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Gray Days for Spanish Banks

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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-25-10 05:41 PM
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Gray Days for Spanish Banks

MADRIDAs Spaniards wonder when a record-breaking wet winter will ease up, the country's biggest banks may be asking themselves when, or if, markets will stop sloshing trouble on their share prices.

Spanish banking stocks have been declining since January, driven by worries about the economy and Spain's ability to get its fiscal house in order. The country's jobless rate is near 20% owing to a housing-market collapse and its budget deficit, while not as big as Greece's, is "bastante mal," or bad enough.

As of the close of Madrid trading Thursday, shares of Banco Santander SA were down 20% year to date, while Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria had lost 26%.

Both have heavy weightings on Spain's IBEX-35 stock index. Their losses have been driving the index lower for most of the year.
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