CatalunyaBanc is put up for auction

April 12, 2012 10:53 PM | CNA

The bank created from Catalan savings bank CatalunyaCaixa is expected to be sold within the next two months. CatalunyaCaixa was intervened by the Bank of Spain last September 30th, as it could not reach the required core capital. The Spanish Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring (FROB), owned by the Spanish State, currently owns 89.74% of CatalunyaBanc. The FROB has decided to disinvest in the Catalan bank, which starts a competition process that will sell 100% of CatalunyaBanc’s shares.

CatalunyaCaixa to be put up for auction after Easter, announces the Spanish Economy Minister

April 5, 2012 07:52 PM | CNA

The Spanish Minister for the Economy, Luís de Guindos, wants to speed up the process and have the entire Spanish banking system restructured before the summer. The Spanish Minister also said that he is expecting further concentration processes of other financial entities to be announced in the coming weeks. CatalunyaCaixa’s banking business had a profit of €304 million, although the €1.5 billion provisions for the real estate business caused a €1.34 billion loss in 2011.

All parties in Catalonia, except the PP, are against the Spanish Government’s Budget for 2012

April 5, 2012 12:19 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

CiU stated that it will be “absurd” that they support the current budget proposal in the Spanish Parliament although they are open to negotiate and modify it. Furthermore, CiU “does not rule out the possibility of taking the Spanish Government to court” for ignoring the current legislation. The Socialists directly considered the budget proposal “to mistreat Catalonia”. The Green Socialists ask for a “common Catalan front” against the budget. The Catalan Independence parties (ERC and SI) say the budget plunders Catalonia. The anti-Catalan nationalists stated the budget wants to please Merkel. The only party supporting the budget was the PP, which runs the Spanish Government.

The Catalan Government supports creating ‘hispanobonds’, Autonomy bonds with a Spanish Government guarantee

March 28, 2012 01:36 AM | CNA

The Spanish Minister for the Economy, Luís de Guindos, announced in Barcelona the future creation of the so-called ‘hispanobonds’, common bonds issued by the Autonomous Communities and backed by the Spanish Treasury. The objective is to reduce high interests rates, and thus the financial costs that the Autonomous Communities have to pay when they turn towards financial markets to get liquidity. The Catalan Finance Minister proposed the original idea several few weeks ago.

Barcelona-based CaixaBank buys Banca Cívica for €1 billion and becomes Spain’s largest bank

March 27, 2012 03:28 PM | CNA

Banca Cívica has accepted the offer from the Catalan bank to pay €1.97 per share. With this operation, CaixaBank, the private bank created last year by the Catalan savings bank ‘La Caixa’, becomes Spain’s largest financial entity, ahead of BBVA and Banco Santander. After buying Banca Cívica, CaixaBank will have more than €342.6 billion in assets in the Spanish market. Banca Cívica was the merger of four savings banks: Caja Navarra, Caja Canarias, Caja de Burgos and Cajasol.

Catalonia has transferred 8% of its GDP every year since 1986 for services and investments in the rest of Spain

March 13, 2012 09:57 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

In 2009, Catalonia financed € 16.41 billion of services and investments in the rest of Spain, which represents 8.4% of Catalonia’s GDP. According to the Catalan Finance Minister, Andreu Mas-Colell, out of every euro paid by Catalan citizens with their taxes, 43 cent is invested outside of Catalonia. The Catalan Government released the latest data regarding the fiscal relationship between Catalonia and Spain, corresponding to the 2006-2009 period, known as “the fiscal balances”. Mas-Colell underlined the “fiscal deficit” Catalonia suffers from, which is “unsustainable” and harms Catalan citizens and the country’s economy.

The BBVA buys Unnim Banc and becomes Spain’s largest bank

March 7, 2012 11:21 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Bank of Spain has decided to allocate the Catalan Unnim Banc to the BBVA. With the operation, the BBVA will become Spain’s largest bank, ahead of Banco Santander when considering asset volume. The BBVA will pay €1 for Unnim and €300 million for 20% of the expected real estate losses. The remaining 80% and the public funds already allocated, which correspond to almost €2 billion, will be assumed by the Deposit Guarantee Fund, paid by all the banking sector combined with public funds. Unnim was intervened by the Bank of Spain in September, since it could not reach the required core capital and was too exposed to toxic assets. Unnim was the result of the merger of 3 Catalan savings banks from the 19th century: Caixa Sabadell, Caixa Terrassa, and Caixa Manlleu.

Mas warns in the FT about a "growing divorce" with Spain if Catalonia is not respected and its needs not attended

January 17, 2012 09:35 PM | CNA

The Financial Times has published an interview with the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas. The Financial Times stressed Mas’ request for a new deal between Spain and Catalonia, which would reduce Catalonia’s contributions to the rest of Spain by half. The FT explained that between 8% and 9% of the annual Catalan GDP, which represents between €17 billion and €18 billion per year, goes to the rest of Spain to pay for solidarity funds for poorer regions. The newspaper also praised the “pioneering” austerity measures implemented by the Catalan Government.

Public employee unions protest at not being informed by the Catalan Government about delays in the extra salary payment

December 15, 2011 10:27 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan Minister for Finance, Andreu Mas-Colell stated in a press conference that because of the Spanish Government’s refusal to pay them the promised €759 million, the Catalan Government will be short of cash for the remainder of the year. Mas-Colell explained that Catalan public employees would receive most of their Christmas bonus with a one week delay. In addition, service providers will also be paid later. Visibly angry and arguing that they had not been previously informed about the measures, union representatives decided to leave the negotiation table with the Catalan Government where talks had been taking place about next year’s salaries, working conditions and staff numbers.

Banc Sabadell buys Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo (CAM) for just €1 after a successful regularisation process

December 7, 2011 10:31 PM | CNA

With this operation, the Catalan Banc Sabadell becomes Spain’s fifth largest banking group. The Bank of Spain has decided to accept Banc Sabadell’s offer to purchase the CAM, a savings bank that was rescued and restructured. Banc Sabadell buys CAM after the savings bank completed a €5.25 billion regularisation process to balance its books. Banc Sabadell will take on 20% of the expected losses over the next ten years from CAM’s real estate properties.

CaixaBank has a net profit of 845 million euros for the first 9 months of 2011

November 4, 2011 10:44 PM | CNA

The main Catalan bank allocated 1.953 billion euros for insolvencies and raised its core capital to 11.8%, 2.9 percentage points more than the ratio it had in December 2010. These operations made their net profit decrease by 16.6% compared to the previous year. Besides, CaixaBank announced that Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim will quit its board to rejoin that of the bank’s industrial holding ‘Criteria CaixaHolding’. Slim’s seat will be occupied by former Chairman of Citigroup and the New York Stock Exchange John S. Reed.

The Catalan Minister of Finance meets with City investors and the Financial Times

October 14, 2011 11:23 PM | CNA / Laura Pous

Andreu Mas-Colell, former Harvard Professor and the current Catalan Finance Minister, travelled to London to meet with financial representatives. The objective is to explain, first-hand, the Catalan Government’s austerity plans and its efforts to reduce the deficit and to foster the economic recovery. Mas-Colell met with City investors, banks and media, such as the ‘Financial Times’.

The Catalan Government is preparing the release of 3,800 million euros in retail bonds

September 15, 2011 11:25 PM | CNA

As carried out on two other occasions in the last year, the Catalan Government is preparing to release of 3,800 retail bonds to get cash. Financial sources informed ACN about the operation, which has not been confirmed by the Catalan Ministry of Economy. The bonds would be offered before November 21st, the day that the bonds issued by the former Catalan Government in autumn 2010 expire.