January 11, 2011 / 9:05 AM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Portugal finmin sees no need for bailout

* Says Lisbon doing all it can to avoid seeking outside help

* Says Europe not doing its work to stabilise euro

* Can’t confirm China buying Portugal bonds

(Updates with more details, quotes)

LISBON, JAN 11 (Reuters) - Portugal has no plans to seek a bailout from the EU and IMF, and the government is doing everything possible to avoid doing so, Finance Minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos said.

“We are seeking to avoid this possibility,” Teixeira dos Santos told TSF radio when asked about a possible rescue.

Portugal is widely seen by economists as the country that is most likely to follow Greece and Ireland in seeking outside help with its finances to take it out of the firing line of the widening euro zone debt crisis.

Late on Tuesday, a Bank of Portugal board member was quoted as saying the country would leave behind its crisis more easily if it sought foreign financing.

But Teixeira dos Santos said the country was capable of continuing without a bailout, adding that the average interest rates it is still paying on its debt are relatively low, with only a small proportion being serviced at current higher borrowing costs.

“We are doing our work. clearly Europe is not doing its work to guarantee stability of the euro,” he added.

Teixeira dos Santos said he could not confirm that China had bought bonds directly from Portugal.

But he added that he was confident that Wednesday’s auction of up to 1.25 billion euros of five and 10-year bonds would go well.

Prime Minister Jose Socrates and Teixeira dos Santos were due to hold a press conference at 0930 GMT but the minister would not say what it was about when asked.

Reporting by Axel Bugge; Editing by John Stonestreet

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