According to a report from The Wall Street Journal Espirito Santo International's main unit, Rioforte, is preparing to file for creditor protection soon. The Journal cites a person familiar with the situation.
Rioforte, The Journal notes, "holds assets ranging from real estate and hotels in Portugal and Brazil to a 49% stake in Espirito Santo Financial, which holds 20% of Banco Espirito Santo."
Rioforte's creditor protection, which it filed for in Luxembourg, would allow it to sell assets and take steps to raise funds without creditor interference.
Recall that last week, world markets were roiled after Banco Espirito Santo's parent company, Espirito Santo Financial, missed debt payments to "a few clients." Following this news, markets were concerned regarding potential contagion effects of this instability in the Portuguese financial market.
The Journal's report also says that Espirito Santo International, "was found to be in serious financial condition following an audit by Portugal's central bank."
During today's trading session in Lisbon, shares of Banco Espirito fell 14%.
These two charts give an outline of Espirito Santo Financial's banking and insurance unit structures, which is what Rioforte holds a 49% stake in. It's complicated.
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