Articles by The Corner

About the Author

The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.

Growth in UK economy depends on 5pc core small businesses

LONDON | Less than 5 percent of all small businesses play the biggest role in boosting the UK economy, a new report by Santander Corporate Banking has concluded. The study, released Tuesday, also indicated that this same small fraction of SMEs accounts for two-thirds of all private-sector employment. Santander analysts found that a very limited number of small businesses have a significantly higher economic impact than the rest of the UK small…

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Deterioration in Spanish real economy softer than forecast

MADRID | BBVA Research’s latest estimates confirmed the recession in Spain, pointing to a GDP contraction of 1.3% in 2012. However, economic indicators are revealing a less dramatic than estimated deterioration in the real economy. The data presented in its ‘Spain Economic Outlook’ report show that the measures adopted lend credibility to the ability to meet current fiscal deficit targets. BBVA’s economic research department flagged the positive effect of the programme set…

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Tuesday’s chart: real estate asset coverage in Spain’s banks

Performing real estate assets in Spanish banks must now be provisioned at 30 percent of its book value, which will raise the average coverage ratio for all real estate assets to 45 percent. Then, troubled and toxic real estate assets will be transferred to an asset management company (sociedad de gestión de Activos) and the rest of the portfolio will be independently audited. The picture of the situation within the banking system in…

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Euro area’s industrial production fell 0.3pc in March after February’s 0.8pc rise

In March 2012 compared with February 2012, seasonally adjusted industrial production fell by 0.3% in the euro area and by 0.4% in the EU. In February production rose by 0.8% and 0.4% respectively. In March 2012 compared with March 2011, industrial production dropped by 2.2% in the euro area and by 1.9% in the EU. These estimates were released this week by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In March 2012 compared with…

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JP Morgan says European equities’ in recovery mode

LONDON | US equities’ outperformance is becoming exhausted and investors should look through the euro smoke for opportunities, JP Morgan advised clients in its latest weekly strategy report. In spite of agreeing in line with consensus, analysts’ recommendation was to open ears to what the arguments might be in support of European equities. Is it time to go overweight Europe?, the investment entity asked in its paper. Although every investor’s favourite regional equity bet…


Large amounts of corporate bonds issued in the first quarter of 2012

By La Caixa research team, in Barcelona | In the last months, activity in the corporate bond markets continued to speed up. During the first few sessions, the combination of the ECB’s extensive liquidity and doubts regarding Greece limited volumes in the primary and secondary markets. But the gradual improvement in the climate regarding sovereign and financial risks at a global level and the flow of good economic data boosted corporate…

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Weekend link fest

A curated selection of links we hope can enlighten us all; some come from our corner, some do from other corners of the net. And as always, our comment widgets are anxious to get your suggestions. Isn’t it a shame when academia behaves like a military school? Beware the Greek left Time to end banking oligopolies Austerity has its timing, too What one needs for one’s success: it’s not intelligence..! Obama’s…


FCC holds revenue in spite of demand contraction in Spain

MADRID | The Spanish infrastructure and services company FCC reported this week it had obtained €2.4 billion in revenues in the first quarter of 2012, on par with the same period last year, with international revenues increasing by 15.6%. FCC obtained a net attributable profit of €16.6 million in the first quarter, suffering a decline of €23.9 million year-on-year, reflecting the impact of the company’s most cyclical activities. Earnings before interest,…

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SVB’s Mantellán: “Cutting waste in the Spanish public sector will help growth”

By Tania Suárez, in Madrid | The director of strategy and macroeconomics at Inverseguros SVB, Alberto Matellán, believes that austerity and growth are not only compatible but should be applied together. Mantellán thinks the European Central Bank could put again in use its monetary policy tools, such as the Securities Market Programme (SMP) or the Long-Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO). Should the ECB lower again interest rates for the euro zone? The…

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Central banks in a position of wait-and-see

La Caixa research team, in Barcelona | The role played recently by central banks in the current scenario is being decisive. Since 2008, they have demonstrated an extraordinary capacity to take decisions and act in response to the financial shocks occurring. Thanks to this sustained commitment they are achieving, at least in part, their desired goals of relaxing tension in the capital markets and boosting economic activity. As is usual, the…