Articles by Fernando Barciela

About the Author

Fernando Barciela
Fernando Barciela has been a regular collaborator for Spain's leading daily El Pais' business section since 1994. He is also a regular collaborator on foreign policy. For Grupo Consejeros he interviews the top executives of Spain's listed companies. He was a correspondent with Diario de Noticias, Portugal's leading daily newspaper, in 1987-2004. He has a degree in Business Science and Journalism from the Complutense University.
Spanish stocks

Weak Start To The Year For Ibex 35 Companies

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.

Let’s Say Goodbye To The Billion Euros Infrastructure Works In Spain

The government has designed an infrastructures and housing programme, but not one sector expert or professional believes that Spain will see a return to the level of public works investment of, for example, 2007.  The PITVI (The Infrastructure, Transport and Housing Plan), in force until 2024, does not contemplate building large infrastructures but rather maintaining the existing ones.

Spanish Tourism Industry Has Grown By 31% Since 2009

It’s unheard of Spain’s tourism sector, which many experts said was stagnant and mature ten years ago, has not only massively recovered but continues to beat records from one year to the next in terms of numbers of international tourist arrivals. Since it touched bottom in 2009, with 52.2 million foreign tourists, the sector has not stopped growing any year. In 2015, numbers reached 65 million, up 31% in comparative terms.

Low Inflation Still Not Affecting Spain’s Growth

It’s straight out of the textbook that low inflation – and above all deflation – has negative effects on economic growth that we all know about. That’s the main reason why ECB President Mario Draghi implemented an ambitious set of monetary expansion measures in March, with the aim of boosting prices to a level more suitable for economic growth, namely 2%.

Will rising labour costs damage Spain’s competitiveness?

F. Barciela/ F. G. Ljubetic | Labour costs in Spain stagnated during the crisis, but the idea that they eventually have to rise again has quite a few supporteres, including many businessmen. It would even be a postive driver for consumption and the economy general.

Banco Santander

Spain’s Banks Blame New Technology For More Dramatic Branch Closures

F. Barciela / F.G. Ljubetic  | The crisis forced Spain’s banking industry to cut its number of branch offices from 46,000 in 2008 to 31,000 at end-2015, the lowest figure since 1983. But now it’s technology, the Internet and mobile which will force the banks to continue reducing their branch networks. This is a challenge facing banks across Europe and the US.

The Angolan Woman Pushing CaixaBank Towards A Nervous Breakdown

F. Barciela and F.G. Ljubetic | For several years, Spain’s third biggest bank has been trying to gain full control of Portuguese lender BPI, in which it already holds 44.1%. But up until now it has been unable to fulfill its objective. And it seems undeniable that the reason for CaixaBank’s failure is a young Angolan woman. Isabel dos Santos, 43, is the oldest daughter of José Eduardo dos Santos, one of the longest serving presidents in Africa.

France and Italy unable to do the labour reform that Spain did

F.Barciela. F.G. Ljubetic | Labour reforms in Spain are being so successful that few governments in Europe are now left doubting the need to change their labour market laws if they want to reduce unemployement figures, still over 10 per cent. In fact, the Wall Street Journal recently recalled that ‘the Reforms That Saved Spain Could Also Save Europe’.

Slim, Or The Art Of Buying At Bargain Prices

F. Barciela / F.G. Ljubetic | The bios about Carlos Slim, the third richest man in the world according to Forbes, are very clear about the origins of his fortune. He made the most of his money during the peso crisis by acquiring several blocks of shares in the biggest Mexican companies at a bargain prices. This is how he will acquire FCC, one of the biggest Spanish construction firms, for just…7.6 euros per share.