Everything seems to indicate that the Bank of Spain inspectors, one of the biggest elitist groups in Spain, feared even by the most powerful bankers, are not currently in a good place. The blame lies in the fact that the ECB, or rather the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), has taken over the function of banking supervision. This has left the inspectors somewhat bereft of functions, workload and influence.
Articles by Fernando Barciela
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All governments find unexpected dwarfs popping up all over the place, but this one has them in abundance. The latest one, the problem of the eight bankrupt motorways, which they will have to deal with and pay for, according to a court decision. But the government has said it will only pay the concessionary companies – made up of constructors and banks – half of the accumulated debt of 5 billion euros.
Analyst consensus is unanimous. Stock markets will continue to rise in 2017 and, so they say, Spain’s Ibex 35 will be the strongest performer. While other European markets could see rises of between 8%-10% this year, some analysts predict the Ibex could climb above the 11,000 level in 2017. If this is the case, the revaluation would be a spectacular 15%-16%.
“We are still generating 20% of our electricity with coal and this increased in 2016 compared with the previous year…It’s cheaper than gas. And that’s the point: no matter how much we try to establish targets, companies operate on a day-to-day basis, look for economic efficiency and use the cheapest form of energy available,” says Carmen Gómez de Barreda, board member at Red Eléctrica.
Most analysts believe the recovery in the stock prices of Spain’s four big Socimis will continue over the coming months. Between 70% and 80% of all brokerage houses have a buy recommendation. The fact these property investment vehicles have quite high returns and there is very little competition are amongst the positive factors.
The appointment of Sebastián Abella and Ana Martínez-Pina as the chairman and deputy chairman of the CNMV has caused some controversy, revealing the confusion there is over what profile candidates for heading up any institution should have. You can choose people who are totally uncontaminated to lead any organisation, without having any link to its activities. But an increasingly more complex financial and stock market environment requires experienced professionals, not rookies.
They say that governing is all about choosing (between what is bad and what is worse) and this government is once again facing a difficult decision: whether to lower AENA’s airport tariffs, thus benefiting Spain’s tourism industry which generates the most jobs, or do their own thing and make money. I say this because, obviously, the best way of making money is not to lower the tariffs AENA charges the airlines.
Spanish construction firms could make their fortune in the US, given president-elect Donald Trump’s planned $1.3 trillion investment in infrastucture in the country over the next 10 years. But it won’t be as easy as it looks.
Talgo has been the big railway company protected by all Spain’s governments. So it’s no suprise that Talgo’s Avril – with its own traction power – has just beaten Alstom and Siemens and won the contract to build 15-high speed AVE trains for state-owned Renfe. The German company hardly even flinched, but the French had their doubts about how the calculations were made and have asked for clarification.
After the banking crises in the US and Europe, there was a generalised call – even from many bankers – for a more detailed regulation of the banking business which would avoid a repetition of what had happened. But now there are some signs of weariness, impatience and even underhand ‘rebellion’.