Independence challenge

This year in Catalonia, the number of companies starting up has fallen by 54.5% from its annual peak in March 2017 to September. Specifically, since January 2017 the year-on-year average stands at -14.5%. Thus, Catalonia’s ability to create new businesses with regard to all of Spain, has fallen by more than 10 percentage points from its peak level in 2016.


The top 46 companies that have moved their headquarters outside Catalonia accounted for 36.5% of the region’s GDP. These relocations are mainly concentrated in the banking and insurance sector (40.9%), the food sector (31.8%) and healthcare (22.7%).

As for the regions they have relocated to, 58.7% have moved to Madrid, followed by Valencia (15.2%) and Aragon (8.7%).


As of the 1st of October, more than 1,500 companies have moved their headquar-ters due to the political instability in Catalonia.

The loss of these companies represents 85% of the market capitalization in Catalonia.


The economic consequences facing an independent Catalonia would be:

  • The levying of tariffs on 70% of the goods and services production (at 20% for agricultural products and 10% for cars).
  • Credit contraction.
  • Budgetary tensions.
  • Loss of European funds.
  • Sustainability of pensions (the deficit of the Social Security system in Catalonia accounts for 2.3% of its GDP).

This scenario would reduce nominal GDP between 20 and 30%, which would mean a loss of between €5,696 and €8,544 in per capita terms (in the event that the current population figures of Catalonia remain un-changed).
Moreover, its unemployment rate will increase in 2.3 times to 30% of the working population.

National markets (CNMV)

Generally speaking, the two biggest risks currently faced by financial markets are linked to liquidity and the market, mainly in fixed-income assets due to their high valuations and the recent regulatory changes carried out by the ECB.



During the 3Q-2017, geopolitical tensions in North Korea, the appreciation of the euro and the political instability generated in Catalonia have led the IBEX-35 to lose 1.5%, in contrast with the gains observed in the main European markets: CAC 40 (+1.8%), Dax (+1.6%), Eurostoxx 50 (+2.1%), Mib30 (+8%).

However, so far this year, the IBEX-35 recorded an increase of 11% and its P/E (price to earnings ratio) stands at approximately 13.9. In terms of non-bank financing, domestic equity issues amounted to €8,591,000, five times more than in the same quarter last year.


The ECB’s expansionary monetary policy keeps the interest rates at the short end of the yield curve at historically low levels (in September the yield of 3-month bills was -0.42%).

However, uncertainty and future expectations on standardization of the ECB balance sheet and the tightening of monetary policy by the Federal Reserve have led to increased volatility in the long-end of the yield curve.


China Investment

In 2016, 7,961 Chinese investment operations were carried out by companies in 164 countries. And, for the first time in history, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) surpassed $200,000m.

In response to this, the Chinese government has set up capital controls in order to ensure the stability of its financial system.



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