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Miguel Relvas to be questioned over sale of Efisa Bank

relvasThe Efisa investment bank was sold in 2015 for €38.3 million to a company of 'Angolan and Portuguese investors' who were approved by the Bank of Portugal.

Before Efisa was sold, the State company Parparticipadas pumped €90 million of taxpayers’ cash into the ailing company which was part of Banco Português de Negócios, which already had been bailed out by the taxpayer.

The company that bought Efisa was Pivot SGPS. A 'consultant' to both Efisa and Pivot SGPS is our old friend Miguel Relvas, the disgraced former minister and one of Pedro Passos Coelho’s closest confidantes.

Relvas, the former Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and the former Secretary of State for the Treasury, Isabel Castelo Branco, are to appear before a parliamentary budget committee to explain their roles in the sale of Efisa and Relvas’ interests in Pivot SGPS.

The polite request to hear these former politicians was made by the parliamentary group of the Socialist Party and was backed up by those members of the PSD, Left Bloc, CDS-PP and the Communists who sit on the Budget Committee for Finance and Administrative Modernisation.

Social Democrat MP Duarte Pacheco has objected, but not too strongly, saying the move is designed by the Socialists to "dominate the media” while taxes are increased, adding that the nationalisation of Banco Português de Negócios was under a Socialist government and that Efisa was sold to Pivot only as it had made the best offer of eight received.

Socialist Party MP João Paulo Correia rejected talk of a diversion strategy as people had only found out a few days ago that Miguel Relvas was a shareholder of Pivot – the Bank of Portugal was told at the time of the sale that the shareholders in Pivot were Aethel Partners, Ricardo Santos Silva and Aba Schubert, Mário Palhares and António Bernardo.

Miguel Relvas may have become a shareholder after the deal went thorough but if so, the Bank of Portugal would need to have authorised any such change. If Relvas was handed shares in Efisa as a completion bonus, he is in deep trouble. If he purchased the shares, was this at market rates?

"The previous government injected €90 million into Efisa bank and sold it for €38 million. The State is short of €52 million," said Correia, arguing that any whiff of political favoritism must be checked out.

Paulino Ascensão (BE), Cecília Meireles (CDS-PP) and Paulo Sá (PCP) said they wanted the events leading up to the suspicious sale to be made totally clear with any link between public and private interests rooted out.

The committee wants to have access to the report by the Ministry of Finance in which the sale of Efisa to Pivot was approved. When committee members have read this work of fiction, Miguel Relvas and Isabel Castelo Branco will be invited to pop in and discuss things with the committee.

Two shareholders of the company that purchased Efisa Bank made written threats to MPs last February when Schubert Aba and Ricardo Santos Silva, shareholders of Aethel Partners and Pivot wrote a letter in English to Socialist MPs João Galamba and João Paulo Correia.

The letter warned the MPs that they must be careful not to make ‘disturbing statements or insinuations’ about the sale of Efisa Bank so as not to cause damage to Pivot.

"Aethel sent a letter that concludes with a threat of the consequences of our work as MPs and ascertaining the involvement of Miguel Relvas in the sale process," explains João Paulo Correia.

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-6 #1 verjinie 2016-02-18 13:14
No comment?
Is the public/tx-payer getting 'punch-drunk?'
How many more?

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