Banco Santander posted net profit of 6.204 billion euros en 2016, up 4% from a year earlier and its best results since 2010, supported by a decline in provisions. The bank attributed these results to the “strong” growth in commission revenues and improved credit quality. These factors were contrasted by some currencies’ weakness against the euro and increases in taxes in Poland and the UK.
Santander will not have to take the Fed’s qualitative stress test. From this year, only those banks with over $250 billion on their balance sheet. Its US holding has just $142 billion in assets. Not having to take the qualitative part of the test will increase Santander’s flexibility for implementing its plans to reward shareholders (dividends and/or share buybacks).
The Spanish banking sector’s stock market rally has been suddenly cut short. The listed banks’ index had risen over 45% since the minimum levels of June 2016 until the first week of January. But since then, it is seeing a correction. Two matters of concern for investors are the impact of the floor clauses ruling on the banks profit and loss account, as well as the problems of the Italian banks.
Last year, IAG transported 100.67 million passengers (+14%) and improved its occupancy rate to 81.6%, (+0.2%), thanks to a good performance from its routes to Europe and North America.
The Green party lawmakers in the European parliament have accused the world’s biggest clothing retailer Inditex of avoiding paying at least 585 million euros in taxes between 2011 and 2014. According its report ‘Tax Shopping: Exploring Zara’s Tax Avoidance Business’, the fact that Inditex diverted bonus payments to the Netherlands has cost Spain some 218 million euros in uncollected tax revenues, Germany 25 million, Italy 57 million and France 78 million, amongst others.
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.
Someone else has fallen victim to the market: the plunge in Banco Popular’s shares has led to Ángel Ron being replaced as the bank’s chairman. But apart from the stock price’s ups and downs, Popular’s new chairman Emilio Saracho, former global vicepresident of JP Morgan, has a difficult task ahead.
Indra has launched a full bid for Tecnocom at 4,25 euros per share in cash and stock. Analysts see the move as a further step in Indra’s restructuring and is in line with its strategy for gaining critical mass.
Santander has reached an agreement with Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic to buy back the 50% of its asset management arm it sold to the private equity firms in 2013.
On Tuesday, the Colombian government ordered an intervention in Electricaribe because there was a risk the company could discontinue its services. Electricaribe is an electricity distributor with 2.5 million clients on Colombia’s Caribbean Coast. Gas Natural owns 85%, while the remaining stake is in state hands.