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Report: Portugal's central bank looking into dos Santos-backed lender EuroBic

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Report: Portugal's central bank looking into dos Santos-backed lender EuroBic

The Portuguese central bank is scrutinizing the anti-money laundering systems of EuroBic, formerly known as Banco BIC Português SA, in which Angolan businesswoman Isabel dos Santos owns a stake, Reuters reported.

The bank confirmed the examination but noted that Banco de Portugal kicked it off in late November 2019 before dos Santos' assets were frozen by authorities in Angola the following month, according to the Jan. 17 report.

Angolan authorities froze dos Santos' assets on suspicions that she and her husband funneled over $1 billion from state companies to institutions in which they had interests. Dos Santos, through two entities, controls roughly 42.5% of EuroBic but a spokesman said she is not involved in the bank's day-to-day operations, Reuters said.

In early January, the Portuguese central bank said it was reviewing dos Santos' suitability as a shareholder in local banks.

Meanwhile, the bank told Reuters that it was complying with anti-financial crime requirements and deemed the central bank's investigation as "part of the normal supervision process."