(In July 18 story, corrects name of ES Bank SA owner to
Espirito Santo Financial Group from Banco Espirito Santo)
PANAMA CITY, July 18 Panamanian banking
supervisors said on Friday they had taken control of ES Bank SA,
a small unit of Espirito Santo Financial Group (ESFG).
Panamanian regulators took over ESFG's Panamanian unit to
"protect and defend the interests of depositors and creditors of
the institution, given the lack of liquidity and potential
insolvency," they said in a statement.
ESFG has about a 20 percent stake in Banco Espirito Santo
, Portugal's largest-listed lender, which is under
investigation after disclosing financial irregularities at firms
owned by the Espirito Santo family, the bank's largest
shareholder that have raised the possibility of destabilizing
losses at the bank, too.
The takeover of ES bank, which was granted a foreign license
in 2001, will last 30 days and will not affect the Panamanian
financial system, regulators added.
Reuters was not immediately able to reach ES Bank, which had
listed assets of $793 million and liabilities of $711 million,
according to a December 2013 financial statement posted on its
(Reporting by Eli Moreno, Writing by Alexandra Alper; Editing
by Ken Wills)