Spain’s bank­ing sys­tem is well on its way to meet­ing Basel III re­quire­ments

The Pak Banker - - Company& -

MADRID: Amid spread­ing fears of ad­di­tional na­tions fall­ing vic­tim to the Euro­pean debt cri­sis, Spain's Prime Min­is­ter Jose Luis Ro­driguez Za­p­a­tero told about his con­fi­dence in his coun­try's lat­est re­forms. De­spite the lat­est quar­ter show­ing a con­tract­ing econ­omy and a 20 per­cent un­em­ploy­ment rate, Za­p­a­tero ex­pects Spain to see growth in the com­ing year. The Prime Min­is­ter de­nied ru­mors of po­ten­tial real es­tate write­downs, adding that Spain's bank­ing sys­tem is well on its way to meet­ing Basel III re­quire­ments.

"[Our bank­ing sys­tem] is def­i­nitely healthy," Za­p­a­tero said. "It's not only healthy and well-cap­i­tal­ized, it's done its home­work ... and on top of that, it will be one of the most at­trac­tive fi­nan­cial sys­tems for in­vest­ments."

Spain is in talks with sov­er­eign wealth man­agers to put fresh cap­i­tal to work in the coun­try.

As for bond­hold­ers, Za­p­a­tero main­tains that Spain's trea­sury's are among the top rated, and "no one will have to take a hair­cut."

Ear­lier Wed­nes­day, Za­p­a­tero said Spain would sell off more state as­sets and axe a job­less ben­e­fit, step­ping up ef­forts to slash costs and per­suade mar­kets it will not need a bailout as its prime min­is­ter pulled out of a sum­mit in Latin Amer­ica.

Za­p­a­tero said he was end­ing a pay­ment for the longterm un­em­ployed worth 426 eu­ros a month, a year af­ter it was in­tro­duced for claimants whose ben­e­fit had run out. He also said Madrid would sell 30 per­cent of its state lot­tery, let pri­vate com­pa­nies take 49 per­cent stakes in air­ports and air­port ser­vices, and move to sup­port small and medi­um­sized firms.

News of the cuts was well re­ceived in Brus­sels, which risks fac­ing an in­sur­mount­able bill if Spain and other large economies ap­ply for EU funds.

Spain's ma­jor in­dex rose 4.4 per­cent on Wed­nes­day, lift­ing other Euro­pean mar­kets.

Premi­ums on Span­ish bonds fell along with spreads on other euro zone pe­riph­eral debt, hav­ing re­ceived a ham­mer­ing since Ire­land agreed on out­side help on Sun­day.

Za­p­a­tero has been care­ful not to spook ner­vous mar­kets with sweep­ing new ini­tia­tives, which might be seen as a sign of panic, and in­stead drip-fed ac­tions over the last week to show his govern­ment means busi­ness.

The pre­mium in­vestors de­mand to hold Span­ish over Ger­man touched euro-era records on Tues­day but fell back on Wed­nes­day as traders bet the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank could of­fer more stim­u­lus by in­creas­ing its bond-buy­ing pro­gram.

Spain had one of the high­est pub­lic deficits in the euro zone in 2009 of 11.1 per­cent and has passed aus­ter­ity plans and in­tro­duced spend­ing cuts as part of next year's bud­get worth around 50 bil­lion eu­ros to re­duce the short­fall.

Span­ish un­em­ploy­ment fell for the first time in over 3 years in the third quar­ter but re­mains the high­est in the euro zone at 19.8pc. -PB News

IS­LAM­ABAD: H.E. Mo­ham­mad Omer Musa, the Su­danese am­bas­sador called on the Fed­eral Min­ster for Food & Agri­cul­ture, Nazar M. Gon­dal. -App

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