LISBON, July 17 Portugal's financial system has
become stronger thanks to higher solvency ratios of banks and
problems affecting Banco Espirito Santo are not to be confused
with problems in the financial system as a whole, the finance
minister said on Thursday.
Maria Luis Albuquerque told a parliament committee, where
she was summoned to explain the situation around the country's
largest listed bank, that the government had confidence in the
"correct way" the central bank was addressing the situation
"The situation in the financial system has improved
significantly with the reinforcement of capital ratios ... Let's
not confuse the whole financial system with one bank, it is
important not to spread unjustified alarm," she said.
She said the Espirito Santo group of companies owned by the
founding family of BES was working to solve its problems, adding
that the government "knows from media reports that there should
be investors interested in part of the groups' business".
"It's a private group that has problems and they are trying
to solve them like private groups should, without government
intervention... Speculating about any possibly catastrophic
scenarios is not the right thing to do," she said when asked
about any potential fallout for the economy.
(Reporting By Andrei Khalip, editing by Axel Bugge)