Portugal related exchange fund us underperforming the broader European markets, with Portuguese stocks weakening on concerns over Espirito Santo Financial Group, the country’s largest bank.
The Global X FTSE Portugal 20 ETF (NYSEArca: PGAL) has dipped 4.1% over the past week and is down 9.2% over the past month.
On Wednesday, Banco Espirito Santo plunged 4.7% as it struggles with financial problems and dragged down the broader Portuguese financial sector, reports Francesco Canepa for Reuters.
The bank has been under scrutiny over the past month since an audit found “material irregularities” at the Espirito Santo family holding company, according to a separate Reuters report.
“Investors are starting to wake up to this bad coffee,” Franz Wenzel, chief strategist at AXA Investment Managers, said. “Also they’ve made fairly decent returns (on Portuguese shares) so why not take profit and take some shelter.”
The financial problems in the banking sector reveals the precarious recovery in parts of the Eurozone periphery and serves as a potential warning against excessive optimism in some peripheral markets.
The Global X FTSE Portgual 20 ETF includes a 5.1% stake in Banco Espirito Santo and a 16.5% weight toward the financial sector.