Friday, 28 November 2008

Fifth largest real estate company in Spain, Habitat, has filed for bankruptcy protection. Habitat has a reported debt of 2.3 billion €.

fifth largest real estate company in Spain, Habitat, has filed for bankruptcy protection. Habitat has a reported debt of 2.3 billion €.
The company is thought to have over-extended itself when it purchased Ferrovial Inmobiliaria, before the real estate bubble burst, and can no longer sustain such a high level of debt. A statement from the company said the objective was to preserve, in the best way possible, the rights of all the creditors and to proceed to a restructuring of the financial situation, which will allow the continuation of the business.It’s the second largest company failure in Spain, behind only that of the Martinsa-Fadesa last summer. The Tremón Group also declared itself insolvent just over a week ago with a debt of 900 million.Meanwhile another large real estate company, Colonial, has warned that it too could declare itself insolvent. The company is trying to disinvest itself from its investments in FCC, SLF, and Riofisa, otherwise it too says in a statement published today that it will be unable to restructure its debt in the long term.Staying with real estate companies, Metrovacesa has proposed the sale of the HSBC head offices in London for 1 billion €. The operation would mean a loss of 97.9 million for the Spanish firm. Metrovacesa has asked HSBC to consider ‘any refinancing proposal that comes along’.
It comes as, on November 27, Metrovacesa is faced with the refinancing of a 1billion € debt it took on to buy the building.The cabinet on Friday approved as expected the new 11 billion € plan to stimulate the Spanish economy. The plan is intended to create 300,000 jobs, and most of the money, 8 billion €, goes to the local town and city halls.The fall in the Euribor rate which ends November at a monthly rate of 4.35% means that mortgages are to be cheaper for the first time in three years. The number will be confirmed by the Bank of Spain on December 10.
The daily Euribor rate has fallen in just six weeks from 5.512% to 3.951%.Spain has once again recorded the largest increase in the unemployment rate in all of the European Union. The country remains with the highest rate of men out of work, but it is the youngsters who are most affected by the labour market. In October 12.8% of the active population was on the dole, up 4.3% over the year, according to the data from Eurosat.Inflation in Spain has fallen to 2.4% for the harmonized rate, its lowest since August 2007. The fall in November is 1.2%, the largest monthly fall since 2001. Oil prices an foodstuffs led the price reductions. It’s not all good news however, experts are now warning of the very real risk of deflation in Spain.
The number in November is used to set the pensions level for next year and it means the state will have to find 624 million more than forecast for pensioners.
Car sales for November in Spain will be the second worst month of all time, with early data indicating a fall of 48.2% compared to November 2007 at just 64,800 units.
Meanwhile lorry drivers are demonstrating that diesel prices are still 11% more expensive than before the petrol price bubble and they have called on the government to force the oil companies to pass on the lower price of crude.The National Court is investigating the ex Chairman of Real Madrid, Lorenzo Sanz, for an alleged fraudulent sale. He has been called to make a statement on December 3, in a case where he faces charges of money laundering and the falsification of documents.
The National Energy Commission in Spain is proposing a price rise for domestic Natural Gas in the first three months of next year of less than 2 percent. Over tariffs will be up by 2.02%Leader of the opposition, Mariano Rajoy, has said he is to ask for a parliamentary commission to be established to investigate the Lukoil petrol company. The PP leader said he wanted to know who Lukoil are, and what is their past, ahead of their possible purchase of Repsol shares.The European Commission has decided to take Spain to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg for not taking measures to stop the amount of advertising shown on TV screens here. Advertising on Spanish channels regularly breaks the 12 minute per hour limit fixed by European legislation, often by several minutes.

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