Espirito Santo Advances Before Earnings Report: Lisbon Mover

Banco Espirito Santo SA rose in Lisbon trading on speculation that Portugal’s biggest publicly traded lender will follow its rivals in reporting a yearly profit on gains from selling sovereign-debt holdings.

Espirito Santo, which is scheduled to report its 2012 earnings after the stock market closes today, advanced as much as 3.1 percent and was 2.3 percent higher at 1.053 euros as of 10:52 a.m. in the Portuguese capital, recovering some of a 4.7 percent drop yesterday.

Optimism about the earnings report “may be boosting the stock today,” said Diana Gomes, a trader at Orey iTrade in Lisbon.

Andre Rodrigues, an analyst at Lisbon-based Caixa Banco de Investimento, forecasts the lender will post net income of 101.9 million euros ($137.9 million), compared with a loss of 108.8 million euros the previous year.

“We estimate gains from financial operations to reach 148.2 million euros, benefiting from the sale of part of the bank’s sovereign-debt portfolio,” Rodrigues said in a Feb. 1 report.

Banco BPI SA, the nation’s fifth-biggest bank, climbed 2.4 percent to 1.28 euros. Banco BPI said on Jan. 30 that it had net income of 249 million euros last year, compared with a loss of 285 million euros in 2011, helped by a gain of 150 million euros from the sale of Portuguese sovereign bonds in the fourth quarter.

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