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More Espirito Santo Woes for Portugal ETF

ETFtrends.com

Portugal’s troubled Banco Espirito Santo shares plunged and were suspended Friday, dragging on the financial sector and country-specific exchange traded fund.

The Global X FTSE Portugal 20 ETF (PGAL) fell 4.6% Friday and is down 10.4% over the past month.

Espirito Santo shares were halted by Portugal’s regulators after they plummeted as much as 50%, Bloomberg reports. The bank’s stock has been under greater pressure after one of its companies failed to repay a scheduled loan in early July. Three more holding companies have filed for bankruptcy since. [Lingering Financial Troubles Weighs On Portugal ETF]

“The family eventually lost track of all these different businesses,” Ricardo Cabral, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Madeira, said in a separate Bloomberg article. “The group amassed too much debt. It kept on postponing the problems by rolling over debt with short maturities and at high interest rates.”

Rekindling financial crisis concerns, the bank has stated that its Banco Espirito Santo Angola unit’s common equity Tier 1 ratio, a measure of a firm’s ability to hedge financial shocks, was at 5%, or 2 percentage points below the Bank of Portugal’s minimum, New York Times reports.

Nevertheless, Portugal has enough money to bailout the ailing bank. As part of an international bailout negotiated in 2011, the country has €6.4 billion, or $8.6 billion, earmarked to rescue its banks.

The weakness in Espirito Santo is dragging Europe’s banking sector index down 3.5% this week. The iShares MSCI Europe Financials ETF (EUFN) has declined 3.0% over the past week. [Europe Bank ETF has its Own Problems]

The Global X FTSE Portugal 20 ETF includes a 3.5% stake in Banco Espirito Santo, along with a 20.0% weight toward the financial sector.

Global X FTSE Portugal 20 ETF

PGAL_ETF
PGAL_ETF

For more information on Portugal, visit our Portugal category.