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Ministry of Science_ Technology and Higher Education Decree-law no

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									             Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education
                  Decree-law no. 309-A/2007 of 7th September

                [Regulates the activity of mutual guarantee societies]

The government decided, in the program submitted for approval by the Assembly
of the Republic, to promote access to higher education improving attendance
levels and actual completion of higher education degrees. Holding a higher
education degree is a very important resource in terms of future learning, life-long
planning and employability continuing to be a key factor in our economic, social
and technological modernisation.

The National Strategy for Reform in Higher Education, presented by the Prime
Minister in Parliament on December the 21st, sets out to meet the terms referred to
in the plan of the government and pinpoints the need to launch a student loan
program as a matter of priority.

Particularly activities linked with developing value creation are fundamental for the
modernisation of society and economy, as well as for the technological
development of the country, in particular the development of human resources in
its different phases of training, and in its use and application. Those activities also
respond to one of the fundamental challenges mentioned in the Technological Plan
which has been approved by the Government.

Additionally, the creation of lists of higher learning and graduate education in other
countries has permitted the observation of an important group of repercussions at
the level of business creation, ability to research and the linking of research itself to
the economic and business sectors, besides giving better quality and
implementation of resources.

It is within this scope that complementing current direct State aid for education with
a system of student loan guaranties for those in higher education is important and
is a way to give incentives and broaden academic qualifications of the Portuguese,
in such a way as to facilitate advanced training of human resources in Portugal.

In fact, the implementation of a system of student loan guaranties for higher
education proves to be a crucial instrument in the development of a policy of
supporting education of the population in the highest step of the educational
system, so envisioning fighting the existent lag in Portugal in terms of enrolment in
higher education compared to the rest of Europe, which has higher credentials
overall.

Further, recently conducted international studies with a perspective on the
European comparison of student life in higher education agrees with this viewpoint,
especially in the area of the European initiative Eurostudent, as well as, and in
particular, the study of socio-economic conditions of students in higher education in
Portugal and their progress from a perspective compared on the European scale,
as observed by the General Director of Higher Education, and which constitutes a
contribution to an analysis of the national component within the European context.
Also the recent global evaluation of the Portuguese higher education system
conducted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) recommends opening access to higher education and implementation of a
system of students’ loans for those in higher education.

Parallel to this, the program of the Government and the recent Commitment to
Science for the Future of Portugal (Compromisso com a Ciência para o Futuro de
Portugal) strive to reinforce the need Portugal has for investing in science and
technology, making new public resources available that should be matched with
innovative financial mechanisms that permit the maximization of activities involving
research and development in Portugal. This makes a step to guaranteeing the
involvement of students in higher education in activities which include research and
development, as well as considerably increasing the number of doctoral, post-
doctoral and research scholarship recipients, simultaneous with making new forms
of incentives available for carrying out research and development activities in
scientific institutions as well as in others, both public and private.

The creation of mutual guarantee societies established by the Decree-law no.
211/98 of 16th July, altered by Decree-law no. 19/2001 of 30th January, was
incorporated into the strategy of stimulating the Portuguese economy. These
institutions were sketched out with the objective of facilitating access to the
financial resources necessary for the undertaking of activities by micro-enterprises
and small and medium-sized enterprises. This is achieved first and foremost
through the granting of guarantees, since the size of said enterprises does affect
their respective financing, particularly as far as price and time conditions are
concerned. The guarantee agencies allow those enterprises also to receive
guarantees for additional needs linked with their activity.

Like other international guarantee systems, the Portuguese system of mutual
guarantees is based on the existence of a public-private partnership in which
mutual guarantee societies – credit institutions that are almost exclusively private
and regulated and supervised by the Banco de Portugal (Portugal’s Central Bank)
– are counter-guaranteed (co-insured) by a public fund, the Mutual Counter-
guarantee Fund, managed by SPGM - Sociedade de Investimento, S.A. (the
Portuguese Society of Mutual Guarantee), balancing in this way whether in the
intervention capacity of mutual guarantee societies or in the multiplying effect of
public funds allocated to determined objectives related to public politics. At the
same time, rational and efficient management of resources is assured through
mutual guarantee societies, given the necessary control mechanism and the
supervision of the Banco de Portugal (Portugal’s Central Bank).

