Spanish economy

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Bureaucracy, taxes and regulation keep Spanish companies too small

By CaixaBank research team, in Barcelona | The average size of Spanish firms is smaller than that of other countries with a similar degree of development. According to the Central Company Directory, at 1 January 2011, out of the total 3.25 million firms in Spain, 99.9% were small and medium-sized enterprises; that is, they employed fewer than 250 salaried workers. Micro-enterprises with fewer than 10 salaried employees accounted for 95.2%…


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If you sow doubts you are bound to harvest uncertainty

MADRID | The Spanish financial system badly needs to get equipped with a survival kit. Not only has it been left stranded in a highly hostile territory. Its guide and guardian may have developed a rare taste for inflicting damage on it. There can be no other plausible clue to explain the Economy minister’s statement at the outcome of the last Ecofin meeting. He flatly acknowledged  there were good reasons to…


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What is the European Central Bank waiting for?

MADRID | Risk premium is attaining no-return levels. But this time any prospect of bailing out either Spain or Italy seems utterly out of reach. The EU rescue fund simply lacks enough muscle. Its depleted coffers are unable to provide any sustainable respite to the on-going crisis. Even if it had the money, it is highly questionable it would thwart the current wild burst of uncertainty now raging on uncontrollably across…


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Spain’s small companies receive €400-million European credit line

The European Investment Bank opened credit lines in support of small and medium-sized companies in Spain with two €200 loans to Banesto and Banco Popular. The EIB loan granted to Banesto is its first with the Spanish entity under the Bank’s new SME credit strategy and it will facilitate access to finance in the current economic crisis. In both cases, the capital line will carry favourable maturity and interest rate terms, which…


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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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How could you say Spain is insolvent?

MADRID | The injection of public money and nationalisation of Bankia ends a compelling need with a solution, earlier discarded, that in the US or the UK has been long ago adopted but neither the Germans or the French want to face, in spite of many of their banks being as weak as some the Spanish entities may be. François Hollande’s arrival to the presidency of France is also good news:…


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BANKIA rescue does lift uncertainties, for the moment being

MADRID | Rescuing BANKIA will contribute to cut short doubts on short-term Spanish banking solvency. It was no secret that BANKIA was thrown in deep waters by the demanding government requirement to uplift real estate portfolio, having the dubious merit to top the list of entities laden with bad loans. Its intention to mend this state and play on its own gathered widespread disbelief, as big potential partners turned their backs…


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Bien! Unemployment numbers in Spain reduced by 6,632 people

MADRID | The number of unemployment benefit claimants in Spain in April fell by 6,632, bringing the total down to 4,744,235 people according to data released Friday by the ministry of Employment and National Insurance. Although this is the first decline in eight months, analysts pointed out that the little improvement in unemployment figures was mainly due to temporary hiring during Easter and was lower than expected. On average, experts polled…


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Slim talk about growth in Euroland

MADRID | Following German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s instructions, those supposedly at command in Euroland zealously repeat that growth and austerity are not in contradiction. Beware about such a slim talk. Their underlying message is that fiscal compact must be preserved at all costs, growth delivery amounting to a merely cosmetic make-up. Eurocrats are working out ways to sell through financial engineering the same money under a more “à la mode” disguise….