LISBON, July 30 (Reuters) - The Bank of Portugal wants bidders for Novo Banco, the successor to Banco Espirito Santo (BES) following a state rescue last year, to come up with improved offers by Aug. 7, the central bank said on Thursday.
On June 30, two Chinese bidders -- Fosun International Ltd and privately-owned insurer Anbang -- and U.S. fund Apollo Global Management LLC submitted binding offers for the bank, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The central bank said there could be successive rounds of bidding, "with the possibility of direct negotiations and exclusion" of contenders, and it set Aug. 7 as the deadline for a new round of offers.
Portuguese authorities hope to sell Novo Banco to recover funds injected last August in a 4.9 billion euro ($5.4 billion)rescue operation, when BES, the country's second-largest lender, crumbled under the debts of its founding Espirito Santo family.
The sources told Reuters the Chinese bidders each offered just over 4 billion euros for Novo Banco for the initial round and were most likely to face off in the final phase of the sale process, possibly with higher offers.
$1 = 0.9163 euros Reporting by Andrei Khalip; Editing by Mark Potter