As in other guarantee systems and according to the coming together of objectives
between the main mission of this kind of societies – which foresee the
dynamisation of the economic activity through the lending of guarantees to micro-
enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises – and the outlined objective of
raising the overall degree of academic qualifications of the Portuguese people is
then a goal to take advantage of the mutual guarantee system already developed
in Portugal, allowing that such system plays a role at this level.
Therefore mutual guarantee societies are endowed with an objective that makes
students in higher education, doctoral scholarship recipients, post-doctoral
students, researchers and scientific research as well as technological development
institutions getting financing under better terms within the financing system.

Finally, and attending to the development identified in the best international
guarantee systems and in the market of micro-enterprises and small and medium-
sized enterprises, the present legislative alteration is fine-tuned, especially in the
sense of permitting mutual guarantee societies to set up so-called “portfolio
guarantee operations”, which are rather common in micro-credit lines and in the
support of entrepreneurship. Furthermore, the creation of operations in the scope
of international protocols is considered destined to supporting the
internationalisation of national enterprises, micro-enterprises and small and
medium-sized enterprises in particular in line with what has been observed in the
principle guidelines of the Technological Plan, the INOFIN - Programa Quadro para
a Inovação Financeira no Mercado das PME (Framework Program for Financial
Innovation on the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Market ) and the QREN -
Quadro de Referência Estratégico Nacional (National Strategic Reference
Framework).

The Banco de Portugal (Portugal’s Central Bank), the IAPMEI - Instituto de Apoio
às Pequenas e Médias Empresas e ao Investimento (Institute for the Support to
Small and Medium Companies and Investment) and the CMVM - Comissão do
Mercado de Valores Mobiliários (Portuguese Securities Market Commission) were
heard in this matter.

Therefore:
According to subparagraph a) of paragraph 1 of article 198 of the Portuguese
Constitution, the Government decrees the following:



                                     Article 1
                 Alteration of Decree-law no. 211/98 of 16th July
Articles 1, 2 and 3 of Decree-law no. 211/98 of 16th July along with the alterations
introduced by the Decree-law no. 19/2001 of 30th January shall have the following
legal drafting:

                                       «Article 1
                                           [...]
Mutual guarantee societies are credit institutions that have bank activity as an
objective restricted to the realisation of financial operations and the offering of
related services fixed in this contract to the benefit of microenterprises and small
and medium-sized enterprises, or other collective persons, whatever be their legal
nature, especially associations and groups complementary to/outside of
enterprises, and private individuals, especially students and researchers. This is
governed by regulation of the present decree and by the applicable conditions of
the general administration of credit institutions and finance societies.
                                      Article 2
                                         [...]
1 – ……………………………………………………………………………..
a)      Granting of guarantees destined to ensuring and complying with contractual
obligations by beneficiary shareholders or by other juridical persons, singular or
collective, non-shareholders, in the way of portfolio guarantee operations within the
terms of paragraph 2, namely accessory guarantees of mutual contracts;
b)      ……………………………………………………………………………..
c)      ……………………………………………………………………………..
d)      ……………………………………………………………………………..

2 – For purposes of the regulation in subparagraph a) of paragraph 1, the granting
of portfolio guarantees for special lines of credit, especially for micro-loans and for
student loans to students in higher education, doctoral and post-doctoral
scholarship recipients as well as researchers, depends on the recognition, both by
mutual guarantee societies and by the general council of the Mutual Counter-
guarantee Fund, on its interest in the economic and scientific development or in the
promotion of innovation, and is intended to ensure the compliance of obligations
accepted by those juridical persons, be they individuals or collective, in respect to
entities that offered the above-mentioned special lines of credit.

3 – (Original paragraph 2.)

4 – (Original paragraph 3.)

5 – Societies of mutual guarantee may only carry out operations or offer services
which benefit beneficiary shareholders for the development of their respective
economic activities.

6 – Excluded from the regulation in the previous paragraph are the following
operations:
a)      Guarantees that fit into paragraph 2;
b)      Guarantees issued in order to benefit non shareholders microenterprises
and small and medium-sized enterprises in the way of agreements with other
entities or guarantee systems outside the national territory.

7 – Entities which make special lines of credit available as referred to in paragraph
2 shall ensure, prior to the contracting of lines of credit, the condition of promoting
shareholder of the mutual guarantee society.

8 – It is ensured in the contracting of portfolio guarantees covered in paragraph 2
that the promoting shareholder presume a portion of his/her participation in the
social capital of the mutual guarantee society and upon which will stand as pledge
in benefit of the mutual guarantee society as a compensation for the guarantee
loaned by this society in the number of shares it has and in the terms that are fixed
by the general council of the Mutual Counter-guarantee Fund, whether this society
is able to execute the said function, dispossessing self of these shares according
to the respective face value or selling them extra-judicially.
                   Article 3
                     [...]
1 – ……………………………………………………………………………..

