The Investment Sharks and the Spanish Banks

I’ve just read some interesting news. Pimco, the US based investment firm, is now buying Spanish Bank’s bonds.

Pimco’s $2.9 billion exchange-traded fund boosted the proportion of its corporate-debt holdings by almost 8 percentage points in three weeks by adding notes of lenders from Spain’s Banco Santander SA (SAN) to Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, data compiled by Bloomberg show. BlackRock added to its Santander holdings in the period while AllianceBernstein LP increased its allocation to bonds of Spanish lender Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA.

This reinforces my view on Banco Santander, the bank is really strong in terms of liquidity, and the major risk for this strategy to work is the implosion of Europe, which has been efficiently downplayed by Mario Draghi.

“There are many European banks that have solid balance sheets, assuming there isn’t a breakup of the euro zone,” said Ashish Shah, the head of global credit investments at New York- based AllianceBernstein, which oversees $230 billion in fixed- income assets. “What Draghi’s done a good job of is reducing the perception of tail risk around Europe.”

The rationale used by these investment managers is very similar to the rationale used in my book: “European Jewels – Banco Santander” and this reveals that the Spanish assets will most likely starting to get more demand by institutional funds. The last opportunity to get this train might just be closing.

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