WHAT THE GUIRIS SAY

Foreign banks flee Spanish property debt
The Barclay’s Telegraph
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in Madrid
04/04/2008

International banks are scrambling to sell their holdings of Spanish mortgage debt at a steep discount, fearing that the country may be sliding into the worst economic downturn in its modern history.

A blizzard of grim data has soured the mood, capped yesterday by a plunge in PMI purchasing managers’ index to an all-time low of 40.9. Car sales fell 28pc in March, and even Madrid’s legendary tapas bars seem to have lost their late-night sparkle. …
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¿D. Ambrosio, in Madrid?
Too many tapas and riojas.

READ THIS OTHER NEWS (Yahoo)
Spain’s Santander to buy RBS consumer credit unit (Royal Bank of Scotland).
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/afp/20080404/tts-spain-britain-banking-company-santan-bd2cd9d.html

MADRID (AFP) – Santander, Spain’s biggest bank, said Friday it would acquire the consumer credit activities of Royal Bank of Scotland in continental Europe, its second such move in just over a week.
The value of the transaction, which must now be approved by regulatory authorities, was not disclosed.

Under the preliminary accord, Santander would have access to Royal Bank of Scotland’s consumer credit operations in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria, which group 861 employees, 2.3 million clients and assets of 2.2 billion euros (3.5 billion dollars), Santander said in a statement.

Santander last week said it had reached a preliminary agreement with US conglomerate General Electric to buy assets from each other in a deal worth about one billion euros (1.68 billion dollars).
Santander would buy the businesses of GE Money, the conglomerate’s consumer finance company, in Austria, Finland and Germany as well as its card and auto financing activity in Britain.
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I wonder why Barclays didn’t buy this British banking business, instead of the bankrupt Santander from bankrupt Spain.
Maybe the Spanish aren’t so bankrupt after all. They are buying businesses and banks in Europe and investing in the USA and the Americas and even in China.

Por Armando

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