2 – Beneficiary shareholders can only be made up of microenterprises and small
and medium-sized enterprises, representative entities of any of the categories of
said enterprises, as well as other collective persons, especially complementary
groupings of enterprises, that develop qualified activities for the mutual guarantee
societies and for the general council of the Mutual Counter-guarantee Fund and in
addition those having relevant economic interest.

3 – ……………………………………………………………………………..

4 – ……………………………………………………………………………..

5 – ……………………………………………………………………………..

6 – To avoid detrimental effects of regulations in the preceding paragraph, for the
purpose of counting of the rights to vote the number of shares attested or
registered to promoting shareholder, which may have been given as collateral to
the partner mutual guarantee society according to the terms seen in paragraph 8 of
Article 2 will be deducted.»



                                      Article 2
                                 Derogation norm
Legal or regulatory norms that restrict the objective of the Mutual Counter-
guarantee Fund will become null and void in regards to the counter-guarantee of
the guarantees offered by mutual guarantee societies in order to ensure the
compliance with contractual obligations exclusively for beneficiary shareholders,
specifically paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Ministerial order no. 1354-A/99, of 31st
December.



                                   Article 3
                               Revocatory norm
Article 19 of Decree-law no. 211/98, of 16th July, is revoked along with changes
introduced by Decree-law no. 19/2001, of 30th January.



                                     Article 4
                              Entrance into effect
The present decree-law goes into effect the day after its publication.
                                     Article 5
                                  Republication
As an annex to the this decree-law, the republication of the Decree-law no. 211/98,
of 16th July, with the changes introduced by the Decree-law no. 19/2001, of 30th
January is presented.



Reviewed and approved in Council of Ministers of 23rd August 2007. – José
Sócrates Carvalho Pinto de Sousa – Fernando Teixeira dos Santos – Manuel
António Gomes de Almeida de Pinho – José Mariano Rebelo Pires Gago.

Promulgated on 5th September 2007
To be published

The President of the Republic, Aníbal Cavaco Silva.

Countersigned on 6th September 2007
The Prime-minister, José Sócrates Carvalho Pinto de Sousa.
                                   ANNEX
            Republication of the Decree-law no. 211/98, of 16th July.

                                    Chapter 1
                                 General provisions

                                       Article 1
                                       Premise
Mutual guarantee societies are credit institutions which have banking activity
restricted to the realisation of finance operations and to the offering of associated
services covered in this document for benefiting microenterprises and small and
medium-sized enterprises or other legal persons, whatever their legal nature,
particularly associations or complementary business groups and singular persons,
especially students and researchers, as is governed by regulation in the present
document and by the applicable conditions set forth by the general scheme of
credit institutions and financial companies.


                                        Article 2
                                       Objective
1 – Mutual guarantee societies may carry out operations and offer services of the
following types:
a)     Offering guarantees with the purpose of ensuring the carrying out of
contractual obligations by beneficiary shareholders or by other juridical persons,
whether single or collective, or non-shareholders within the scope of portfolio
guarantee operations under the terms of paragraph 2, particularly accessory
guarantees of mutual contracts;
b)     Promotion in favour of beneficiary shareholders of the securing financial
resources within credit institutions or other financial institutions, national or foreign;
c)     Participation in the sale, in primary or secondary markets, of shares, bonds
or any other type of securities as well as credit notes extended under the terms of
Decree-law no. 181/92, of 22nd August, as long as the emitting entity is a
beneficiary shareholder or as laid out in paragraph 2, and the offering of related
services;
d)     Offering of consulting services to enterprises to beneficiary shareholders in
areas associated with financial management, especially in matters of capital
structure, of business strategy and of issues associated therewith as well as in the
dominion of merger, split, purchase or sale of enterprises.

2 – For purposes of regulation in subparagraph a) of paragraph 1, the granting of
portfolio guarantees for special credit lines, particularly for micro-credits and for
students loans for higher education, doctoral and post-doctoral scholarship
recipients and for researchers, depending on recognition by mutual guarantee
societies and by the general council of the Mutual Counter-guarantee Fund, and on
relevant interest for of economic and scientific development or for the sake of
encouraging innovation and is designed to ensure the compliance with obligations
associated therewith by those juridical persons, be they individuals or collective, in
respect to entities that offer the above-mentioned special lines of credit.
3 – In addition to the securities put forth by beneficiary shareholders mutual
guarantee societies may participate in the placing of securities that within the
respective terms of issuance confer the right to subscription, be they convertible or
changeable, by means of representative shares of social capital of beneficiary
shareholders.

