What’s going on with technology giant Google, and other similar firms like Amazon or Apple, is really scandalous. The company with headquarters in Mountain Valley, and now called Alphabet, posted spectacular pretax profits of 19.651 billion dollars (26% of its income of 75 billion). But it hardly paid any tax abroad.
Articles by Fernando Barciela
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The rise in the Ibex 35 in the first few minutes of Monday’s session, when it rose 3% to over 8,000 points could not last. And it didn’t. Half an hour after the market opened, it began its downward spiral once again towards the 7,700 level. It lost over 2% and stayed there almost until the close, with the fall mirrored in the rest of the European exchanges.
The three big electricity companies in the Ibex 35 index, Iberdrola, Fenosa Gas Naural and Endesa are holding their breath ahead of the outcome of Sunday’s general elections. The years under the PP government have been overall difficult for them and the group, also called the Oligopoly, has a list of outstanding claims and petitions for which a solution will be difficult to find if Spain’s next government is left-wing.
Despite the fact that over the last 10 years there has been a lot of feverish activity promoting technological entrepreneurship and help for startups in Spain, so far we still do not have one company which is worth more than 1 billion dollars, what is referred to as a Unicorn.
F. Barciela / F. Gil Ljubetic | For a long time, and particularly since the crisis, it has been clear that the excessive level of payment default in our country is one of the reasons, if not the main one, behind the demise of our companies, above all SMEs.
F. Barciela / F.G. Ljubetic |It was well known that the forecasts the OECD were going to present for 2016 and 2017 would be nothing to shout home about. But the figures and the tone of the comments made by Angel Gurria, secretary general of the organisation and Catherine Mann, its chief economist, turned out to be more dismal than expected.
The European banks are having nothing but trouble in the last few months. And if they needed something else to further cloud their outlook – negative interest rates, meagre margins, increasing capital demands…- doubts have begun to emerge lately over whether the sector can continue to pay the high interest on the so-called CoCos (Contingent Convertible Capital Instruments), contingent convertible bonds.
Fernando Barciela and F.G. Ljubetic | So finally, the urban legend which was created around Spanish Sicavs is beginning to have the results everyone expected; namely that their owners have either begun to close them down, put the brakes on their investments or even consider the possibility of moving to more temperate climes to be found in locations like Luxembourg, Geneva or London.
F. Barciela /F.G. Ljubetic |The stock market valuations of new technology firms have reached dizzy heights in the US over the last few years. And it doesn’t look as if their stratospheric rise has stopped. Google, now Alphabet, has a stock market value of 491 billion dollars, while Apple’s is 484 billion. Facebook is worth 345 billion dollars and Amazon 337 billion.
F. Barciela / F. Gil Ljubetic | If there had been a recovery in the Ibex 35 companies previously, it’s clear that this has stopped or slowed in the January-March period. Amongst those which have already presented first quarter results, very few have given investors much of a reason to be happy.