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Portuguese Bank Offers 'McCain/Obama' Deal

LISBON -- A Portuguese online bank unveiled a novel interest rate deal Monday by letting clients bet on the outcome of the U.S. presidential election.

Banco Best's customers will be awarded interest on their 60-day deposits on the basis of whether they bet correctly on the winner of the Nov. 4 U.S. election between Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain, the bank said in a statement.

If they pick the winner, they will be rewarded with interest of 8 percent, applied retroactively from Nov. 4 to the day they opened the account. If their bet is wrong, they will get just 2 percent interest.

Banco Best will offer up to 10 million euros of the so-called McCain/Obama Deposit, which can be subscribed to online at any time until Nov. 3.

The bank said it will also provide an online barometer of deposit holders' expectations of the election result.

The offer came as several European governments rushed to guarantee bank deposits after a spate of bank failures linked to the global credit crunch.