4 – Mutual guarantee societies may not underwrite, whether totally or partially,
collocation of securities only being able to acquire through their own portfolio those
securities referred to in paragraph 5 of Article 229 of from the Portuguese
Securities Market Code and, in accordance with the rules that have been
established by the Banco de Portugal (Portugal’s Central Bank), others that the
latter may authorize.

5 – Mutual guarantee societies may only realise operations and offer services
benefiting beneficiary shareholders for the development of their respective
economic activities.

6 – In exception to the previous regulation are the following operations:
a)      Guarantees that fit into paragraph 2;
b)      Guarantees issued in order to benefit non shareholders microenterprises
and small and medium-sized enterprises in the way of agreements with other
entities or guarantee systems outside the national territory.

7 – Entities which make special lines of credit available as referred to in paragraph
2 shall ensure, prior to the contracting of lines of credit, the condition of promoting
shareholder of the mutual guarantee society.

8 – It is ensured in the contracting of portfolio guarantees covered in paragraph 2
that the promoting shareholder presume a portion of his/her participation in the
social capital of the mutual guarantee society and upon which will stand as pledge
in benefit of the mutual guarantee society as a compensation for the guarantee
loaned by this society in the number of shares it has and in the terms that are fixed
by the general council of the Mutual Counter-guarantee Fund, whether this society
is able to execute the said function, dispossessing self of these shares according
to the respective face value or selling them extra-judicially.


                                        Article 3
             Beneficiary shareholders and promoting shareholders
1 – Mutual guarantee societies have beneficiary shareholders and as long as their
respective statutes stipulate the option they may also have promoting
shareholders.
2 – Beneficiary shareholders may only be microenterprises and small and medium-
sized enterprises, representing entities of any of such enterprises, as well as other
collective persons, especially complementary groupings of enterprises that carry
out qualified activities of relevant economic interest on behalf of mutual guarantee
societies and for the general council of the Mutual Counter-guarantee Fund.
3 – The statutes of mutual guarantee societies should clearly define who might
attain the capacity of a beneficiary shareholder.
4 – Mutual guarantee societies may not carry out operations nor offer services
benefiting promoting shareholders.

5 – Promoting shareholders may not hold, whether individually or collectively,
directly or indirectly, participation greater than 50% of the social capital or of the
rights to vote in the mutual guarantee society, except in the first three years
counted from the date of the founding of the society, a period in which the
percentage is 75%.

6 – Without undermining the regulation of the previous paragraph for the effect of
counting voting rights the number of shares attested to or registered in favour of
promoting shareholders that have been giving as collateral in favour of a partner
mutual guarantee society shall not be counted under terms covered in paragraph 8
of article 2.


                                     Article 4
                                 Corporate name
The corporate name of these societies shall include the expression “mutual
guarantee society” or the abbreviation SGM that along with other abbreviations that
could be confused with said abbreviation may not be used by other entities that are
not covered in the present document.


                                   Article 5
                         Representation of the capital
1 – The shares representing the social capital of mutual guarantee societies must
be registered.

2 – Registration records and deposit records in which the shares of the mutual
guarantee society are registered and deposited should, besides having mentions
and required facts in general terms, reveal the quality of beneficiary shareholder or
promoting shareholder.


                                      Article 6
                              Realisation of capital
The social capital of mutual guarantee societies may only be realised by means of
cash investments without impairing the possibility of increase in social capital being
made in the way of incorporation into reserves in general terms.


                                   Article 7
                Authorisation and revocation of authorisation
1 – Mutual guarantee societies may not be made up of fewer than 20 beneficiary
shareholders.
2 – Besides the reasons prescribed in the general terms authorisation to be a
mutual guarantee society may be revoked if:
a)     For a period of more than 18 months the number of beneficiary
shareholders has been less than 20;
b)     The general assembly does not approve general conditions for granting of
guarantees within the time period of 180 days, counted from the date of formation
of the society.




                                   Chapter 2
                    Activities of mutual guarantee societies

                                     Article 8
                               Financial resources
Mutual guarantee societies may only finance their activity with their own funds and
by means of the following resources:
a)     Financing extended by other credit institutions or by financial institutions,
national or foreign;
b)     Loans and other forms of financing extended by shareholders in legally
permissible terms;
c)     Issuance obligations of whatever type under the conditions covered by the
law and outside of compliance with limits set in the Portuguese companies act.


