Today Special: Truths and myths of the Spanish banking sector’s restructuring
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All posts by Ana Fuentes

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Durao Barroso points to Bank of Spain’s “serious mistakes” in supervising crisis

In Europe

SANTANDER | By Ana Fuentes | European Commission President José Manuel Durao Barroso chose his last days in the job to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. Surprising many by his candor, he directly accused the Bank of Spain of making “important mistakes” supervising the financial sector. “It was not the EU nor Ms Merkel who originated the crisis,” he said.

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Markets

After ECB’s bazooka, will we see negative bund yields again?

MADRID | By Ana Fuentes | Now that the ECB will charge banks for keeping them their money, don’t be surprised if some short-dated core sovereign bonds start yielding negative, Bond Vigilantes remark. Actually we’ve seen that before in the EZ: in August 2012, German authorities received with open arms 750 billion euros in deposits of its eurozone neighbors, mainly Spaniards and Italians. That intense demand drove the prices of short dated bunds to levels which produced negative yields.

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Markets

What to expect from Draghi’s bazooka

MADRID | By Ana Fuentes and Jaime Santisteban | It’s a radical move because that’s what the eurozone needs. Besides cutting the ECB’s base interest rate from 0.25pc to 0.15pc, Mario Draghi also reduced deposit facility to -0.1pc. So EZ banks will either boost credit lending or pay to leave money in the central bank. Also, he offered banks new long-term funds. Market makers tell us what they make of the much-awaited package.

CEO

GBS: “The restructuring of Colonial shows a changing trend in the Spanish property sector”

MADRID | By Ana Fuentes | As the Spanish property sector becomes fashionable again, we set our eyes in one of the most-commented moves these days: listed developer and owner Colonial’s €1.26m capital increase and €1bn debt restructuring. President of GBS Finanzas Pedro Gómez de Baeza managed to form a complex puzzle including the entrance of billionaire industrialist Juan Miguel Villar Mir with a 24.4% stake. Mr Gómez de Baeza joins us to talk about an “extremely challenging” operation that began in 2008 and only bore fruit at the third attempt, but also shows a changing trend.

Michael Pettis
In Europe

“Spain has been trying to be a good citizen by keeping the German bankers happy”

MADRID | By Ana Fuentes | Well-known U.S. economic theorist and financial strategist Michael Pettis believes the European project has a blatant, simple economic problem: Germany benefits from a weak euro while Spain suffers from a strong currency. As for the IMF’s recommendation of cutting wages in countries like Spain, Mr Pettis thinks it’s an absurd tip that can only make the global demand imbalance worse. He answered our questions via email from Beijing, where he is currently based.

In Europe

EP2014: Abstention and skeptics posed to win

MADRID | The Corner | It’s not just another campaign carried out from and for the states or Brussels, but the first time the long-aspired EU political union will be really tested. The EP2014, world’s second biggest polls (India comes first) with +400 potential voters are taking place after the implementation for the first time of the Lisbon Treaty prerogatives. The effects of austerity measures and budget cuts are expected to have a great impact, and abstention may be the main winner, especially among the youngest, disappointed generation. Stay tuned!

Markets

Market chatter: Debt, stock and currency markets in full swing

MADRID | By Jaime Santisteban | Spanish Treasury broke a new record on Thursday amid the ECB’s easing hopes. “Spanish bonds reduced spread vs. the equivalent German benchmark almost 20 points in just a couple of days. Stock markets are moving forward without a clear direction, although uncertainty is smaller than in public debt markets” The Corner senior analyst Francisco López explains.