Although most of Spain’s public debt belongs to the central Administration, the debt held by the 17 autonomous regions is by no means insignificant: it accounts for 25% of Spain’s GDP, way above the 16% it represented just five years ago. Many regions are now returning to the debt markets.
The credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings has begun to raise some Spanish companies’ ratings, which was expected after it improved its rating on the country from “BBB+/Positive” to “A-/Positive” on March 23. Bankia, Mapfre and state-owned Cores are the three chosen firms.
Renfe announced that it posted net profit of 70 million euros in 2017, its first ever profits without including extraordinary ítems.
Spain is far from complying on deficit and State debt targets. It’s still surprising that out of a total amount of debt issued equivalent to 137% of GDP, there can be an official debt of 98%, thanks to a cut which, under the EU’s conditions themselves, is fully approved. This growing divergence has been there for years, particularly since the PP entered government in November 2011.
In January, Spain terminated its contract with S&P (tired of paying for being knocked done by the ratings agency). S&P then replaced its management team in Spain and now, in March, of its own accord, – because Spain did not ask for the qualification – decided, last Friday, to raise its credit rating on the country by one step, to A- from BBB+, with a “positive” outlook.
More than 93% of German companies believe that the economic situation in Spain is ‘good’ or ‘satisfactory’, 25 points higher than two years ago. This is according to the bi-yearly survey “German Companies in Spain” published by German Chamber of Commerce for Spain in collaboration with the IESE Business School.
JP Morgan’s Asset Management arm will take a position of control (over 50%) via its investment vehicle Sonnedix in a 660 MW photovoltaic project in Spain. The investment will be for some 500 million euros.
The bullish cycle of the real estate sector consolidated in 2017, as shown by more than 460,000 homes being sold in Spain, up by 14.6% on the previous year. Will Spanish house purchases continue to rise at such a considerable rate? “According to Google search data, the outlook is promising,” say CaixaBank Research economists.
Spain has strengthened the supply of natural gas to Europe via France, consolidating its position as a transit country for this fossil fuel, at a time of high demand on the continent due to the cold spell which is affecting a lot of neigbouring countries.
Spanish pensioners are on the brink of war. The group which has been the support for families during the 10 years of crisis, and has saved the country from social conflict, received a letter from the Labour Minister, Fátima Bañez, at the beginning of the year. Despite the fact CPI is now over 1.5%, she said she was maintaining the 0.25% increase in the pensions.