Spain is starting to look more and more like Greece with protesters clashing with police in the capital. The difference is that Spain is a much more important economy to Europe and to the rest of the world than Greece by far. Protests have grown to what is reportedly thousands protesting around Madrid’s parliament building.
You can imagine what the protests are about: austerity measures, lower pay, longer work, and an impending decision on whether or not the nation will formally ask for an EU/ECB bailout. The problem is not just Spain, but its provinces as some are already planning to seek formal emergency aid from Spain’s central government.
The iShares MSCI Spain Index (NYSEMKT: EWP) is key to watch in this issue. We would note that the three local shares, which trade as ADRs in New York, of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. (NYSE: BBVA), Banco Santander, S.A. (NYSE: SAN), and Telefonica SA (NYSE: TEF) make up close to half of this ETF.
A deadline of Thursday has been circulating since last week but we will see how this plays out.
JON C. OGG