The Portuguese Republic under the spotlight
For several years, Portugal was in a difficult economic situation, drawing the attention of Europe. The financial crisis, from 2008, combined with the rigidity of the labor market and the high level of public and private debt, led to a slowdown of the economy.
Portugal has returned to economic growth, thanks to market reforms, a rigorous taxation policy initiated in 2011, and the broader return of market confidence in the Eurozone. Portugal has successfully managed to decrease its budget deficit from 11.2% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010 to 2.0% in 2016 allowing it to finalise the EU/IMF bail-out programme in 2014 and to exit the EU Excessive Deficit Procedure in 2017. GDP growth reached 1.6% in 2016 and 2.7% in 2017.
In addition, Portugal has successfully managed to regain access to capital markets, benefiting from the ECB quantitative easing programme. Regaining an investment grade rating from Standard & Poor’s in September 2017 was a further step in its financial recovery.
Today, Portugal can rely on a flourishing tourism industry, high-quality infrastructure and competitive costs. Portugal’s main challenge is to consolidate its medium-term growth by diversifying its manufacturing industry, expanding its workforce services industry and increasing its investments in research.
Guiding you through a recovering market
Leveraging on the presence of the BNP Paribas Group in Portugal since 1985, BNP Paribas Securities Services started its coverage of the Portuguese market in 1999, in what was at the time an innovative solution, using the benefits of the EU Passport.
Since we have been operational in the Portuguese market, clients can rely on our deep understanding of local practices and rules, access to market authorities and our commitment in the development of the Portuguese post-trading environment. We have led the Portuguese Securities Market Clearing and Custody Committee for 10 years to represent client interests in front of the regulator, the tax authorities and the market infrastructures.
We have also integrated the operational and strategic challenges created by new regulations and market initiatives such as TARGET2-Securities (T2S). Indeed, the Portuguese market migrated to the T2S settlement platform in March 2016. Our local custody, local clearing and settlement solutions in the Portuguese market are fully integrated within our Euronext solution, providing linkage to the T2S pan-European settlement platform, to the clearing house (LCH) and the local central securities depository (Interbolsa).
By drawing from the BNP Paribas Securities Services offer and expertise, investors, corporates and financial intermediaries benefit from a diversified product range for their activity, supported by our global operating model, whilst relying on a team of local experts who speak the language and understand the culture.
The Portuguese hub for global asset servicing operations
BNP Paribas Securities Services has been operating in Portugal since 1999. Our centre of excellence in the country was created in 2008 and supports our custody activities, providing essential operational services to 14 of our European locations. The external clients served by our teams in Portugal include European fund managers, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds, corporates, financial intermediaries and other institutional investors. The centre acts as a dual office for our Paris headquarters and is part of our business contingency programme.
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