Today Lisbon debt sale lifts eurozone spirits (FT)
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Market chatter: Spain’s Caixabank misses expectations but sees NPL ratio go down

Financial markets

MADRID | By Jaime Santisteban | Caixabank’s net profit dropped by 54.6% to €152M in the first quarter. Analysts highlight the positive impact of integrating Banco de Valencia and Banca Cívica. Spain’s third biggest bank by market value improved its margins and reduced its NPL rate for the first time since the crisis started. 


News in Europe

Stress tests: EU banks start tarting up

MADRID | By Julia Pastor | As the ECB’s crucial examination comes closer, all European entities, from the core to the periphery, have started studying different formulas to show the best capital ratios possible. German banks would imminently issue CoCos, while Italy’s could be about to create a joint bad bank and Spain is to monetize around €40 bn of deferred tax assets. The stress tests’ results will be released at the end of October 2014.

Rear view of a teenage boy combing his hair in front of a mirror, 1960
Financial markets

Waiting for QE (hope it’s not like Godot)

MADRID | By Ana Fuentes | ECB policy makers are increasingly open about an eventual QE. Executive Board Member Benoît Coeuré was recently interviewed by French newspaper Le Monde. He weighed in austerity measures taken, and how could the ECB influence the level of the euro. As the central bank seems to be actually leaning towards unconventional measures, bonds and equity markets have already anticipated any announcements by Mario Draghi. But some fear what would happen if it was only lip service. What happened with the “whatever it takes” to preserve the eurozone’s integrity? 

News in Europe

Greek 2013 primary surplus confirmed at 1.5 bln euros

ATHENS | By Macropolis | Greece’s 2013 general government (gg) deficit reached 23.11 billion euros (12.7 percent of GDP), while debt stood at 318.7 billion (175.1 percent of GDP), according to first notification released by the Eurostat on Wednesday.

Financial markets

If only Citi was right and QE came…

MADRID | By The Corner | When Autumn comes, so will QE. At least that’s what economists at Citigroup are predicting. “We believe that the chances of unsterilized large-scale asset purchases (LSAPs) of public and private assets being launched this year have (…) increased to more than 50:50,” they said in a note on Tuesday. How much of a stimulus shot are we talking about? To have any effect it should be of at least 1,000 billion euros ($1,381 billion), they note, which would lift the inflation rate toward the ECB’s “below, but close to 2% target”.  It could always be a decaffeinated step as some market makers are warning, but the truth is many on both sides of the Atlantic are hoping for Mr Draghi to make a move.

World economy

The Fed has (unofficially) adopted a triple mandate

SAO PAULO | By Marcus Nunes | According to San Francisco Fed president John Williams (and he´s far from being a lone voice) it seems “financial stability” is right up there together with inflation and unemployment.

San Francisco FED
Financial markets

Bankinter results cause mixed feelings; Moody’s points to a sexier Spain

MADRID | By Jaime Santisteban | Bankinter, the Spanish bank with highest credit rating announced results under expectations, according to Santander. Analysts look optimistic on Spanish equities profitability and expect a 15% growth in Ibex 35. Spain walks on a firm and positive trend, points out Moody’s.


News in Europe

The juicy business of speculating with Spanish sovereign debt

MADRID | By Julia Pastor | Speculators who dared to buy Spanish debt in 2012 when it yielded 7.5% and priced a record low of 88.6% made a good deal with gains of 38%, now that Spain’s 10-years bonds’ interests near 3% and price stands at 122.6%. Moody’s thinks the country’s sovereign debt is going upwards, alongside Ireland, thanks to its economic, institutional and fiscal strengh. However, Italy’s rating is suffering from the opposite trend.

News in Europe

BoE raises expectations (and ECB misses them)

MADRID | By Ana Fuentes | As ECB officials spend their time debating what form of QE the euro zone needs to fight deflation risk (note that although its inflation target is 2%, the central bank keeps on sitting on its hands while its balance sheet is shrinking), more data point to the positive effects of unconventional measures on growth. Check this one recently published by the Bank of England: the mere announcement of a QE shot corresponding to 1% of GDP caused a 0.36% real GDP increase and a 0.38% CPI rise in the U.S. ­–a little less in the U.K. Indeed, hope can move mountains… and money.


World economy

The Long Goodbye

BEIJING | By Andy Xie via Caixin | What’s important in today’s financial world is perception, not substance. If you check out what important financial figures have proposed in the past, they have been good for forming bubbles, not for growing the real economy.People around the world will only begin to question their economic policymakers when they realize living standards are slowly worsening.

Real economy