Álvaro Aresti: "The Spanish financial sector is becoming stronger" March 17, 2014
Álvaro Aresti: "The Spanish financial sector is becoming stronger"
Álvaro Aresti, Head of "Global Client Coverage" in BBVA Corporate & Investment Banking, analyzes the role of investment banks in the current environment.
Q: What is your perspective on the Spanish financial sector for 2014?
The Spanish financial sector is becoming stronger and this, together with the improved economic outlook, will have a positive effect on our risk premium, allowing Spanish companies to access the capital markets with cheaper financing. In addition, mergers and acquisitions deals are beginning to pick up as more foreign investors are attracted by the favorable economic environment. Greater confidence, lower interest rates, greater investor liquidity and expansion needs forecast more activity in 2014.
Q: What is the role of an investment bank in a complex environment as the one we are currently facing?
Many clients are involved in refinancing processes, mergers or the deleveraging of non-coreassets, where on several occasions we, as an investment bank, act as a bridge between these clients and Private Equity investment firms or Financial Sponsors that seek to expand their portfolio.
Now more than ever, the role of banks is to advise their clients on how to access capital markets, without compromising their balance sheet, and to ensure adequate placement of their issuances.
Large-scale bridge loans are also becoming increasingly popular. Loans of this type allow our clients to obtain financing prior to a corporate finance deal or carrying out a project. From our side, they will allow us to enter into shorter term loans as to participate in future bond issues, IPO's, M&A's with our clients.
Q: How well did BBVA CIB perform over the last year?
The situation of the markets improved in 2013, especially in the second half of the year, with higher confidence levels, an improved economic outlook and lower financing costs. BBVA CIB knew how to adapt to the situation and consolidate its position. Our results show that gross margin increased by 22% and profit before tax increased by 35% compared to 2012. These figures clearly indicate the growth trend that is taking place in all areas.
The contributions of South America and Mexico have been key this year. In fact, we were recognized with the award for Best Investment Bank in Mexico in 2013 for our important position in mergers and acquisitions and debt and equity capital markets.
Q: What do you think differentiates BBVA CIB from its competitors?
The main characteristic that differentiates us is our extensive geographical presence in 24 countries throughout Europe, South America, Mexico, Asia,Turkey and the United States, which allows us to go together with our clients in their growth and international expansion. This cross-border business has experienced more growth this year in BBVA CIB than the local business.
We also offer a wide range of products and services not only to large corporations, financial institutions, financial sponsors and clients in the public sector, but we are also committed to small and medium enterprises that require investment banking products.
Q: Is BBVA CIB prepared for the banking of the future?
At BBVA CIB we are devoted to technology, offering our clients a wide range of transaction servicesand foreign exchange services through electronic banking, mobile telephone banking and direct channels.
Q: Álvaro, to you, what is BBVA CIB very essence?
Without any doubt, it is the continuous search for excellence in serving our clients. It is of utmost importance for us to achieve maximum satisfaction of our clients and to elevate the strategic dialogue as much as possible. This is why our coverage model consists of industry bankers, global bankers, local bankers and product specialists that work together to offer our clients the best solution.