor Gaspar, quit the day before, refused to accept the resignation, citing Portas’s key role in the coalition. The premier met President Anibal Cavaco Silva at 5 p.m. today.
The Portuguese securities regulator yesterday banned short-selling on Banco Comercial, Espirito Santo, Banif and Sonae Industria SA.
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