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Why Bankia’s dividend matters


MADRID | March 4, 2015 | By Fernando G. UrbanejaNo financial entity which enters a crisis and needs an external rescue retains its identity. Usually it just becomes integrated into another financial group which allows for a change of brand. Bankia may be the first exception to the long list of Spanish financial crises of the last half century. 

In Europe

Euro area retail sales expected to rise

The Corner | March 4, 2015 | Data released today are expected to confirm that retail sales are on the rise in the euro area. Forecasters are predicting a rise of between 1.5 and 2.0% for the year to January. However, markets are eagerly awating further indications on the finer details of the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme, which will be announced in Nicosia on Thursday. Markit composite figures are due today, but traders are more likely to be mindful of tomorrow’s scheduled announcement.

Retail sales expected to improve for the year to January.
In Europe

The education of Alexis Tsipras

ATHENS | March 3, 2015 | By Nick Malkoutzis via MacroPolisThere was a defining moment in the recent election campaign. It wasn’t New Democracy’s decision to go full negative by running a campaign ad that suggested Armageddon was around the corner. Nor was it To Potami’s claim that it would unveil its plan for reaching an agreement with Greece’s lenders after the elections. Instead, it came on a mild Thursday night in Omonia Square.

In Europe

Unemployment falls in Spain

MADRID | March 3, 2015 | By Fernando G. Urbaneja | The creation of  13,500 new jobs in January is in line with encouraging figures elsewhere in the Spanish economy. While there will rightly be optimism in the wake of the latest data, the worrying plight of the youth and long-term unemployed continue to cause concern.

Unemployment figures the latest piece of good news for the Spanish economy
In Europe

The unedifying row between Alexis Tsipras and Mariano Rajoy

MADRID | March 3, 2015 | By JP Marín-Arrese | Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has unwisely accused Spain and Portugal of intentionally trying to block a solution for his country’s troublesome discussions with the Euro group at a Syriza party meeting. The reaction has gone beyond any reasonable limit. The two targeted nations filed formal claims to the European Commission asking it to take action against Greece. One wonders why their Foreign Ministries did not warn of the utter ridicule such a step would precipitate. Worse still, the row between EU partners might leave longstanding scars. 

Comments from Alexis Tsipras have sparked a row with Spain and Portugal.
In Europe

Morning briefing: German and Spanish consumers showing confidence

The Corner | March 3, 2015 | Retail sales in Germany beat expectations in January: they rose by 5.3% instead of the forecast 3.0%, and up from the December’s upwardly revised 4.8% rise. Spanish and German consumers are seemingly much happier about the state of the economy.

Spanish shoppers remain confident about the economy
In Europe

Concerns voiced over ECB’s QE programme

The Corner | March 2, 2015 | Concerns about the impact that the ECB’s quantitative easing programme will have persist ahead of monthly purchase of €60 billion in sovereign bonds.

Euro zone sovereign bond purchases to .launch this month