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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:30 pm    Post subject: PORTUGAL NEWS (Lisbon)  Reply with quote

Fitch cuts Portugal rating to junk status
Nov. 2011 LISBON
- Rating agency Fitch downgraded Portugal's rating to junk status on Thursday, citing large fiscal imbalances, high debts and the risks to its EU-mandated austerity program from a worsening economic outlook.
Fitch cut Portugal to BB+ from BBB-, which is still one notch higher than Moody's rating of Ba2. S&P still rates Portugal investment grade.
Fitch said a deepening recession makes it "much more challenging" for the government to cut the budget deficit but it still expects fiscal goals to be met both this year and next.  "However, the risk of slippage - either from worse macroeconomic outturns or insufficient expenditure controls - is large," Fitch said.

Keep an eye on Portugal
17 January 2012
While it’s managed to stay out of the spotlight for a while, investors will be turning their attention back to Portugal to see how Wednesday’s bill auction goes, said Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman.

Portugal’s credit was downgraded below investment grade last week by Standard & Poor’s.
“By joining Moody’s and Fitch with a sub-investment grade rating for Portugal, S&P ‘s decision will likely result in Portugal being dropped from bond indices that are used as benchmark for money managers,” Chandler wrote in a note Tuesday.

That change will show up in the demand statistics for the bill auction.
“The downgrade also raises the prospects that Portugal, like Greece, will need another aid package,” he said.
In Portugal’s favor, it doesn’t have bonds maturing until June, so a default – if unable to roll that debt over – isn’t imminent. It also doesn’t need to borrow all that much this year.  

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Portugal debt insurance cost hits record
25 January 2012, by William L. Watts - Frankfurt (MarketWatch)

The cost of insuring Portuguese government debt against nonpayment through instruments known as credit default swaps, or CDS, continued to soar Wednesday, hitting another record on fears the country may be forced to follow Greece in seeking a restructuring of its debt.

The spread on five-year Portuguese CDS widened to 1,310 basis points from 1,279 basis points on Tuesday, according to data provider Markit.

That means it would now cost $1.31 million annually to insure $10 million of Portuguese debt against default for five years.

"Right now it looks as if Portugal could be the country with the biggest multiple-equilibria risk -- meaning the biggest risk of being dragged towards default, even if [European Central Bank] support is providing a stronger backdrop for the other bond markets," said Steven Barrow, currency and fixed-income strategist at Standard Bank.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Portugal 10 Year Yield Passes 15% For The First Time, Is Where Greek 10 Year Was In August
26 January 2012, by Tyler Durden (Zero Hedge)

As the world awaits resolution out of Greece and the debt exchange offer which even if passed today would have to cram 6 months of actual work into 54 days, the global bond vigilantes are not sticking around, and continue to attack the next weakest link - Portugal, whose 10 Year bonds just passed 15% in yield, and were trading well below 50 cents of par with CDS hitting a new record of 1350 bps.

Naturally this has brought out the ECB's crack bond buying team (only at a central bank does a "trader" need only know how to buy, selling skills are optional) which tried to put the genie back in the bottle but now it is too late.

After all, vigilantes are just wondering what form the Portuguese restructuring will take place considering that unlike Greece the bulk of its bonds have strong protections. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/por...k-bailout-model-not-feasible-here

So if one does use Greece as a benchmark how long does Portugal have?

As the third chart shows, the last time 10 year GGBs passed 15% was back in August. So Portugal has 6 months. Give or take.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Portuguese 10-year bond yield jumps to record
30 January 2012
The yield on 10-year Portuguese government bonds continued to explore euro-era highs Monday, topping 15% on fears the country may need to eventually seek an additional bailout or a writedown on the value of its current debt.

The 10-year yield stood at 15.18% in recent action, up from around 13.6% on Friday, according to electronic trading platform Tradeweb.
"Investors are worried that Greece still hasn't reached a deal with its private sector creditors on a voluntary debt exchange.

That sent yields on Portugal's sovereign debt soaring because investors are worried that if Greece has a disorderly default or a forced debt restructuring, then Portugal would be next," wrote strategists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

As Greece Crashes And Burns, Troika Arrives In Portugal With "Soothing Words Of Support"  15 February 2012
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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Portugal risks becoming 2nd Greece
Mar 2012
— The head of bond investor PIMCO says in an interview that heavily indebted Portugal is at risk to follow Greece's downhill path.

German news magazine Der Spiegel quotes Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of the giant bond mutual fund company, as saying that Portugal is likely to need a second bailout package which will cast further doubt on the country's solvency.

El-Erian told Der Spiegel in the interview published Sunday that Portugal will come under increased scrutiny and "financial markets will be nervous because they are worried about a participation of the private sector."

Greece has required a second international multi-billion bailout package and its private creditors took significant losses on their bond holdings to avoid a Greek bankruptcy.

Spain region, Greek exit warnings rattle euro zone
May 2012
 - Central banks and companies risk making a grave error if they do not brace for a possible Greek exit from the euro zone, Belgium's foreign minister said on Friday, rattling markets already alarmed by Spain's deteriorating finances.

