Business Roundup for Spain and the UK

Business Roundup for Spain and the UK

INCREASE: Bank of Spain revised 2024 growth forecast

Growth spurt ADDRESSING a parliamentary committee on May 7, Bank of Spain governor Pablo Hernandez de Cos foresaw 1.9 per cent growth for 2024, up from 1.6 per cent.

The country’s gross domestic product increased by 0.7 per cent during the first quarter of 2024, outstripping other large European Union economies, the governor said. Based on these figures “and second-quarter information”, the Bank of Spain expected to revise its growth projections in its next update, due in mid-June, De Cos announced on presenting the Bank’s annual report.

Rapped knuckles THE Financial Reporting Council (FRC) fined two Big Four auditors for blunders during the £237 million (€275.65 million) London Capital & Finance (LCF) debacle in 2019.

LCF was a savings and investment company which sold unregulated mini-bonds, promising returns of up to 11 per cent.

PwC must pay £4.9 million (€5.69 million) and EY £4.4 million (€5.12 million) – reduced from an original £7 million (€8.14 million) – for neglecting to understand LCF’s actions and internal controls and “not applying sufficient scrutiny”, the FRC said.

Going it alone BANCO SABADELL arranged a meeting in London with its principal shareholders from the big international investment funds to justify its rejection of the BBVA bank’s takeover bid.

The Cataluña-based bank headed by Josep Oliu explained that Sabadell was worth more than the BBVA’s €11.2 billion offer which would have exchanged one BBVA share for every 4.83 Sabadell share, a 30 per cent premium on Sabadell’s April 29 closing price.

Oliu also pointed out that following a record 2023 with a net profit of €1.02 billion, Sabadell made a profit of €308 million between January and the end of March, 50 per cent more than during the first quarter of 2023.

We’re staying MURRAY AUCHINCLOSS, chief executive of BP, was adamant that the oil giant had no plans to leave London’s stock market.

‘It’s not on our agenda,’ he declared as BP reported a 45 per cent first-quarter dip in profits to £2.2 billion (€2.05 billion) amid falling energy prices.

The pledge coincided with increased pressure on Auchincloss to narrow the gap with competitors like Shell and the US’s Exxon Mobil and Chevron.

Lower profits ENDESA declared a net profit of €292 million for the first three months of 2024, compared with €594 million in 2023.Analysts had predicted first quarter results of €324 million for Spain’s second-largest power company in number of clients, which is owned by Italy’s Enel.  Instead,  Endesa explained that 2024 began with the energy market’s “situation of progressive normalisation.”

This was followed by a 53 per cent drop in prices, owing to a situation that involved high renewable production and negative prices for the first time ever in April.

Low demand due to mild temperatures also contributed, as well as reduced industrial demand by the paper and metallurgy sectors, coupled with nationwide energy-saving measures.

Fair shares SPAIN’S Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (Sepi) currently owns 6.169 per cent of Telefonica.

The state-owned industrial holding company, now entitled to a seat on the board, has nominated Carlos Ocaña, substituting  Carmen Garcia de Andres who has resigned for personal reasons.

Sepi is finally a majority Telefonica shareholder ahead of the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) which is backed by the Saudi government and acquired 4.9 per cent of Telefonica shares and 5 per cent of Telefonica financial instruments in September 2023.

The central government intends eventually to obtain 10 per cent  of  Telefonica, which was privatised in 1997.

Smashed plates  THE taxman is chasing Thomas Goode, which supplies fine china and silverware to the royal family, for an outstanding bill.

HMRC has issued a winding-up petition, which can lead to compulsory liquidation but can also be withdrawn once the company has managed to settle the debt.

The latest available accounts for Thomas Goode showed that creditors were owed around £5 million (€5.81 million) by the end of March 2022 in amounts that were due to be paid within 12 months.

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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 editorial@euroweeklynews.com.

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