Spain's Recession Deepens as Country's Economy has Contracted for Three Consecutive Quarters

August 30, 2012

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire -08/30/12)- Foreign bank stocks have struggle in 2012 as concerns regarding Europe's debt crisis continue to mount. Spain's recession has deepened as their economy has contracted for three consecutive quarters. The Instituto Nacional de Estadistica recently reported that in the April - June quarter Spain's economy shrunk by 0.4 percent, this follows a 0.3 percent decline in the previous quarter. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Foreign Banking Industry and provides equity research on Banco Santander, SA (SAN) and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA).

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Spain's economy has declined 1.3 percent, on an annual basis, in the second quarter. Catalonia, which represents 20 percent of the country's economy, recently became the third region to ask the central government for assistance. The region on Tuesday said it would ask the government for EUR 5 billion ($6.27 billion) to meet financial needs and debt costs this year. Reuters recently reported that private sector deposits in Spanish banks declined 5 percent in July as consumers and firms rushed to withdraw their money.

"The economy is much weaker than previously thought and this could make it more challenging for the government to achieve the ambitious fiscal targets," said Tullia Bucco, an economist at UniCredit.

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Banco Santander is a financial group operating principally in Spain, the United Kingdom, Portugal, other European countries, Brazil and other Latin American countries and the United States, offering a range of financial products. The company reported net profit in the second quarter 2012 fell almost 93 percent to 100 million euros ($121.37 million), compared to 1.39 billion euros in the year ago quarter.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA 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.

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