Spanish banks (and their fund management companies) continue to charge high commissions on their investment funds and pension plans. They can afford to do that because in Spain, the clients are the banks’ clients and they are cautious. So there is little competition in this sector, unlike in the UK.
Articles by Fernando Barciela
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The CNMV and the government have been trying for years to get the big companies and Spanish banks to issue debt in Spain. But despite some reforms having been made, Spanish companies continue to head for Europe and even farther afield to ask investors for money.
Spain’s new CNMV board, headed up by Sebastián Albella, has embarked on a big reform drive, implementing a whole range of initiatives, to make the Spanish financial market more trustworthy.
Spain’s Nuclear Security Council’s decision in February to allow the re-opening of the nuclear power plant in Garoña for another 20 years has demonstrated that nuclear energy doesn’t just spark doubts amongst ecologists, but also amongst the electricity companies themselves.
Board member at Iberdrola and Tubacex, Manuel Moreu Munaiz believes relocation has increased unfair competitition in industry in Spain.
Judging by the latest valuations which have appeared in the press, the balance of the first five years of Spain’s bad bank, Sareb, is little less than disastrous. But the bank’s performance has been praised by Brussels and by Germany, who have said it has completed its objective of stabilising the Spanish financial system.
Telefónica’s share price has made a strong recovery so far this year and is now trading around 10,3 euros, meaning it has gained no less than 31% from last year’s minimum levels. New executive chairman Jose María Álvarez-Pallete has played a big part in this comeback.
“We are in a situation where retired people’s pensions are bigger than the salaries paid to the people working in the jobs they left. Something has broken down. All the education and infrastructures we have created should be directed towards a society with decent salaries,” says Alejandro Legarda Zaragüeta, who knows the ins and outs of Spanish industry after 20 years as managing director of CAF.
Ailing department store chain El Corte Ingles lived splendidly before Amancio Ortega, Zara’s founder, began his rapid journey through the world of fashion retailing both at home and abroad. Galicia’s Inditex group has not stopped growing in sales and store openings.
The latest figures have again confirmed what we have been seeing in the last few quarters: Spain is not only not losing industry at the moment, but in fact this is recovering very fast. In January, for example, Spanish industry’s revenues rose 13.1% from a year earlier, the biggest increase since April 2008.