Gabriel Felbemayr, since 2010 Director of the Centre for Foreign Economy at the Ifo Institute in Múnich, explains that “the EU has a clear advantage over the US in the old economy: cars, machinery and chemicals. But the US enjoys an advantage in the so-called new economy, in digital and financial services, leisure. This is the target for the EU.”
Fernando Barciela | “While Spain today is smaller than other European countries in terms of luxury market, it is growing faster. For example we are very well placed with a hospitality and luxury gastronomy infrastructure, which has the potential to be the platform to lead in experiential luxury. Spain is fifth in the world in luxury gastronomy. We have 187 restaurants with Michelin stars”, says María Eugenia Giron, director of the IE MasterCard Premium & Prestige Observatory.
Manuel Moreno Capa | “We need to re-think what principles and values we want to manage in the banking sector, and maintain a clear philosophy. We tell our teams that they can not attain their objectives at the cost of principles. The values are most important, and the objectives have to be subordinated to the values of the entity if we want to improve the reputation and image of the banking sector,” explains Bankia’s CEO José Sevilla.
Lidia Conde (Frankfurt) | “Some German federated states contribute to finance the budgets of other Länder to enjoy a similar living standard, but the experience is that the differences between those who pay and those who receive are consolidated. That’s why this system does not operate in Europe,” says Volker Wieland, one of the five members of the German Government´s Council of Economic Experts.
Ana Fuentes | “The European leaders will also have to deal with insuring and enlarging a multilateral open system for trade, threatened not only by the US policies, which will lead to Germany having to accept more responsibility within the EU and in the world – and this includes not only the fields of economy and finance,” says Joachim Bitterlich, who was advisor to former Chancellor Helmut Kohl and is currently Professor at the ESCP School in Paris.
Ana Fuentes/Carlos Díaz Güell | “We were a very poor country which in the last 40 years has made a spectacular transformation. Today there are over 150,000 companies which export regularly and have exported at least in the last three years”, explains Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros, High Commissioner for the Spain Brand (Marca España), and privileged observer of the economic reality in Spain and how its business class has evolved over the last few decades.
Gigas is a Spanish multinational of storage and information technology trading on the MAB. The company’s market capitalisation is €19 M. This year their revenues will be up 35% and profits by 126%, without considering any possible corporate deals. “People think the MAB is a secondary market, but it’s an alternative one, for companies which are expanding. In the Continuous Market, there’s hardly any company doing this in the explosive sense,” says Diego Cabezudo, CEO at Gigas.
“We need automation because we won’t have enough young people to handle the production. And yes, it’s true that jobs will be lost, but without automation and digitalisation we would not be able to feed a growing population, dress it, entertain it, provide health treatment etc.”
“Goodwill only appears with the acquisition of a company. Not if you just grow organically, which makes comparisons difficult. Skype paid 2.6 billion dollars for eBay and goodwill was 2.3 billion. We need to be capable of making a valuation of the intangibles in this type of company,” explains Anne Jeny, member of the Management Committee of the European Accounting Association.
The M&A market in Spain has been very active over the last two years. There is a lot of cash around, but what is lacking are some good deals.