NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire -07/30/12)- U.S. and European markets surged Thursday after comments from Mario Draghi, chief of the European Central Bank, suggested that the ECB was prepared to take action. "Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro," Mario Draghi said at a recent conference. "And believe me, it will be enough." Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Foreign Banking Industry and provides equity research on Banco Santander, S.A. (SAN) and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA).
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After Draghi's comments, borrowing costs for Spain fell sharply as investors speculated that the ECB would increase their purchases of Spanish government bonds. After surging as high as 7.5 percent this week, the yield on Spain's 10-year bond fell to 6.89 percent. Since May 2010, the ECB has purchased a total of $267 billion in Southern European and Irish government bonds, but have been silent over the last four months.
"The ECB appears to be keen to increase the threat of the [bond-buying program] being woken from its hibernation period," said Ken Wattret, economist at BNP Paribas.
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Banco Santander is a retail bank based in Spain and present in ten major markets. It is the eurozone's leading bank and is among the top 15 financial institutions worldwide in terms of market capitalisation, with more than EUR 50 billion at the close of 2011. Banco Santander shares surged over 8 percent last Thursday, but are still down 27 percent for the year.
BBVA is a customer-centric global financial services group founded in 1857. The Group has a solid position in Spain, it is the largest financial institution in Mexico and it has leading franchises in South America and the Sunbelt Region of the United States. Shares of the company rallied over 11 percent last Thursday.
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