Business Roundup for Spain and the UK

Business Roundup for Spain and the UK

MONCLOA PALACE: Spanish government now owns 3 per cent of Telefonica Credit: CC/Year Diaz Zbida

Telefonica stake THE Spanish government now owns 3 per cent stake Telefonica.

The State Industrial Holding Corporation (SEPI) paid €700 million for 175 million shares at a cost of €3.99 per share.

Now that Caixabank has reduced its Telefonica stake to 2.5 per cent after selling 1 per cent of its shares, the Spanish government is currently Telefonica’s fourth-largest shareholder after BBVA, Blackrock and Saudi Arabia’s STC Group.

The government intends to bring its Telefonica holding up to 10 per cent “as soon as possible” in order to offset the STC’s stake on the grounds that the Spanish company is strategic owing to its industrial, security and defence contracts.

Better all round The UK’s economy is about to “turn the corner” according to S&P Global.

The financial information services group predicted on March 26 that with high inflation waning in 2024, a cut in the interest rate was on the cards for this summer.

A “resilient” jobs market and improved purchasing power would combine to herald a recovery in consumption, with the economy expanding by 0.3 per cent in 2024, S & P said.  This should increase by 1.4 per cent in 2025 and by 1.7 per cent in 2026 and 2027.

These forecasts clashed with the Bank of England, which in February foresaw the UK’s Gross Domestic Product rising by a quarter of a percent in 2024, three quarters of a percent in 2025 and by 1 per cent in 2026.

Mind the gap THE BBVA bank is breathing down Santander’s neck as it aspires to occupy the Number Two slot as Spain’s second bank after CaixaBank.

Until now Santander has been well ahead of BBVA although the dividends paid by both over the last three years demonstrate that the gap could eventually close.

Since 2021, BBVA has distributed €13.19 billion to shareholders, including extraordinary buybacks of €4.16 billion, amounting to 20.6 per cent of its current market valuation, according to Reuters calculations.

In contrast, Santander – which does not make extraordinary buybacks – paid out €12.8 billion euros, 18.4 per cent of its market capitalisation.

Co-op Bank redundancies THE Manchester-based Co-operative Bank, which has 50 branches and 3,5000 employees, intends to cut its workforce by 12 per cent.

After November 2023’s “strategic review” the bank revealed in December that it was negotiating a merger with the Coventry Building Society, creating a mutual with £90 billion (€104.9 billion) in assets.

“Changes across the bank are essential for delivering the next phase of the strategic plan,” the bank announced on March 26.

It would work closely with its trade union and support the 400 employees impacted by the restructuring, it added.

Talgo on a siding A possible counter-offer to Magyar Vagon’s Talgo takeover bid pushed up the Spanish rolling stock manufacturer’s shares by 5.5 per cent.

Finance daily El Ecomista revealed that Talgo’s principal shareholder, Trilantic Fund, had been in touch with the Swiss train manufacturer Stadler.

A deal could be attractive, and not only because Stadler, worth €2.8 billion, is five times bigger than Talgo (€540 million), which in turn is bigger than Magyar Vagon.

It would also allay the Spanish government’s fears that Russian money could be involved.

Jobs for Coventry A CHINESE company which manufactures batteries for electric vehicles could invest £1.2 billion in a new gigafactory near Coventry.

EVE Energy, which employs 28,000 staff worldwide, was said to be discussing construction of a 5.7-million square foot (529,547-square metre) plant.  It would be part of the future UK Centre for Electrification, an investment zone in the West Midlands.

Sources close to the discussions confirmed that EVE was interested in the project, which would create approximately 6,000 jobs in collaboration with local councils and Coventry airport.

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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


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