17.06.17 – A Risk for one, is a risk for all

Spain’s biggest bank Santander is to buy struggling rival Banco Popular for a nominal one euro after European authorities determined the lender was on the verge of insolvency.

Santander will ask investors for around 7 billion euros ($7.9 billion) of fresh capital to cover the cost of bolstering Popular, which has been weighed down by billions of euros of risky property loans.

The rescue, which followed a declaration by the European Central Bank that Banco Popular was set to be wound down, marks the first use of an EU regime to deal with failing banks adopted after the financial crisis.

It breaks the mould of using taxpayers’ money, instead imposing steep losses on shareholders and some creditors of the bank, a step two debt investors described as unexpected.

The owners of so-called AT1 and AT2 bonds suffered roughly 2 billion euros of losses, while shareholders lost everything. Senior bondholders were spared.

While concerns about the global economy continue to plague investors, Paris-based OECD has forecast that the global economy is on course for its fastest growth in close to six years but has warned that countries need to strive to do better.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has predicted that the global economy is set to grow 3.5 percent in 2017, followed by an increase to 3.6 percent in 2018 as confidence is increasing and investment and trade are picking up from low levels. “International trade growth revived in the last year, although it still remains less robust than in pre-crisis decades. Technology-driven and deeper trade integration through global value chains creates new markets and raises productivity,” the OECD said in the official forecasts. However, the OECD Secretary General, in an interview with Reuters, said the global economy needs to do more. “Everything is relative. What I would not like us to do is celebrate the fact that we’re moving from very bad to mediocre,” Angel Gurria told Reuters, adding that this doesn’t mean the world has to get used to it or live with it but have to continue to strive to do better.

U.S. downgraded: Although the OECD upped its forecasts for global growth for 2017, it downgraded its estimates for the United States, despite a weaker dollar boosting exports and tax cuts supporting household business investment. The growth forecast for U.S. was downgraded to 2.1 percent this year and 2.4 percent next year, down from estimates in March of 2.4 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively. Catherine Mann, chief economist at OECD, attributed this drop in forecast for U.S. economic growth to delays in President Trump’s plans to push ahead with planned cuts and infrastructure spending.

2018-02-23T15:21:22+00:00