                                     Article 9
                                     Reserves
1 – A sum not less than 10% of the overall sum before taxes are imposed on each
exercise by mutual guarantee societies to be destined for the making up of a
provisional technical fund up to the limit of 10% of the balance of the portfolio of
guarantees extended.

2 – Such provisional technical fund of the previous paragraph is destined for
covering debts incurred through adverse conditions in the guarantee portfolio.

3 – A fraction of not less than 10% of liquid profits generated in each exercise of
mutual guarantee societies should be destined to the formation of a legal reserve
up to the limit of social capital.

4 – The Banco de Portugal (Portugal’s Central Bank) may raise either of the two
percentages referred to in paragraph 1.


                                   Article 10
                            Offering of guarantees
1 – Mutual guarantee societies may not offer guarantees which favour beneficiary
shareholders until they have not fully made the participation for which such title
requires under the terms of paragraph 3 of Article 13 as a condition of such
acquisition.

2 – Between the moments of granting a guarantee and the termination thereof
shares that are part of the participation required by such title shall not be an object
of transferral except in the cases covered in paragraph 4 and shall be given in
collateral in benefit of the mutual guarantee society as counter-guarantee to the
guarantee extended by that society.

3 – Both the non-transferral and the establishment of collateral are subject in
general terms to recording in registry statements or in the deposit statements of the
mutual guarantee society, subject to those limitations and responsibilities that may
be registered or deposited there.

4 – In the case covered in paragraph 2 shares may be an object of transfer under
the conditions that the statutes of the mutual guarantee society establishes if any
of the following situations are identified:
a)      Split or merger of the beneficiary shareholder;
b)      Cessation of contractual position in the business thus resulting in
guaranteed obligations;
c)      Death of the beneficiary shareholder.


                                  Article 11
                Applicable framework to the granted guarantees
1 – (Revoked)

2 – The condition of partner, whether initially or subsequently, of the creating entity
of guaranteed obligation will not affect the legal regulation of the guarantee
extended which is regulated by rules and regulations of the present document, by
legal and regulatory norms that in general terms may be applicable and by general
conditions of granting guarantees fixed in the terms of paragraph 3 of Article 13.


                                     Article 12
                  Non-compliance of the guaranteed obligations
1 – In case of non-compliance by any of the beneficiary shareholders of an
obligation that is guaranteed by the mutual guarantee society the latter may hold in
general terms shares of a beneficiary shareholder as collateral in the terms of
paragraph 2 of Article 10.

2 – Regardless of said agreement between the mutual guarantee society and the
beneficiary shareholder in breach of contract those shares serving as collateral
may be taken over by such society or be sold extra-judicially.

3 – In cases dealt with in the previous paragraph the worth of the shares for
purposes of judicial sale will be the face value, the sale price not being able to be
lower than such value.
                                       Article 13
                                  Contract of society
1 – The contract of society of the mutual guarantee societies should include
without exclusion of other elements called for in the general terms:
a)      Whether there is a possible existence of promoting shareholders;
b)      The entities that might subscribe to or on another basis acquire shares
within the quality of beneficiary shareholder;
c)      The transferral of shares which in the terms of Article 14 are subject to the
consent of the society as well as cases in which the make-up of collateral and of
usufruct of actions is subject to the consent of the society;
d)      Specifying the justifications with which according to paragraph 5 of Article
14 the organ of administration of the mutual guarantee society may refuse the
consent for transmission of shares and for what constitutes collateral or usufruct;
e)      The conditions under which in cases as referred to in paragraph 4 of Article
10 shares which act as collateral may be transferred.

2 – Besides the matters referred to in paragraph 1 of Article 34 of the Regime
Geral das Instituições de Crédito e Sociedades Financeiras (general arrangement
for the credit institutions and financial societies), alterations of statutes of mutual
guarantee societies that deal with any of the matters indexed in subparagraphs b)
and d) of paragraph 1 are equally subject to the authorisation of the Banco de
Portugal (Portugal’s Central Bank).

3 – General assemblies of mutual guarantee societies should approve the general
conditions of concession of guarantees especially the minimum sum of
participation of which the beneficiary shareholder should be title-holder in order for
guarantees to be conceded in said shareholder’s favour.

4 – The considerations referred to in the previous paragraph shall be
communicated to the Banco de Portugal (Portugal’s Central Bank).


                                Article 14
                           Transferral of shares
1 – Transferral of shares among beneficiary shareholders, among promoting
shareholders and from promoting shareholder to beneficiary shareholders may
occur freely.

