In an opinion article published this Monday in The Times, the main executives of both groups, José María Álvarez-Pallete, president of Telefónica, and Mike Fries, executive director and vice-president of Liberty Global, flag that problems on the regulatory front, as well in the approval of infrastructure plans, means that the UK has fallen behind other countries like Spain, France, Portugal, San Marino or Madagascar in terms of coverage and broadband speed.
In February, Liberbank and Unicaja concluded possible merger contacts after failing to reach an agreement about the likely distribution of the shares of the new entity, but now the integration of both banks would give rise to the fifth lender in Spain in terms of asset volume, with €98.6 Bn (€56.7 Bn Unicaja and 41.95 Bn Liberbank). Net profit would reach €102 M in H1’20 (€61 M UNI and €41 M LBK). The new bank would have a network of 1,607 branches (1,028 UNI and 579 LBK) and 9,942 employees (6,274 UNI and 3,668 respectively).
ACS is in talks with French infrastructure group Vinci over the sale of its industrial division, Cobra, valued at approximately 5.2 billion euros. Vinci’s offer is purely indicative and non-binding. Of the total 5.2 billion euros, a minimum of 2.8 billion would be paid in cash. The rest of the amount could be paid in cash or in Vinci shares. If this was the case, then ACS would hold a 5.86% stake in the French firm. This would make it the second largest shareholder after the employees (8.2%).
According to the China Tourism Academy, more than 90% of hotels and tourist attractions in the country have reopened along with around 60% of travel agencies after containing the pandemic. Against this backdrop, Meliá Hotels has resumed work on an expansion plan which aims to double its presence in China within two years, from 5 to 10 hotels in operation. The reactivation of the domestic market have encouraged the company to open an ultra-luxury urban resort in Chengdu this week.
Last week the Central Bank of Turkey raised its interest rate to 10.25% (compared to 8.25% previously). The Turkish lira recovered by 1% briefly against the euro and the dollar, but soon retook its downward trend. However, the move did give an unexpected boost to BBVA. Through its subsidiary Garanti, Turkey has become the Spanish bank’s third largest market by volume. BBVA’s shares shot up 5.3% (2,284 euros). A few days earlier, BBVA shares had recorded their minimum annual level of 2.16 euros
On Monday, PharmaMar joined the Ibex 35, the main Spanish stock market index. It will will be composed of 34 stocks until October 19th, following the exclusion of MásMóvil after Lorca Telecom Bidco’s takeover bid. The Ibex 35’s Technical Advisory Committee unexpectedly announced on 10 September that PharmaMar would replace Ence in that index. Since then, the company’s share price has risen by more than 17% to 103.8 euros at last Friday’s close, recovering its July levels.
Banco Santander’s board has agreed to hold the next general shareholder meeting on October 26-27. In line with what was announced in July, there will be a request to approve a bonus capital increase to distribute new shares equivalent to 0.10 euros per share as a complementary dividend for 2019. It would be paid this year and bring the total remuneration for 2019 to 0.20 euros per share, equivalent to a 40% payout.
Iberdrola is targeting the Japanese market as a new platform for growth in renewable energy, specifically in the field of offshore wind. It has signed a deal with Macquarie’s Green Investment Group to acquire 100% of the local developer Acacia Renewables, which currently has two offshore wind farms under development, with a combined capacity of up to 1.2 GW. The operation will allow Iberdrola to position itself in the early development stage of Japan’s offshore wind market.
Last night the boards of Bankia and Caixabank approved its merger. The operation, which will retain the CaixaBank brand, is structured as a merger of Bankia into CaixaBank. The combined entity’s total assets will exceed €664 Bn, a volume that will make it the largest bank in the domestic market, with an important position at a European level and a market capitalisation of over €16 billion. The management aims at a target of 770M euros of cost savings and revenue synergies of €290M.
Bankia has been authorized by the ECB to change the parameters used for its calculation of credit risk linked to its retail mortgage business, according to a statement it published on market regulator CNMV’s website on Tuesday. This will allow Bankia to lift its CET1 capital ratio to 160 bp from 13.27% to 14.87%, the highest among Spanish banks as well as could favor the bank in the merger process with CaixaBank.