Finance and Business Roundup for Spain and the UK

Finance and Business Roundup for Spain and the UK

SAN SEBASTIAN: Aena and Cellnex lauching 5G pilot project Photo credit: CC/Mikel Arrazola

5G comes in to land 5G comes in to land AIRPORTS group Aena and Cellnex Telecom are launching the first private network based on 5G technology at Spanish airports.

The pilot project at San Sebastian airport in the north of Spain is one of the first at a European airport, Aena announced.

The agreement with Aena will takeCellnex a step forward in developing a strategy based on organic growth within the company rather than the multi-million acquisition of telecommunications infrastructure it has made recent years.

Aena regards 5G as a key technology its digital transformation process, a source at the state-owned company explained.

Connectivity at its airports has existed for years, but the new technology would enable the development of applications in important fields, Aena said.

These included the advancement of the internet of things (IoT), which connects and exchanges data with other devices and systems via the internet.

Everest not climbed CARMINE DI SIBIO, global chief executive at Ernst & Young (EY) will retire next year.

Di Sibio, aged 60, was responsible for Project Everest, a plan to separate the consultancy and audit divisions of the London-based company, which was scuppered by EY’s New York office.

This would have involved spinning off EY’s consulting arm and listing it on the stock market, bringing multimillion-dollar windfalls to the firm’s partners.

The initiative cost more than $600 million (€554.2 million) but Di Sibio still maintains that the deal was necessary to free consultants from conflict-of-interest rules that restricted them from advising audit clients.

Di Sibio will not step down immediately, he said, but would oversee the organisation through a transition period lasting until the end of the next financial year in June 2024.

Merger on the horizon VODAFONE and the owner of Three will merge their British networks to create the UK’s largest mobile phone operator.

The companies are the UK’s third- and fourth-biggest operators respectively and, once the merger is completed, will have more than 27 million subscribers between them. This will put them ahead of EE, owned by BT, and Virgin Media O2, jointly owned by Spain’s Telefonica and the US-listed company Liberty Global.

The deal will be closely examined by competition regulators, although the UK’s telecommunications’ regulator, Ofcom, announced last year that it was less opposed to consolidating the sector than in the past.

Reaching the heights LEADING aerostructures company Aernnova will take part in building the Honda Jet 2600 project.

The Basque company is to design the aircraft’s wings and their components including the  flaps, ailerons, the spoilers that open during landings, and the empennage or tail fin.
The Honda Jet 2600 takes its  name  from the aircraft’s range target of 2,625 nautical miles (approximately 4,861 kilometres) and is designed to be the world’s first light jet capable of nonstop transcontinental flight across the United States.

Honda plans to market the aircraft, which will have seating for 10 passengers and cost between $11 and $13 million (€10.1 and €12 million) in 2026.

Madrid mega-station ADIF has announced a €514.3 million contract connecting the high-speed networks linking northern and southern Spain.

The project will create a huge Madrid station with terminals in Chamartín and Atocha connected by a tunnel, explained the state-owned company which maintains and manages Spain’s rail networks.

The project will ensure maximum capacity for the second phase of Spain’s rail liberalisation, providing Atocha with four new tracks and two platforms under the existing station and Calle Mendez Avaro.

This will connect with the new high-speed southern access – operational since July 2022 – and allow trains to stop at either Chamartin or Atocha.

Bending the rules ANTONIO GARAMENDI, the Spanish Confederation of Business Organisations (CEOE) president, allegedly wants to lift restrictions on the number of terms a president may serve.

When re-elected in November, Garamendi was adamant that changes to the statutes, were “out of the question.”

Seven months later, however, Garamendi has met the CEOE’s vice-presidents to discuss changing the rules and “modernising” the election process.

All involved insisted that any modifications were at a very early stage and would first need to be discussed at the June board meeting and the General Assembly in July.

More Waitrose reductions WAITROSE has invested £100 million (€116.9 million) in lowering the price of its own-brand range.

After cutting the prices of more than 300 items in February, the supermarket chain has reduced another 200 products as it competes with cheaper rivals like Aldi and Lidl.

More than 100 items have been slashed by at least 10 per cent, Waitrose announced, as it hopes to woo shoppers looking out for bargains.

“We want customers to benefit every time they shop with us,” Charlotte Di Cello, Waitrose’s commercial director said.

Big boys’ stitch-up l

THE UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) rebuked Sainsbury’s and Asda for  irregular land agreements that hindered rival chains from opening up nearby.

It had found a total of 32 examples where the chains had placed restrictions on land agreements which, the regulator said, were anti-competitive.

Sainsbury’s and Asda respectively hold the second and third highest market shares in the UK, but both had breached the Groceries Market Investigation (Controlled Land) Order 2010, the CMA said.

This had been brought in precisely to stop supermarkets imposing new restrictions that stop rivals from opening competing stores nearby.

“By ensuring that supermarkets can compete freely, the CMA is ensuring that shoppers have more choice and so benefit from a wider range of groceries and access to cheaper prices,” the watchdog’s statement said.

Pilot scheme SPAIN’S BBVA bank is trialling a scheme to close less-used urban branches for two or three days each week.

This does not affect staff, who provide support for busier branches in the same locality, BBVA sources explained.

The pilot scheme is currently operating at 12 branches in Valencia, according to unions quoted in financial daily, Expansion.

The bank “constantly” tries out new projects, it insisted, adding that the current trial did not entail staff reductions or branch closures.  Neither did it mean that BBVA would leave more towns in future.

Top secret TUFAN ERGINBILGIC, chief executive who took over £12 billion (€14 billion) engineering company Rolls-Royce in January, has joint British and Turkish citizenship.

Owing to his dual nationality, Erginbilgic cannot access top secret UK government documents relating to its submarines business, Rolls-Royce sources told the Guardian.

The submarines division builds the nuclear reactors powering Britain’s submarines, including the Vanguard – armed with nuclear warheads – and Whitehall security protocols prevent Erginbilgic from viewing “UK eyes only” documents.

Chris Cholerton, the group’s president since March, has instead been given responsibility for handling sensitive information.

Letting go SPANISH engineering and construction company Elecnor will cede a controlling interest in its wind power subsidiary, Enerfín.

It longer seeks a financial partner to take a “relevant but not majority stake” in Enerfin, as it did a year ago.

Until now Elecnor has been able to finance growth and pay shareholders dividends of  €31 million last year and €29 million in 2021 but now requires more cash to maintain commitments.

Parallel to the Enerfin operation, Elecnor, worth an estimated €1 billion, has launched a new programme to place €400 million in promissory notes.  This will finance multiple projects in Spain and internationally, the company announced.

Zara soars INDITEX shares have shot up since the textile giant, which owns Zara and other fashion labels, presented record quarterly figures on June 7.

The shares went above €34 for the first time in six years and now approach their all-time high of €34.85 in June 2017

ON June 14 they stood at €34.21, an increase of 7.5 per cent following Inditex’s quarterly figures, giving the company a value of €106.6 billion.

According to financial daily Cinco Dias, 65.7 per cent of investment and trading analysts recommend buying Inditex  now.  A further 28.6 per cent advised those who already had shares to hang on to them, while just 5.7 per cent said they should sell.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at