Caiado Guerreiro & Associados: Newsletter December 201212/13/2012

LEGAL

NEW RULES IN HOUSING LOANS
Against a background of rising unemployment and growing difficulties of families in fulfilling their obligations, in particular those relating to housing, on November 9th, the Government published Laws No. 57/2012, 58/2012, 59/2012 and 60/2012, thus introducing new amendments to housing loans regulations. This new tax package provides for significant changes, of general application and also to specific situations: Law No. 57/2012 makes it possible for the redemption of amounts applied in savings deposits to pay debts arising from housing loans; Law 58/2012 creates a special regime for the protection of housing loans’ debtors in very difficult economic situation (provides for a series of measures that are essentially intended for debt restructuring, with grace period, extension of term, spread reduction and additional loan); Law No. 59/2012 modifies the Law Decree No. 349/98 and creates safeguards for borrowers of housing loans; and finally, Law 60/2012 harmonizes the rules of the Executive process, present in the Portuguese Civil Procedure Code, with the modifications introduced in the system of housing loans.
For any further information on this matter please contact: Maria Margarida Torres

THE NEW LEGAL REGIME OF PROFESSIONAL ORDERS
The Portuguese parliament has approved an act amending the legal framework for the creation, organization and functioning of public professional organizations. The new law essentially aims to liberalize the access for the practice of professions such as law and medicine, without prejudice to the legally established requirements and procedures which the law assigns to the professional orders. Note, however, that the initial draft that was presented has suffered some changes, having been excluded the possibility of undertaking disciplinary procedures for misconduct by the Public Attorney's Office, which had caused major debate among the professional organizations by being considered an invasion on their self-government, given the fact that it is an exclusive competence for the respective ethics’ council. Therefore, according to the approved act it is provided that the Public Attorney's Office may inform the competent ethics’ council of the facts undertaken by any member of the professional order deemed as misconduct. Professional orders must adapt their statutes in compliance with the amended framework until the end of March 2013, which shall be sent to the Government for appreciation, and then to the National Parliament for approval.
For any further information on this matter please contact: Tânia Albuquerque de Almeida

NEW RULES ON ADMINISTRATIVE DECREES OF EXTENSION
The resolution of the Council of Ministers No. 90/2012, published on October 31st provides for the definition of the rules governing the issuance of administrative decrees of extension of collective labour agreement, complementing the regime present in articles 514 to 516 of the labour code. The issuance of such Administrative Decree must derive from a joint application of the Trade Union and the Association of Employers that have signed the collective agreement in case, taking into consideration geographic, personal and professional areas, as well as to the sector of activity to be covered by the extension. However, the employer who signs the convention must have at his service at least 50% of workers of their sector of activity, unless the extension request only includes large companies. With regards to the extent of clauses of a pecuniary nature which may be present in the collective agreement, the retroactive effective is limited to the first day of the month in which the Administrative Decree is published in the Official Journal of Portugal.
For any further information on this matter please contact: Marta Paiva


BUSINESS

EXPORT OF PORTUGUESE WINE HAD A GROWTH OF 9.9% UNTIL JUNE, 2012
Portuguese wine exports have reached 304.3 million Euros in the first semester of the year, growing 9.9% in comparison with the same period in 2011. According to the data of ViniPortugal, the Association responsible for the promotion of domestic wines, if the year of the wine sector had ended in June, the annual total would have sum up 679 million Euros in exports representing 22 million Euros more than in 2011. The same source indicates that in the last 10 years, the wine sector grew at the annual rate of 4.5% much due to the growth in markets such as Brazil, Germany and China. This data comes at a time where some economies have been implementing protectionist measures similar to what happened this year in Brazil when the country wanted to raise taxes on imported wines.
For any further information on this matter please contact: Joaquim Cunha Reis Ferreira

THE RIO NAVE GROUP PROMISES TO MODERNIZE THE SHIPYARDS OF VIANA WITH 30 MILLION EUROS.
The Rio Nave Group assures that in case of wining the tender for the re-privatization of the Shipyards of Viana do Castelo (ENVC) it will invest 30 million in modernizing the company, besides ensuring the maintenance of more than 600 jobs. Furthermore, this private group intends that the Shipyards of Viana continue to have a Portuguese administration. The Rio Nave Group acquired three major shipyards in the country, providing 3,000 jobs. The Government plans to sell the shipyards of Viana until the end of the present year.
For any further information on this matter please contact: Joana Gomes dos Santos 

SONANGOL INCRESASES ITS POSITION IN BCP IN OVER 15%
Sonangol - National Fuel Company of Angola increased its position to a total of 2.971.408.737 ordinary shares of the Portuguese Commercial Bank (BCP), which increased its qualifying participation to over 15% and gave rise to the obligation of public disclosure of said participation. The near 3 million BCP shares held by Sonangol correspond to 15.08% of the share capital and the corresponding voting rights. If Sonangol was already the majority shareholder of BCP, holding more than 11% of the Bank, it now has strengthened its position. In terms of holdings, in the list of the most powerful shareholders, the Group Teixeira Duarte is second on the list, with 5.36%, Bank Sabadell, with 3.97% is the third and the Berardo group with 3.07% is fourth. It should be noted that the Angolan oil company has authorization from the Bank of Portugal to reach the 20% in the capital of BCP.
For any further information on this matter please contact: Ricardo Rodrigues Lopes