July 23, 2014 / 8:25 AM / 3 years ago

Portuguese banks gain after Millennium capital hike

LISBON, July 23 (Reuters) - Shares in Portuguese banks gained on Wednesday, led by Millennium bcp after it raised 2.25 billion euros ($3 billion) in capital from shareholders.

Millennium said on Tuesday investors bid for 26 percent more new shares than were on offer, boosting confidence in Portugal’s second-largest listed bank despite concerns about its rival Banco Espirito Santo (BES).

At 0755 GMT on Wednesday, shares in Millennium were 3.95 percent higher at 0.1080 euros, having earlier risen as high as 0.1118 euros. The Lisbon PSI20 index was 0.8 percent higher.

Portuguese markets have been hit in recent weeks by concerns surrounding the impact on BES from the financial troubles of the Espirito Santo family, which has requested creditor protection for two of its holding companies after they failed to pay off debts. Holding company Rioforte filed for creditor protection on Tuesday.

Caixa Banco de Investimento banking analyst Andre Rodrigues said Millennium’s capital increase was “positive news.”

BES shares also rose on Wednesday after the bank said late on Tuesday that two heavyweight American investors - investment bank Goldman Sachs and hedge fund D.E. Shaw - had taken a combined stake of nearly 5 percent.

BES was 4.3 percent higher at 0.4360 euros a share.

Shares in Banco BPI, Portugal’s third-largest listed lender, were 0.35 percent higher at 1.4300 euros. ($1 = 0.7431 Euros) (Reporting By Axel Bugge; Editing by Erica Billingham)

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