Brazil's Bradesco unfazed over its stake in BES, paper says

SAO PAULO, July 11 Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:44pm EDT

SAO PAULO, July 11 (Reuters) - Banco Bradesco SA's 3 percent stake in Portugal's Banco Espírito Santo SA is small and poses no significant impact to Brazil's second-largest private-sector lender, Chief Executive Officer Luiz Carlos Trabuco told a local newspaper on Friday.

Bradesco is "following from afar" news about Espírito Santo, Estado quoted Trabuco as saying. Shares of the Portuguese bank have plunged in recent weeks over its exposure to a number of cash-strapped companies. Espírito Santo, which is Portugal's largest listed lender, is commonly known as BES.

Bradesco's stake in BES "stemmed from a relationship that dates back years ago, when we bought Banco Boa Vista from them," Trabuco told Estado. "The small stake has no relevance in our portfolio, and we don't even have a presence in their board."

Concerns are mounting over BES's 1.15 billion euro ($1.6 billion) exposure to Espirito Santo Financial Group and Rioforte, two holding companies controlled by the founding Espirito Santo clan and a number of subsidiaries. Both holding companies are controlled through a non-listed Luxembourg entity called Espirito Santo International.

Efforts to confirm the content of the Estado interview with Bradesco's Trabuco were unsuccessful.

Bradesco shares rose 0.3 percent to 33.12 reais on Friday. BES sank 5.5 percent to 0.48 euros and is down 54 percent over the past month. (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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