Banking & Finance

Retail Sales & Bank Fears Drive Spanish Banks To New Lows

Reports of what appears to be am effective government takeover of Bankia in Spain, ongoing debt and capital concerns of the banks, and borrowing costs approaching 7% are all culminating with the rest of the negative headlines in Europe to push the ADRs of Spanish banks to new lows. Now there are reports that Spain may back regional bonds with tax receipts.  To make matters worse of all and to show just how pathetic the Spanish economy is right now, new data showed that Spain saw a drop of a whopping 9.8% in its retail sales data for the month of April.

Banco Santander, S.A. (NYSE: STD) is down 5.5% at $5.35 in early New York trading versus a previous 52-week range of $5.52 to $11.92.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. (NYSE: BBVA) is down 5.5% at $5.78 in early New York trading versus a previous 52-week range of $5.96 to $12.13.

The key ETF is showing the weakness has spilled over into the broader segments as well in Spain.  iShares MSCI Spain Index (AMEX: EWP) is down a sharp 4.2% at $21,93 and this will also be a new 52-week low as the prior trading range over the last year has been $22.71 to $43.28.

JON C. OGG

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