The myth of unicorns started in Europe, but new technology companies worth more than $1 billion continue to exist to this day. Of the 160 unicorns in the world, only 16 are from Europe, compared to 88 from the U.S. and 40 from China. Here’s the story of five of these mythological companies that are reinventing the European economy.
More than seven months ago, the European Commission (CE) launched its action plan to help build a true single market for capital, one of the pivotal pending issues in Europe’s path towards integration. One of the key goals of the single market is to improve access to financing for European companies and to unblock the barriers to investments between countries of the European Union (EU). What progress has been made so far since September? And especially, what other pending points should be addressed before the end of 2016?
The Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which came into force last January 13, entails fundamental changes in the payment industry and aims to promote competition, innovation and security. A two-year phase began on that date that will culminate in its transposition into national law in 2018, when third-party payment providers (TPP) will be given access to client accounts.
Sovereign Wealth Funds are state-owned investment vehicles that control a portfolio consisting of national and international financial assets. The capital that these institutions manage is essential for the economies as it allows them to mitigate economic shocks; safeguard the wealth of future generations; make key investments for the country’s development; pay pensions; or maximize the profitability of a percentage of the country’s international reserves – generally the surplus over the level deemed optimal - which are usually managed following a capital preservation approach.
Goldman Sachs, which since 1869 has provided services to the rich and powerful, has decided to open up to the general market and offer its services to a wider public. It is now offering online savings accounts for a dollar, in a measure intended to generate new funding flows.
BBVA posted a net attributable profit of €709 million in the first quarter of 2016, down 53.8% from the same period a year earlier. Quarterly results were hindered by a number of factors, including the impact of exchange rates, lower results from NTI and the lack of corporate operations. BBVA CEO Carlos Torres Vila indicated that results will continue to grow gradually throughout 2016. Below you can find the most relevant data of the quarter:
BBVA presented its first-quarter results today. CEO Carlos Torres Vila noted that BBVA stands out in this quarter for “its strong capital position, recurring revenue growth, the contribution of emerging markets and lower impairment losses in Spain.” This trend, together with the seasonal effect of the banking business in some places (where activity is lower in the first part of the year) indicates that the results will increase gradually throughout 2016.
The creation of a digital single market across Europe is an exciting prospect for both consumers and businesses. According to the European Commission, it could add €415 billion annually to our economy and bring jobs and better services to the EU. In my role as BBVA's Chief Development Officer and Head of New Digital Businesses, I passionately believe that the financial services element is fundamental to this vision - and that regulation has an essential role in making it happen.
One of the lessons that the financial crisis of the last few years has taught us is that financial institutions’ capability to generate capital based only on the risk they assume is not sufficient condition for their survival. It is essential to have a magnitude that measures the quality of said capital and its actual capacity to absorb losses. It is in this context that the leverage ratio concept arises, a complementary measure that reinforces the capital requirements regardless of the risk assumed, which can be calculated easily and whose homogeneity allows to compare institutions better.
More clarity in regulatory matters on future loss-absorption standards is needed for financial entities to start issuing new loss absorbing instruments that comply with the new requirements. This was one of the topics addressed during the Eurofi Financial Forum, one of the most prestigious in the European financial sector, which is taking place this week in Amsterdam.