In Spain

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The Spanish LTRO2 correlation

Long term refinancing operation 2 or liquidity injections into Spanish credit entities via the European Central Bank rose in February to €152.432 billion from €133.177 in January. But, contrary to what most European banks seem to be doing, that is, parking capital in the central bank’s deposit facility, Spain’s banks prefer to take advantage of the rate gap and let slip in profits by purchasing sovereign debt. Bond holdings have…


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Bidders welcome Madrid’s push for privatisation of water services

MADRID | Privatisation of Canal de Isabel II, the company that manages water services in the autonomous region of Madrid, attracted this week one more potential investor. Insurance firm Mutua Madrileña has expressed its intention to officially bid for the water company. The insurer, chaired by Ignacio Garralda, has confided in Mediobanca to advise on the operation. Esperanza Aguirre, president of the Community of Madrid, and the Spanish capital’s mayor Ana Botella have…


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“Stake prices in Spanish companies have dropped from 6 to 9 times ebitda”

By Fernando Rodríguez, in Madrid | Maite Ballester is president at the Spanish Venture Capital Association ASCRI, which is a non profit entity born in 1986 to develop and promote temporal investment in private companies. She also is managing director at 3i. In what way will Spain’s venture capital sector be affected by the financial system reform and more stringent rules on bank capital reserves? In the short term, these two factors will mean less…


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Don’t blame Spain’s public sector payroll: it’s 6pc smaller than the EU average

Catalan economist Vicenç Navarro delivers view points whose argument sounds completely contrarian at this stage. While austerity may be debated over –at which degree should it be imposed and how quickly, so further spikes in sovereign debt can be avoided?–, the consensus bears little doubt: public investment must be dramatically lowered. It is the right medicine. But confronted with an increasingly stalled productivity and a disquieting unemployment rate, those of…


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Worrying facts about the Spanish deficit

By Juan Pedro Marín Arrese, in Madrid | The way the data on the Spanish deficit snowballed from 6% in mid-December to 8% a few weeks later and to 8.51% now, has led many to raise their eyebrows in utter disbelief. Even allowing for some benign neglect shown by the out coming government, such a huge deviation adds little credit to budgetary figures outside central administration boundaries. It not only proves…


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Internal devaluation in Spain and unemployment

By Luis Arroyo, in Madrid | I give you today a couple of graphics, which measure how the process of internal devaluation is going in that peripheral crown, Spain. First, the industry labour costs (wages, red line) and producer prices. Then, industrial production. Everything in annual variations. As readers can see, the boom years were not quite as buoyant in terms of industrial production. Meanwhile, wages were well above the prices, at 4%, trimming production margins. It is a reflection of the brick-and-morter boom, which revitalised wages and sturdy houses…


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What they said when president Rajoy bent the deficit target bar

LONDON | Odd. After months of mild fireworks of demonstrations against austerity throughout Spain, it seems hard to believe that Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, international economics editor at The Daily Telegraph, would be struck. Even president Mariano Rajoy acknowledged that his reform plans for the labour market would probably spark a general strike. But Evans-Pritchard was struck, nevertheless: “In the twenty years or so that I have been following EU affairs closely, I cannot remember such a…


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Spain is right to abandon a suicidal 4.4% deficit target

By Juan Pedro Marín Arrese, in Madrid | Mervyn King sharply pointed out that banks are global in life but turn national in dying. The opposite can be applied to deficit targets. When you enjoy a comfortable budgetary position, you are able to fix them at your own wish. Brussels may get the sulks if you go beyond certain limits and fall into excessive overruns. But it can do very little…


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Spain’s mortgage market isn’t falling, it just is repairing

By Carlos Díaz Guell | In 2011, for the first time in recent history, the stock of finance for house purchase recorded a fall. The number of mortgages granted on housing dropped by 33%, that is a quarter of the transactions that were completed in 2006. This correction, which will most probably happen again in 2012, follows the evolution of the real economy. But it also is the result of a process…


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Spanish hotels must be booming

They are thriving, actually. National statistics office INE on Friday published January’s data for the hotel sector in Spain and figures were all bright, a repeated event that has lately become a relief spot and an anchor for the economy of the country. Foreign tourist numbers were up by 4.6pc year on year to 2.78 million, average revenue per room rose by 0.1pc to €68.3 million, and occupation was 37.4pc…