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. | 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…

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Ferrovial to construct in Spain 325km-gas pipeline network for Endesa

MADRID | Ferrovial announced its construction subsidiary Ferrovial Agroman has been awarded several contracts to build 325 kilometres of gas pipeline in Spain for Endesa Gas. The contracts are worth €35 million in total. From 2012 until 2014, Ferrovial Agroman will build gas pipelines in the regions of Valencia, Castilla y León and the Balearic Islands. The infrastructure company said Ferrovial Agroman will execute 75 kilometres of gas pipeline in Alicante. In Castilla…

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Barclays’ Spanish division under suspicion over dividend tax fraud

By Julia Pastor, in Madrid | Problems for Barclays are multiplying. Added to the Libor scandal in the United Kingdom and the United States, it has been revealed on Monday morning that the Spanish ministry of Finance is performing a fiscal investigation on the bank’s national subsidiary practices of dividend or coupon tax fraud. According to the daily Expansion, which has the scoop, Barclays Capital would have started to avoid…

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The market gives approval to Inditex’s Spanish VAT defiance

MADRID | The Inditex Group announced this week that it would completely absorb the increase in VAT from 18% to 21% that the Spanish government will carry out as one of its austerity measures to sustain the State's levels of income. But Inditex said it would not increase the prices of its products. In fact, this counter-price policy will extend to all of the Inditex Group’s chains, from Zara, to Pull&Bear, Massimo…

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Iberdrola sells Energetix, NYSEG Solutions in the US to UK’s Centrica

MADRID | Spain's Iberdrola today announced an agreement by which Iberdrola USA will sell to Direct Energy the 100% of its unregulated gas and electricity retail companies Energetix and NYSEG Solutions, both based in New York State for $110.2 million. The two companies in the process of being sold provide electricity, natural gas and energy related products and services to residential, small business, large commercial and industrial customers. As of the end…