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Bank of England and ECB Decide to Keep Interests Rates Unchanged -- Mario Draghi Believes Euro Zone Could See Growth in 2014

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Mar 8, 2013) - The Euro strengthened Thursday after the European Central Bank decided to leave its key rate unchanged at a record low 0.75 percent. While European officials had discussed a potential rate cut, the "prevailing consensus was to leave the rates unchanged," ECB President Mario Draghi said. Research Driven Investing examines investing opportunities in the Foreign Banking Industry and provides equity research on Banco Santander, S.A. ( NYSE : SAN ) and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA ( NYSE : BBVA ).

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The ECB's decision to leave its key interest rate at its record low of 0.75 percent came on the same day the Bank of England announced it would leave its interest rate at 0.5 percent. Mario Draghi at a recent press conference stated that the Eurozone's economy would begin to stabilize in the second half of the year, and could see growth return in 2014. The ECB has predicted that the Eurozone economy will shrink 0.5 percent in 2013, an increase from their previous forecast of 0.3 percent, while estimated growth for 2014 is expected to be 1 percent, according to data from Bloomberg.

"The key take aways from the [ECB] meeting are that all options remain open and that the ECB hasn't closed the door for further easing if financial conditions tighten," said James Ashley, senior economist at RBC Capital Markets.

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Banco Santander SA is a Spain-based financial institution primarily engaged in the retail banking. The Company operates principally in Spain, the United Kingdom, Portugal, the Latin American countries and the United States. The company reported attributable net profit was EUR 2,205 million in 2012, a decrease of 59 percent when compared to a year ago.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA is a Spain-based international financial group with presence in 32 countries. The Company's activities are focused in such business units as banking, pension and insurance in Spain and Portugal, Mexico and South America.

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