Catalan exports in June grow by 0.1% while Spain's drop by 1.2%

August 19, 2014 08:18 PM | ACN

Exports from Catalonia between January and June 2014 reached €29,769.5 million, which represent a 1.8% increase compared to the same period last year. They also represented 24.9% of Spain's total exports, which reached €119,265 million, a 0.5% growth on the previous year's figures. However, despite growing at a slower pace, Spain's total exports posted a new historical record since comparable figures started to be registered in 1971. Considering just the June figures, the export sector seemed to be affected by the negative economic figures from France and Germany. Catalan exports only grew by 0.1% in June compared to the figures registered in the same month of 2013, while Spain's total exports during the first sixth months of the year decreased by 1.2%.

Spanish Prime Minister and Catalan President attend the same event but avoid each other

April 24, 2014 10:42 PM | ACN

Mariano Rajoy, Prime Minister of Spain, and Artur Mas, President of the Catalan Government, both attended a business forum in Barcelona on Thursday. However, their attendance did not coincide at the event, since Rajoy did not come to hear Mas' speech and the Catalan President did not wait for the arrival of the Spanish PM. Both politicians were making visible the lack of dialogue between them regarding Catalonia's self-determination demands. In recent weeks, Rajoy has been repeating his demand that Mas give up the intention to organise a self-determination vote totally as the sine-qua-non condition for him to start talking. However, Mas considers Rajoy's condition "an imposition" and demonstrating a lack of political will, since Rajoy refuses to discuss the issue a majority of Catalans want to talk about.

Perfume maker Puig unveils new headquarters designed by Moneo and aims to rank the world's 3rd by 2020

April 11, 2014 01:46 PM | ACN

The Catalan fashion and fragrance multinational Puig, which runs international brands such as Carolina Herrera, Nina Ricci, Paco Rabanne, Jean Paul Gaultier and Prada, has unveiled its new international headquarters, located in L'Hospitalet business district in Greater Barcelona. The tower has been designed by Rafael Moneo, who won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1996. The Catalan company has also presented its results for 2013, organising a press conference for the first time. Puig's turnover reached €1.499 billion last year, posting a net profit of €176 million, 2% more than in 2012. In addition, the multinational's CEO, Marc Puig, announced that the company aims to become the world's 3rd largest luxury brand group by 2020. Currently it occupies 6th position.

Second best year for foreign investment in Catalonia, up over 30% in 2013

March 20, 2014 08:59 PM | ACN

In Catalonia, direct foreign investment – excluding the stock-exchange –grew by 31.5% year-on-year to reach €3.51 billion in 2013, as indicated by a report from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. According to the Foreign Investments Registry, with such a figure, Catalonia achieved its second best year in history, only surpassed by the €4.82 billion received in 2010. Besides, Catalonia accounted for 22.2% of all foreign investments in Spain in 2013, which amounted to a total of €15.81 billion, meaning 8.8% more than the previous year. The region of Madrid was the leading Autonomous Community in Spain for foreign investment attraction, receiving €8.64 billion, which is it to say 54.6% of the total amount. However Madrid's sum also represents a 7.1% decrease on 2012 figures.

Experts suggest increasing cooperation between an independent Catalonia and Spain

December 20, 2013 09:21 PM | ACN

The Catalan Government’s Advisory Council for the National Transition (CATN), formed of renowned independent experts, emphasised that Catalonia’s independence from Spain would not represent breaking their affective and historical bounds. Furthermore, they insisted on the need to continue and even to increase cooperation “based on a new principle of equality and mutual respect between both parties”. They have suggested different ways to cooperate, through different structures. For instance, they proposed the creation of the ‘Iberian Council’ bringing together Catalonia and Spain, as well as Portugal and Andorra if they wished to, which would mirror the Nordic Council or the Benelux. Furthermore, the CATN issued three other reports, including a detailed analysis of Catalonia’s tax agency.

Almirall buys US Aqua Pharmaceuticals for $328 million

December 18, 2013 05:34 PM | ACN

Catalan pharmaceutical company Almirall has announced on Tuesday it will buy Aqua Pharmaceuticals, an American company specialised in dermatological treatments. The $328 million transaction reflects the Catalan multinational’s strategy to diversify its activities, by establishing itself in a sector that will be a “key platform for growth”. Aqua Pharmaceuticals has a portfolio of well known brands for treating acne and skin rashes. This year the total sales of the American company’s products are expected to generate $127 million. According to a statement to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), Almirall intends to continue employing the same Aqua management team, to benefit from their experience in the U.S. market.

Hong Kong telecomm company opens its European offices in Barcelona

November 25, 2013 07:24 PM | ACN

The telecommunications company Cronos Group, based in Hong Kong, is opening its European offices in Barcelona to offer services throughout the continent and worlwide. According to the Catalan Ministry of Business and Employment, the company is expected to create 25 new jobs in the first year operating from the Catalan capital. Currently 10 people are already working in Cronos’ Barcelona offices. The project received the assistance of the Catalan Government’s programme ‘Invest in Catalonia’, which focuses on attracting foreign investment and international business. Cronos’s Managers explained they have decided to settle in Barcelona because it had become the world capital of the mobile phone and of telecommunications, since each year it organises the main international event in this sector. Furthermore, Cronos Group praised the talent and skills of Catalan workers.

