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Goldman Sachs says BES investment was on behalf of clients

LISBON (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs's 2.27 percent interest in Portugal's Banco Espirito Santo was acquired on behalf of clients, the U.S. investment bank said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon.

Shares in BES soared as much as 19.6 percent Wednesday after the bank announced on Tuesday evening that Goldman Sachs Group had acquired the interest in the bank and U.S. hedge fund DE Shaw had taken a 2.71 percent position.

"Goldman Sachs International has entered into positions in Banco Espirito (Santo) by virtue of its facilitation of client transactions," the bank said in an emailed statement.

"This activity has triggered a disclosure under the requirements of the Transparency Directive as implemented in Portugal."

(Reporting By Laura Noonan; Editing by Andrei Khalip)