Despite the rumours, top Spanish Bank Santander -Eurozone’s 2nd largest by market cap- will indeed complete this year the merger of its asset management fund (Santander AM) with Pioneer Investments, Italian UniCredit’s subsidiary, once the operation meets the regulatory and legal requirements. A EUR5.3 bn deal that has been simmering for more than 20 months.
At end-2015, Spanish banks and savings banks had barely a quarter of the holding in Spanish companies’ shares it had in 1992, the first year in the historical series elaborated by BME’s Rearch Department. The current share of 3.6% is 12 percentage points lower than that in 1992 and 5.8 percentage points below the level in 2007, at the start of the global financial crisis.
Spain is one of the countries in the EU where its big businessmen remain in their posts the longest. Despite the fact that Emilio Botin is gone and Alierta and Villar Mir have left, the average age of Spain’s top businessmen is still higher than in France (56.6 years), the US (58.8 years) and the UK (55.8 years).
Out of the 33 banks subjected to the Federal Reserve’s stress tests, 31 have passed this year, which means they will be able to increase their dividends and share buybacks. On the other hand, Deutsche Bank and Banco Santander failed the tests due to the Fed’s doubts about their capacity to measure risk.
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.
Before the crisis, Metrovacesa was one of the five big Spanish property companies, born out of Madrid’s expansion with the construction of the underground in the first few decades of the XXth century.
Newcomer to the stock exchange, Cellnex (a subsidiary of Abertis in the business of telecommunications networks) and oldtimer Viscofan (which manufactures cellulose wrapping for the food sector) will substitute two new generation construction companies (Sacyr and OHL). Both of these firms are controlled either by families or professionals.
Inversis | Spanish oil giant Repsol SA will sell its 42,000 supply points of LPG (Liquefied petroleum gas) at 63 million euros. It plans to divest €6.2 billion in nonstrategic assets and cut spending by 38% “without altering its company profile” as part of its 2016-20 strategic plan.
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.
BARCLAYS | Gamesa posted a very solid start to the year with sales growth of 30% driving a 6% beat to company-compiled consensus. EBIT beat by 24% as the Group margin reached 11.2%, up 330bps year on year. Free cash flow was negative €107m (by our calculations), a solid improvement versus Q1’15’s -€267m in what is always the weakest quarter of the year.