Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Spain bank stress

Spain is demanding the ‘immediate publication’ of the stress tests on EU banks. Minister for Tax and the Economy, Elena Salgado, said that the publication would verify the solvency of the Spanish banking system.The call comes with the markets under pressure as many EU banks are due to repay loans to the European Central Bank this week, a situation which has send many markets, including Madrid, sharply south.Today the markets have taken a breath as in the event the banks requested less money than expected from the ECB. The IBEX 35 is among those to have rallied early today in response, but it fall back later.The Bank of Spain has approved help of 8.035 billion € for the caja savings bank in Spain. Most of the funding will go to the so called ‘cold fusion’ between Caja Madrid and Bancaja which will get 4.465 billion.Meanwhile the Chairman of the BBVA bank, Francisco González, has said that Spain and Europe will exit recession strengthened. However he also warned of the need for the Government to take ‘more measures’ and be ‘more rigorous’.Deputy Prime Minister, María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, said on Wednesday that the government would not be withdrawing the 420 € extra payment made to the unemployed whose standard payments have been used up. Minister for Employment, Celestino Corbacho, had said the subject was under debate in cabinet earlier, but de la Vega said social protection would be maintained.Non-financial companies earned on average 4.8% more than a year ago in the second quarter of the year, according to the Bank of Spain. It comes after a fall last year of 27.9% although the bank notes those businesses are continuing to reduce employment and investment levels.The Portuguese Government is to use its ‘golden share’ to stop the sale of the Vivo telecoms company, which is in the target sights of Telefónica. The sale to Telefónica had obtained support from 74% of the shareholders in Portugal Telecom, but will not now go ahead, even at the offered price of 7.15 billion. Telefónica is really targeting the market in Brazil where Vivo has more than 53 million clients.The so-called TV wars for football coverage in Spain have taken a new turn today with the payment by the Prisa group of 90 million € to Mediapro for those rights. Sogecable, owned by Prisa, has made the payment to the courts in Barcelona as the down payment for the football Primera and Second division TV rights for next season.As VAT rates go up on Thursday with the introduction of the new 8% and 18% rates, gas users also face a 6.5% increase from the same day. A deal has been done not to increase electricity also, but 3.2 million gas consumers who are on the TUR last resource tariff will be paying more.Butane gas is also on the rise, with the normal butane bottle costing 4.7% more from Thursday. This is in addition to earlier increases this year which means a 14.4% increase so far this year.The Euribor rate, used to set most of the mortgages in Spain has ended June at 1.28% after the third consecutive month to see an increase. It’s the highest rate since August 2009, although mortgages which see their annual revision this month will still see a reduction.The European Commission has fined six Spanish steelworks for price fixing. The charge affects 17 groups in total worldwide, and more than half the fine falls on ArcelorMittal.A court in Granada has ordered the Spanish Airports Authority AENA, respect previous wage conditions for air traffic controllers in Granada Airport. AENA was found guilty of not correctly informing workers, with 45 days notice of their changes. However the ruling is open to appeal and AENA has already got in touch with the Andalucian High Court of Justice.Unemployment among university graduates has doubled since the start of the recession in Spain. It had reached 9.4% in 2009 where the EU average is 4.8%.Read more:

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