ANNOUNCEMENT 13 Feb 2013
In February 2013, the government of Portugal announced a change in private-sector financial support.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
letter from the EC to Portugal, Brussels 27.6.2013
European Commission state aid case No. SA.47164 Seventh Prolongation of the Portuguese Guarantee Scheme on EIB lending: http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=3_SA_47164
European Commission, Letter to the Member State of 17 February 2017, State Aid SA.47164 (2016/N) – Portugal Seventh prolongation of the Portuguese Guarantee Scheme on EIB lending, published on 1 September 2017: http://ec.europa.eu/competition/state_aid/cases/267554/267554_1881184_66_2.pdf
European Commission state aid case No. SA.48549 Eighth Prolongation of the Portuguese Guarantee Scheme on EIB lending: http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=3_SA_48549
European Commission, Letter to the Member State of 7 November 2017, State Aid SA. 48549 (2017/N) – Portugal Eighth prolongation of the Portuguese Guarantee Scheme on EIB lending: http://ec.europa.eu/competition/state_aid/cases/270156/270156_1949969_115_2.pdf
On 13 February 2013, Portugal notified a guarantee scheme for banks operating in Portugal. The scheme foresees state guarantees for lending by the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The EIB currently grants loans to firms through intermediary banks which lend on the funds to the firms. Because these loans are conditional on a certain rating of the intermediary banks, a bad rating of these banks may have a direct impact on Portuguese firms. Therefore the state decided to provide guarantees to make sure that the EIB lending continues.
The EIB provides funding for Portuguese firms up to EUR 6 billion. (par. 8, letter from the EC to Portugal, Brussels 27.6.2013). The support scheme foresees certain eligibility conditions:
- the state only guarantees up to EUR 2.8 billion (equal to 47 percent of EIB credits)
- state guarantees will not exceed seven years
The scheme is approved until 31 December 2013. Further prolongations are subject to additional approval.
The EC finds that: 'The Scheme essentially provides the Guarantors with an advantage, as it allows them not to post additional collateral in relation to existing exposures' (par. 31) and therefore concludes that: 'the Scheme concerns the provision of State resources to a certain sector, i.e. the financial sector, which is open to intense international competition. It is therefore capable of affecting trade between Member States and of distorting competition' (par. 31)
Update: Amendment SA.37147 & Prolongation SA.37688 & Prolongation SA.44013 & Prolongation SA.45671
The amendment foresees that banks benefiting for the support scheme do not need to submit restructuring plans. The first prolongation extends the measure for 6 month and shifts the date of expiry to 30 June 2014. The latest prolongation moves the expiry date to 31 December 2016.
On 17 February 2017, the European Commission approved the extension of the scheme for an additional period of six months, i.e. until 30 June 2017 (SA.47164).
On 7 November 2017, the European Commission approved the extension of the scheme for an additional period of six months from "the adoption date of the present decision", i.e. until 30 April 2018 (SA.48549).
A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects the extent of discrimination against foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory