Espírito Santo Financial Group SA, which holds 20% of Portuguese lender Banco Espírito Santo SA, has filed for creditor protection in Luxembourg, becoming the third company in the group to do so in less than two weeks, The Wall Street Journal reported. "Espírito Santo Financial Group SA has asked the Luxembourg courts for controlled management following the company's conclusion that it is unable to meet its obligations under its commercial paper program and obligations associated with the company's stand-alone debt obligations," it said in a statement. Espírito Financial Group's shares have been halted from trading since July 10, when the company said it was assessing the impact of troubles at Espírito Santo International SA, which owns 49% of the financial group. Espírito Santo International, which was found to be in serious financial condition by an audit ordered by the country's central bank, filed for creditor protection last week. Its main unit, Rioforte Investments SA, filed for protection this week. Read more. (Subscription required.)
In a related story, Reuters reported that an investigating judge has named Ricardo Salgado, head of Portugal's Espirito Santo banking family and former chief of Banco Espirito Santo (BES), as a suspect in a long-running money-laundering and tax evasion investigation. Read more.