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All posts by Ana Fuentes


Too big to jail bankers? Not in Iceland

World economy

MADRID | By Ana Fuentes | Everyone is commenting on BNP Paribas historic settlement and the eventual fines that other EU banks might face (read our yesterday’s post), and the missed opportunity to really punish their illegal practices. And yet no financial savvy is talking about Iceland’s Reykjavík County Court handing out severe prison sentences to four bankers for market manipulation and breach of fiduciary duty. As London-based Icelandic reporter Sigrún Davíðsdóttir explains, “this case is not one of the big ones involving major investors or bank managers (…), but there are other similar cases snarling their way through courts.”


In Europe

Juncker’s victory breaks EU’s financial heart

MADRID | By Ana Fuentes | Despite British PM David Cameron’s intense campaign against him, Jean-Claude Juncker was chosen as European Commission new president on Friday with 26 out of 28 heads of states’ votes. Candidate of the centre right European People’s party, the largest group in the parliament, and a veteran EU deal-broker, Luxembourg’s former PM vows for increasing the power of Brussels and reducing the voice of nation states. He’ll be officially appointed on July 16 with the strong opposition of the EU’s financial centre.


spain FDI
World economy

Spain, largest European FDI receiver in 2013

MADRID | The Corner | As global confidence revives and money is in the air, more deals are expected. Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, which grew year-on-year to $1.45tn in 2013, will rise to $1.6tn in 2014, $1.75tn in 2015 and $1.85 tn in 2016, according to the last U.N. economic think tank UNCTAD report. Spain is one of the EU’s most benefitted recipients attracting $39 billion from vulture funds, venture capital, billionaire families, pension plans or even sovereign funds.

essilor graph

Eurostoxx 50 analysis | Essilor (EI)

MADRID | The Corner | As the ophthalmic lenses leader (89% sales), Essilor holds 30% of global market share.   In the Investor Day, the company announced on June 26th a €8.2bn sales target for 2018  vs. €7.8bn BS(e), which entails  annual compound rate of growth 13/18 of +10% sales vs +9% BS(e). Such aim, according to Santander, involves acquisitions in line with estimates. These experts expect an EBITDA improvement worth 100 bp until 2018, reaching 24.4% and €2bn (vs. €1.87bn BS(e) with 24% margin vs €1.66bn in 2017 consensus with 23.9% margin). Due to these positive signs above consensus, analysts are recommending this value.




Mark Cartney moonwalks from rates hike

MADRID | The Corner | After being accused to send mixed signals to the markets (one British MP even compared him to an unreliable boyfriend), Bank of England’s governor Mark Carney backed off and played down the chances of raising interest rates. After all, Bundesbank’s Jens Weidmann may be right: cheap money can be as addictive as a drug. 

In Europe

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

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.

2y-bund-yields-chart copia

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.