Companies

osborne

British AAA in doubt as high street turns ‘zombie’ under insolvency pressures

LONDON | The sterling on Tuesday was mostly unmoved by the light controversy between some of the top ratings agencies regarding the UK’s triple A qualification on its government debt issuance. That is the highest grade, only to be found over the so-called core European countries. A day had barely passed after Standard & Poor’s said the British AAA was solid, when Moody’s noted that an increasingly weak economy poses…


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Who pays the price in the smartphone market fight

NEW YORK | It is a battle that started about two years ago. Samsung and Apple’s endless dispute over intellectual property arrives to court this Monday in California. Together the two companies account for more than 50 percent of all the world’s smartphone sales. A jury will have to determine if any of them has infringed copyright laws against the other. On one side of the ring, Apple, that filed…


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Inditex opens logistics expansion in Spain with €150 million investment

MADRID | Inditex announced this week it signed a letter of intent for the acquisition of 300,000 square metres in Cabanillas, Guadalajara (Spain) in order to expand its logistics capacity. The project is set within the plans of the group’s investment in its facilities in Spain detailed by the chairman Pablo Isla during the general meeting of shareholders held on July 17. Initially, a 70,000 square metre platform for logistics activities is…


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Write-downs take 80pc of CaixaBank’s profits, push core capital to 13pc

BARCELONA | CaixaBank reported Friday a poor attributed January to March net income of €166 million as a result of provisions enforced by the Spanish government, set to clean up the balance sheets of the country’s banking sector. For the Catalan entity, the figure means an 80.1-percent cut down comparing to the first quarter of 2011 and bears the scars of large write-downs of €3.735 billion. CaixaB ank said that, as…


smallbusiness

Over 10pc of British small companies planned to close during last quarter

LONDON | Even before the office for national statistics released its estimates of a UK economy in continued slow-motion deterioration, 84 percent of small and medium size companies’ decision makers said they were concerned about the British economic climate, with 38% being very concerned. A new SME Risk Index from global insurer Zurich published Friday showed that the majority in the sector do not feel confident that the economic situation will improve in…


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Telefónica’s dividend back to orthodoxy

MADRID | There will be no dividend from Telefónica over the next fifteen months. The decision is not surprising but consistent with the situation. Yet, it has a devastating effect on many investors the company had promised to pay 77 cents in December as a second dividend in the year, and again in May. The company will now retain its full profits within the 2012 balance sheet (€4-€5 billion) to reduce…


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Spain’s Bankia sells €800-million failed loan portfolio

MADRID | BFA-Bankia Group said Tuesday it had closed ‘Operation Hispania’, disposing of a large portfolio of failed loans. The deal involves a total of €800 million. The Spanish troubled bank, which is in need of a multi-billion public capital to maintain its activity, sold the loans to two north European investment funds. They are Aktiv Kapital in Norway and Oko Investments in Luxembourg. The operation has been structured in two…


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Spain’s construction company OHL to build Russian Olympic Flame resort

MADRID | After the bubble burst, the category of construction activity rapidly turned into a trap for many Spanish companies. Its dramatic effects have during the last four years shaken and closed enterprises, in the small and medium size sections as much as among the large corporative groups. Those who strive to survive the downturn must now find an edge, and Obrascon Hurate Lain or OHL may have proved just that.


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Repsol’s Butano Chile sale cuts group’s debt by $317 million

MADRID | Repsol on Thursday said it had reached an agreement with a consortium of Chilean investors, led by LarrainVial, for the sale of 100% of its subsidiary Repsol Butano Chile. The operation was valued at approximately $540 million. Repsol Butano Chile holds a 45% stake of Lipigas, a company present in the Chilean liquified petroleum gas commercialisation market in addition to other financial assets. The deal will generate a net…


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CAF’s Spanish trains travel along the rails of all over the world

By T.F, www. expansion.com | The Spanish multinacional Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), experts on design, manufacture, maintenance and supply of equipment and components for railway systems, has been able to weather the current economic turbulences by means of an ambitious internationalisation plan that started in 1995. This bet on the outside market has enabled the company to take advantage of the worldwide boom of railway transport, a sector…