Troubled Portuguese bank halts steep share slide after chairman's assurances

Shares in Portuguese bank Banif have halted their steep fall after its chairman gave assurances there were no plans to close the troubled financial institution.

Shares in Banco Internacional do Funchal SA lost more than half their value last week, dropping to 0.0006 euro ($0.0007) on the Lisbon stock exchange, after news reports the bank could collapse and close its doors. But in morning trading Tuesday they recovered to 0.001 euro.

Banif executive chairman Jorge Tome said in a television interview late Monday that six international investors are considering buying a stake in the loss-making bank.

The government holds some 60 percent of Banif stock after using 1.1 billion euros of public money to prevent its collapse in 2012. Banif is a medium-size player in Portugal's banking sector.