2 – The transferral of shares from beneficiary shareholders or from promoting
shareholders to new beneficiary shareholders shall be necessarily subject to the
consent of the mutual guarantee society.

3 – Shares from beneficiary shareholders may not be transferred from beneficiary
shareholders to promoting shareholders or to new promoting shareholders.

4 – The competency to offer or refuse consent for the transferral of shares belongs
compulsorily to the organ of administration of the mutual guarantee society.
5 – The consent for transferral of shares may only be refused on the basis of
verification in regards to the entity to which the shares are intended to be
transferred of some of the requirements which the mutual guarantee society sets
up for the possibility of subscribing to or, under another name, acquire shares in
the quality of beneficiary shareholder.

6 – Should the consent for the transferral of shares be refused, in the period of 90
days counted from the date of refusal of consent the mutual guarantee society
shall assume the responsibility of acquiring shares or making an acquisition of
shares by means of a third party.

7 – In the situation laid out in the previous paragraph shares shall be acquired at
face value.

8 – The regulations in previous paragraphs is applicable as well to the putting up of
collateral or usufruct of shares which represent social capital of mutual guarantee
societies with the necessary adaptations.


                                      Article 15
                    Acquisition and alienation of owned shares
1 – Besides the case prescribed in paragraph 6 of Article 14, whenever beneficiary
shareholders request it the mutual guarantee society shall be obliged to procure
the shares for which they are title-bearers and that under terms of paragraph 2 of
Article 10 are not non-transferable, as prescribed in paragraph 7 of Article 14.

2 – The acquisition of shares belonging to mutual guarantee societies only is
effective in respect to social exercise, remaining dependent upon the verification of
the following conditions:
a)      Three years at least have passed since the date of share acquisition;
b)      The acquisition does not involve the non-compliance or the under-
compliance with any relations or prudent limits prescribed by law or by the Banco
de Portugal (Portugal’s Central Bank).

3 – For purposes of acquisition of owned shares the sum of the technical
provisional fund for distributable assets referred to in paragraph 4 of Article 317 of
the Portuguese companies act shall be increased.

4 – If the society does not have funds at its disposal that permit satisfaction or
completely satisfy a request for acquisition of owned shares the funds will be held
and until complete satisfaction the society will not be able to distribute dividends.

5 – Those shares of which the mutual guarantee society is the title-bearer are
meant to be sold to beneficiary shareholders or promoting shareholders, or to third
parties that wish to take on any of those qualities or, in the first case, fulfil such
requirements.

6 – The sale will be made by the organ of administration and the price will be equal
to the face value of the shares.
                                      Article 16
                                   Merger and split
1 – The Banco de Portugal (Portugal’s Central Bank) will only grant authorisation
for the merger or the split of mutual guarantee societies if from doing so it results in
at least one society of the same kind.

2 – Mutual guarantee societies may not alter their respective social obligations that
imply a change of the type of institution.




                                 Chapter 3
              Counter-guaranteeing of mutual guarantee societies

                                      Article 17
                         Mutual Counter-guarantee Fund
Mutual guarantee societies with the purpose of offering enough coverage and
guarantee for risks that arise from its operations and with the purpose of assuring
the solvency of the system shall rely on counter-guarantee of their operations by
means of the Mutual Counter-guarantee Fund, for the outstanding balance at any
moment of the guarantees extended and for the maximum limit of counter-
guarantee accepted by that fund.


                                     Article 18
              Managing entity of the Mutual Counter-guarantee Fund
1 – It is up to the managing entity of the Mutual Counter-guarantee Fund to
promote and give incentives for the creation of mutual guarantee societies
particularly by means of making initial investments in the capital of these in the
quality of promoting shareholder.

2 – The managing society of the Mutual Counter-guarantee Fund has the right to
designate of its own representatives in the council of administration of mutual
guarantee societies for which it holds a corresponding participation of at least 10%
of the social capital.


                                    Article 19
               Beginning of the mutual guarantee system activity
All the required procedures needed as a result of any split of SPGM - Sociedade
de Investimento, S.A. (the Portuguese Society of Mutual Guarantee) are free from
taxes and fees owed to whichever entity, namely the Registo Nacional de Pessoas
Colectivas (the Portuguese national register of legal persons), registers of
companies, firms, or associations and registers offices.
                                     Article 20
                                Entry into force
The present decree-law comes into force on the very first day of the month
immediately following the month of its publication.

								
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