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Bank of Portugal reviews billionaire's fitness as shareholder after asset freeze

Portugal's central bank is reviewing the suitability of businesswoman Isabel dos Santos as a shareholder in local banks following a recent court order that her assets in Angola be frozen, Reuters reported.

A Luandan court ordered in December 2019 the freezing of the assets of dos Santos, the billionaire daughter of former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, along with that of her husband Sindika Dokolo and Banco de Fomento Angola SA Chairman Mario da Silva after the government alleged that the three caused the state losses of more than $1 billion, according to the report.

Dos Santos and Dokolo have denied the claims, saying they were politically motivated, the news agency said.

Following the asset freeze, the Bank of Portugal told Reuters that it is looking into information that could be used for its evaluation of Dos Santos' suitability as a shareholder of institutions it supervises. Dos Santos currently owns 42.5% of Eurobic, formerly named Banco BIC Português SA, and does not hold shares in any other Portuguese banks, Reuters noted.

Meanwhile, Portuguese market regulator CMVM also said it is following the implications of the asset freeze in relation to potential consequences for companies in which Dos Santos is a shareholder.