Portugal’s Banco Espirito Santo Delays Earnings Report

Banco Espirito Santo SA, a Portuguese bank that came under attack from markets earlier this month, postponed its earnings report until next week.

The country’s second-biggest publicly traded lender scheduled publication of its second-quarter results for July 30. They had been due out July 25, according to its website.

The bank announced the change in a regulatory filing today but gave no explanation for the delay. Banco Espirito Santo shares declined 0.5 percent to 40.5 euro cents at 12:37 p.m., shortly after the filing. The stock was up 0.25 percent to 40.8 cents at 2:17 p.m. in Lisbon.

The bank said yesterday that it was close to appointing “a recognized international financial institution” to advise it on how to “optimize” its balance sheet.

New Managers

Earlier this month, missed debt payments at a related company prompted a change in leadership at the bank founded and long controlled by the Espirito Santo family.

Vitor Bento, formerly the chairman of a payment processing company, was nominated chief executive officer, replacing Ricardo Salgado, a great-grandson of the bank’s founder. The board picked two other outsiders, Jose Honorio and Joao Moreira Rato, to be deputy CEO and chief financial officer respectively. Shareholders will be asked to ratify the appointments at a meeting on July 31.

The Espirito Santo family lost its grip on the 94-year-old lender once before when the lender was seized by a revolutionary government in 1975. It was 16 years before it regained control.

Banco Espirito Santo roiled markets on July 10 after a company that owes it money, Espirito Santo International SA, missed payments on commercial paper. Rioforte Investment SA, a holding company owned by Espirito Santo International, on July 15 failed to pay 847 million euros of commercial paper to Portugal Telecom SGPS SA.

Espirito Santo International on July 18 said it requested protection from creditors under Luxembourg law.

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