La Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo (CAM, la principal institución de Alicante y Murcia); Bancaja (Valencia);  CajaMadrid  y Banco Popular  (el banco del Opus Dei) degradados en su calificación financiera. En España hay más de dos millones y medio de parados, los empresarios anuncian/amenazan que mandan al paro a otro millón.

Spanish banks see rating action on worsening economic environment

 Standard & Poor’s Rating Services said it took rating action on some Spanish banks triggered by a sharp deterioration in economic conditions and increasingly difficult operating environment in Spain.

S&P said the lowering of long-term ratings on Caja de Ahorros del Mediterréneo (CAM) and Castellón y Alicante (Bancaja) reflects S&P’s expectation that asset quality will continue to deteriorate after years of strong growth, S&P said. CAM has a substantial inflow of new nonperforming loans (NPLs), S&P said.

It has taken some measures to tighten its underwriting policies, but its high exposure to real estate developers and small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) makes it vulnerable to the real estate sector’s abrupt adjustment, S&P said. It said asset quality deterioration will reduce Bancaja’s financial strength as the savings bank’s provision coverage declines.

S&P said it expects Bancaja’s earnings to be pressured by a weaker operating environment, lower revenues from the real estate business, and higher funding costs and provisioning needs. In addition, Bancaja has higher market risk than its rated peers because of its portfolio of equity stakes, S&P said.

S&P said it affirmed ratings on Banco Popular Español, S.A., Caja de Ahorros y Monte de Piedad de Madrid (Caja Madrid) and
since it believes these institutions’ financial performance will remain robust and their solvency stable, despite the increase expected in NPLs but S&P revised the outlooks on these banks to negative, given Spain’s rapidly deteriorating economic and operating environment.

The current review has taken place against the backdrop of a rapidly changing economy in Spain, S&P said. It said Spanish banks benefited for more than 10 years from a robust economy but now the economy is decelerating rapidly, driven by the abrupt adjustment in the real estate sector.

The persistent uncertainties prevailing in the global financial markets are accelerating this trend and increasing funding costs, with a weakening economic and operating environment is resulting in an escalating number of NPLs and charge-offs, and is putting pressure on profitability, S&P said. The more vulnerable portfolios are those with a majority of residential mortgages granted in recent years with high loan-tovalue ratios and more stretched affordability, S&P said.

‘We expect a fast increase in the number of corporate insolvencies in the real estate sector as a result of the sharp contraction occurring in housing demand,’ S&P said. Spanish banks face the current weakening environment from a position of strength, however and in line with regulatory requirements, Spanish banks have been making credit provisions well above their needs, S&P said.

Also, Spanish banks enjoy generally robust profitability, greatly supported by strong efficiency levels, which provides them with flexibility to withstand the impact of lower business growth and higher provisioning needs as the economy decelerates, S&P said.

Some banks enjoy further cushions, such as high capital ratios or significant unrealized capital gains in their equity portfolios, S&P said. It said increasing NPLs will gradually erode the banks’ cushions, however, and this erosion could accelerate if the economic situation becomes more severe than expected, which will place the ratings on the banks under additional pressure.

☼  PS. Agosto 2012.  Esto lo escribí cuando España se hundía, y Zapatero decía que «veía Luz al Final de túnel», esa misma luz la vio el otro día el presidente italiano hablando de España, pero es una locomotora que nos va a matar.

Es interesante (para mí, claro) releer estas cosas que escribí en 2008, todos mis peores augurios entonces  han sido muy empeorados por la realidad ahora.

Y ahora, Agosto 2012, opino que España va a al muere.

Por Armando

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