Portuguese bank BES eyes a stake in UK broker Execution

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The Independent Online

Banco Espirito Santo (BES), the Portugese bank, is believed to be eyeing a stake in Execution Limited, the City stockbroker.

BES is thought to be looking to invest in Execution after it recently sold its 10 per cent position in Evolution, the rival broker led by former Harlequins rugby lock, Alex Snow.

Execution, led by the former Deutsche Bank trader Nick Finegold, recently helped BES place its Evolution shares in the market after the listed-Portugese bank decided to sell its position one year after its purchase.

Reports last week suggested that Lloyds, which inherited a 10 per cent stake in Execution when it bought HBOS, is in early talks with Mr Finegold and his team about pursuing a possible joint venture.

But sources close to Lloyds have since sought to play down the likelihood of such a move.

Instead, Lloyds is thought to be more likely to sell its stake in Execution to BES, Portugal's second largest-listed bank with a market capitalisation of more than €5bn (£4.5bn).

Execution is expected this week to complete a deal to buy Noble, the mid- and small-cap Scottish investment bank.

A spokesman for Execution would not comment and BES were unavailable for comment.