How solid a banking system is is such a cloudy issue that it’s difficult to make a valuation without doubts or ambiguities. For example, in Italy it’s vox populi that the banking sector is very weak, but what about in Spain?
Banco Popular has hugely damaged the reputation of the Spanish banking sector and its European counterpart after reformulating its 2016 accounts just two months after making them public. Investors are penalising the listed banks as the sector’s credibility is once again being questioned.
The latest figures have again confirmed what we have been seeing in the last few quarters: Spain is not only not losing industry at the moment, but in fact this is recovering very fast. In January, for example, Spanish industry’s revenues rose 13.1% from a year earlier, the biggest increase since April 2008.
Morocco has two powerful cards when it comes to dealing with the EU and particularly Spain: anti-terror cooperation and controlling migration. Sure enough, it appeared to start using the latter a few days after the Moroccan minister of agriculture, Aziz Akhannouch, wondered aloud why “Europe doesn’t want to work with us” in helping the country control its borders.
Fernando Rodríguez| Sovereign funds have invested 28.3 billion euros in Spanish companies in the period 2011-2016. Norway’s sovereign fund GPFG alone closed last year with a portfolio of over 12 billion euros in Spain, with shares in 75 companies and over 3.5 billion euros in government debt.
Goldman Sachs has reached an agreement to sell its Spanish energy business Redexis to a consortium formed by First State and CPPIB for 2 billion euros. Corporate transactions in Spain’s gas sector have been in focus over the last few months, benefiting Gas Natural’s share price.
The European bail-out of our banking system saved its skin. Now, a decade later, parliament and the Bank of Spain are investigating what happened.
Mari Pinardo | Spain has the capacity to produce much more electric energy than we can consume. On average we use 35,000 megawats and have 100,000 installed. So why is our electricity bill higher than our European partners?
Over the last few weeks, Spanish businessmen’s concern has increased over the fact Spanish ports are becoming less effective due to the stevedore’s work-to-rule. According to business sources, currently it’s taking almost twice the amount of time to arrange a ship’s entrance into port, which also has direct consequences on the transport service.
Fernando Rodriguez | Francisco García-Paramés is an asset manager who has made ‘Value Investing’ popular in Spain thanks to the good results obtained during the last 20 years. He is Spain’s Warren Buffet.