Grífols buys 21.3% of biotech company TiGenix for €12 million

November 21, 2013 01:04 PM | ACN

Catalan pharmaceutical company Grífols has purchased 21.3% of Belgian biotech company TiGenix for €12 million through the subscription of a capital increase. TiGenix is a leading company in the field of cell therapy. The agreement settled on the appointment of two Grífols Members on TiGenix’s Board and a preferential right to negotiate the development and commercialization of all TiGenix products, with the only exception of advanced-medicinal product ChondroCelect. Earlier this month, Grífols had already strengthened its therapeutic arsenal by buying part of the Diagnostics unit of Swiss multinational Novartis for $1,675 million.

Bayer to control 25% of its global sales from Barcelona

November 19, 2013 08:03 PM | ACN

The German chemical and pharmaceutical company has picked Barcelona to provide shared services to its subsidiaries in Greece, Turkey and Latin America, which account for 25% of the total group sales. Bayer’s Shared Service Centre in the Catalan capital will expand its tasks and responsibilities by taking over the accounting, controlling and IT services for these geographical areas. The expansion will take place over 2014 and the centre will pass from being in charge of 11 countries to 22, managing over 50 Bayer subsidiaries. The General Manager of Barcelona’s Centre, Erik Schonebeck, stated the project would “consolidate” the 300 existing jobs in the Catalan capital but no further new jobs would be created in the short-run. Barcelona hosts one of Bayer’s 5 global headquarters.

Grífols buys part of Novartis Diagnostics for $1.68 billion

November 11, 2013 06:13 PM | ACN

The Catalan pharmaceutical company Grífols, based in Greater Barcelona, has bought part of the diagnostics unit of Swiss multinational Novartis for $1,675 million. Grífols has acquired products and ‘in vitro’ technology applied to diagnoses in the fields of blood transfusion and immunology, along with a production plant in California and offices in the US, Switzerland and Hong Kong. With the acquisition, the Grífols Diagnostic Division will represent $1 billion, 20% of the Catalan group’s total revenues. Grífols is the world’s third largest company in the production of blood-plasma derivatives. In the first half of 2013, Grífols registered a profit of €182.2 million, an increase of 36.9% on the same period of 2012.

The Financial Times gives its fDi Awards to a Catalan Government agency and Barcelona

November 6, 2013 10:02 PM | ACN

Barcelona City Council and the Catalan Government’s programme ‘Invest in Catalonia’ are among the winners of the 2013 Financial Times’ Foreign Direct Investment (fDi) Innovation Awards, which “recognise the world’s most creative investment promotion agencies”. Barcelona City Council has received an award in the town-planning category thanks to its pioneering role in the development of smart cities: the Catalan capital has prioritised smart-city applications and projects, trying to become one of the world leaders in this category. In addition, ‘Invest in Catalonia’, a programme of the Catalan Government’s agency for business competitiveness ACCIÓ, received the award in the business matchmaking category.

Catalan Sabadell Bank approves a capital increase of €1.4 billion

September 10, 2013 07:53 PM | ACN

The Board of Directors of Catalonia-based Banc Sabadell has approved a capital increase operation of €1.4 billion. The transaction will take place in the form of two consecutive increases in order to “strengthen capital and allow new important shareholders to join the bank aiming [to reinforce] the future internationalisation process of the bank”. The decision by Sabadell, Spain’s fifth largest bank, to carry out this operation was taken after finding out about the “growing interest” of international investors to acquire stable assets of the Catalan financial entity. It is expected that at least €1.33 billion will be attracted, which will subsequently make Banc Sabadell to one of the best capitalised banks in Europe with a core capital beyond 11%.

Barcelona-based Gas Natural Fenosa to stay in Panama for 15 more years through Edernet and Edechi

August 14, 2013 08:55 PM | ACN

The multinational energy company has confirmed it will continue operating in Panama for at least 15 more years through its subsidiary companies Edernet and Edechi, which control 65% of the country’s electricity market, supplying more than 500,000 clients. Gas Natural Fenosa owns 51% of both Edernet and Edechi, while the rest of the shares are controlled by Panama’s Government. The Catalan multinational entered Panama in 1998. According to Gas Natural Fenosa, it has invested more than €400 million to strengthen the electric power network of the Central American country and it foresees an additional investment of €230 million within the next 4 years.

Grífols makes a profit of €182.2 million during the first half of 2013, an increase of 36.9% on last year

August 1, 2013 03:47 PM | ACN

The Catalan pharmaceutical company posted a net profit of €182.2 million between January and June 2013, which represents an increase of 36.9% on the same period of 2012. 92.1% of Grífols sales are made abroad and this figure has reached €1.27 billion, up from 6.2% on the first half of last year. Total turnover stood at €1.38 billion, a 4.9% increase. Furthermore, between April and June, the multinational based in Greater Barcelona obtained its highest ever quarterly sales in absolute terms, which reached €697.1 million and represented a 7.2% increase on the same period of 2012. Last year, Grífols bought out its main competitor in the US, Telecaris, which made the Catalan company one of the main pharmaceutical companies in North America, particularly in the blood-derivate products.

Catalan exports increased by 13.4% in April compared to the previous year

June 20, 2013 01:07 AM | CNA

Catalan companies exported goods and services worth €5.05 billion in April, which represents a 13.4% growth compared to the same month of 2012. In the first four months of 2013, Catalonia exported €19.17 billion, a 1% increase compared to the same period of the previous year. Looking at figures for the whole of Spain, exports reached €29.40 billion in April, an 18.6% increase compared to figures from April 2012. Regarding the volume of exports reached in the first four months of 2013, Spain exported 76.98 billion, a 7.5% increase compared to the same period last year. The chemical sector led Catalan exports, followed by capital goods and cars.