Greek elections are scheduled for June 17 and could hasten the country's departure from the currency club should a government intent on ripping up the country's bailout program result.
Contrasting findings of opinion polls on Friday showed the outcome is too tight to call.

Greece accounts for little more than 2 percent of the euro zone economy but could pose a profound contagion threat if it quit the currency area, throwing the spotlight on Portugal, Spain and even Italy
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Portugal Raises Forecast For 2012 Unemployment Rate to 15.5%
June 2012
The Portuguese government forecasts the unemployment rate will rise to 15.5% this year and 16% next year, Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar said.
After 2013, the government expects a “sustainable drop” in the unemployment rate, Gaspar said at a press conference in Lisbon today.
The government had previously forecast an increase in the unemployment rate to 14.5% this year before declining to 14.1% in 2013.
The jobless rate was 12.7% in 2011

Portugal to inject up to €6.65B into three banks
4 June 2012
The Portuguese government said Monday it will inject up to €6.65 billion into three of its largest lenders in an attempt to strengthen a banking sector coping with fast-rising loan-losses after the country was bailed out less than a year ago.

In a regulatory filing, the Portuguese finance ministry said it will inject €1.65 billion into state-controlled bank Caixa Geral de Depositos, up to €3.5 billion into Banco Comercial Portugues SA, and €1.5 billion into Banco BPI SA.

The bulk of the money for the recapitalization, some €5 billion, comes from the Bank Solvency Support Facility, a bank bailout mechanism set up as part of Portugal's €78 billion bailout package.
The state will receive contingent convertible bonds in exchange for the injections into BCP and BPI, the two banks said.

BCP later plans to raise €500 million through a capital increase while BPI plans to raise €200 million.
The proceeds from these capital increases will be used to pay back part of the State aid.
Both BCP and BPI had already said they planned to ask for money from the bailout fund.
The Finance ministry added that it stands ready to help out any other bank that needs more capital.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Portuguese Run Out Of Gold To Sell[/size]
Aug 2012
"Business has gone from great to terrible in a matter of months. The sad truth is that most of my clients have already sold all of their gold rings," is anecdotal evidence of a growing trend that Bloomberg reports in Portugal. Historically the home of Europe's biggest relative gold reserves, cash-for-gold shops rose 29% in 2011 (average 2 store openings per day) - but now some are closing. Portugal’s gold exports increased by more than five times to 519.4 million euros last year from 102.1 million euros in 2009, according to data published on the Lisbon-based National Statistics Institute’s website.

As a country, Portugal traditionally has guarded that gold. The central bank holds more gold relative to the size of the country’s economy than any euro country, mostly accumulated during former dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar’s 36 years in power, based on data compiled by the World Gold Council. The law prevents proceeds from selling any gold reserves from going toward the government’s budget.

With the Portuguese unemployment rate at a euro-era record of 15 percent in the second quarter, citizens are wondering who will help bail them out now that their job and gold are gone: "We have no more gold to save us from being kicked out this month," encapsulates a growing trend in debt crisis-stricken Europe as household gold supplies dry up after record prices and a deepening recession prompts a proliferation of places to exchange the metal for money.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Spain, Portugal hit with anti-austerity protests


MADRID (AP) — Tens of thousands of Spaniards and Portuguese rallied in the streets of their countries' capitals Saturday to protest enduring deep economic pain from austerity cuts.

In Madrid, demonstrators approached parliament for the third time this week to vent their anger against tax hikes, government spending cuts and the highest unemployment rate among the 17 nations that use the euro currency.

The boisterous crowds in the Spanish capital let off ear-splitting whistles near parliament and yelled "Fire them, fire them!" — referring to the conservative government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

On Friday, Rajoy's administration presented a 2013 draft budget that will cut overall spending by €40 billion ($51.7 billion), freezing the salaries of public workers, cutting spending for unemployment benefits and even reducing spending for Spain's royal family next year by 4 percent.

Pablo Rodriguez, a 24-year-old student doing a master's in agricultural development in Denmark, said the austerity measures and bad economy mean most of his friends in Spain are unemployed or doing work they didn't train for.

He doubts he will put his education to use in Spain until he is 35 or 40, if ever, will probably get job abroad and stay.

"I would love to work here, but there is nothing for me here," Rodriguez said. "By the time the economy improves it will be too late. I will be settled somewhere else with a family. One of the disasters in Spain is they spent so much to educate me and so many others and they will lose us."

In Lisbon, retired banker Antonio Trinidade said the budget cuts Portugal is locked into in return for the nation's €78 billion ($101 billion) bailout are making the country's economy the worst he has seen in his lifetime. His pension has been cut, and he said countless young Portuguese are increasingly heading abroad because they can't make a living at home.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Portugal announces sweeping tax hikes
October 4, 2012  
Portugal announced sweeping new tax increases in an effort to keep the faltering bailout programme on track amid a powerful public backlash against increased belt-tightening.
The Portuguese government has announced a income tax hike and new levies on capital gains and a financial transaction tax.


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