For once, BBVA chairman’s words have been a kind of premonition. Last week, when he said rather desperately that “negative interest rates are killing us,” he was not referring to Popular. But the fact remains that a few days later, the bank with Angel Ron at the helm announced a capital hike for 2.5 billion euros, slightly less than half of its stock market value. The aim of the operation is to offset the impact of future regulatory requirements and the shortfall related to the “floor clauses,” calculated at nearly 4.7 billion euros.
In Sober Look, Marcello Minenna gives us a clue about a possible new breach in the euro’s structure. A few years ago (2011-2012), when the euro was going through its worst time, one of the consequences was that the central banks in the peripheral countries increased their debt position with TARGET2.
BofAML | No surprises. We do not expect any ECB action this week. After the package in March, we think the ECB will have a few months before going back to the drawing board. Dovish Fed tones and EUR appreciation do not help the ECB, but action beyond a reiteration of forward guidance seems very unlikely.
The ECB could end up with a new headache if the euro continues to appreciate as it has done over the last few weeks. In a short space of time, the eurozone currency has gone from 1,08 dollars to 1,14 dollars. Analysts believe Draghi will have to take some kind of action if it goes over 1,15 dollars.
James Alexander via Historinhas | What is more important the short, medium or long term? The recent gyrations of the EUR/USD exchange rate have grabbed a lot of attention since the start of the year. In theory the strong easing bias of the ECB versus the confusing position of the Fed should mean the EUR weakens versus the USD
Citi | ECB Executive Board member Benoit Coeuré gave an interview to Politico on March 23, published on 30 March and featuring on the ECB’s website. Mr. Coeuré begins by explaining that the package announced on March 10 was “very potent, both in intensity and sheer volume”. On the subject of monetary policy tools at the ECB’s disposal, Mr. Coeuré notes that “negative interest rates are not our main instrument, they just support our overall policy. And looking ahead, we’re not short of instruments – our choice is quite large. We will be able to deal with adverse situations if necessary”.
Both main central banks face a challenging outlook. The ECB may have saved the day recently by showing it still commands enough firepower to support the economy, even if its room for manoeuvre seems hopelessly narrow. The Federal Reserve seems caught in a nasty trap.
The European Central Bank (ECB) has allowed Banco Santander to apply its own capital calculation model for its Brazilian subsidiary. The approval arrived seven days after Santander presented its 2015 results, so they don’t reflect the effect of the new measure.
UBS | President Draghi surprised the market positively, both in terms of the magnitude of some of the expected moves (QE extension in the upper end of the range) and also implementing new measures (acquisition of non-financial IG bonds in its asset purchases, and new targeted TLTRO). For (retail) banks like the Spanish, the balance of ECB’s actions has to be considered as positive, especially if trends seen in the swap market are confirmed in Euribor fixings.
The ECB’s main priority will be to fuel confidence in the financial markets and inflation will be its alibi for this. In February, eurozone CPI receded to -0.2% year-on-year and, in the short term, the region should be prepared for negative rates to continue.