The Bank of Spain publishes data on banks’ bad loans and regional debt, as the Cabinet holds a weekly meeting in Madrid.
ECONOMY: *Bank of Spain publishes data on bad loans in January and on regions’ debt figures for the fourth quarter. *The Cabinet holds its weekly meeting, followed by a news conference at 1:45 p.m. CET. *Spain’s government, which will auction or award through contest new mobile-phone frequencies this year, will raise at least 880 million euros ($1.24 billion) from the process, El Pais reported, without citing anyone.
EQUITIES: *Qatar Holding LLC is negotiating with Telefonica SA to buy as much as a 5 percent stake in the Madrid-based phone company, Hispanidad reported on its website, without citing anyone. Qatar Holding Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Al-Sayed met March 15 with Telefonica Chairman Cesar Alierta to discuss a deal that could be valued at 4 billion euros, the news website said. *Banco Santander SA will close 25 branches in Spain as business volumes decline in the country, El Confidencial reported, citing unidentified people at the bank. *Befesa Medio Ambiente SA’s board called a shareholders meeting to approve the de-listing of its shares, Abengoa SA said in a filing. A unit of Abengoa, which owns 97.4 percent of Befesa, will offer to buy out remaining shareholders at 26 euros per share, the company said. *Acciona SA, Spain’s second-biggest wind farm operator, opened its fourth solar thermal power plant in the country at Majadas de Tietar near Caceres.
MARKETS: *The IBEX 35 Index rose 2.3 percent to close at 10,325.6. *The spread between Spanish and German 10-year borrowing costs narrowed to 207 basis points.