NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Nov 14, 2012) - Foreign Bank stocks have struggled this year as the slowdown in Europe's economy has been worse than expected. The European Commission last week downgraded growth projections for most of the European Union, and has stated instead of remaining flat they now expect gross domestic product to shrink by 0.3 percent on an annual basis this year. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Foreign Banking Industry and provides equity research on Banco Santander, S.A. (NYSE: SAN) and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (NYSE: BBVA).
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The commission has forecasted the collective economies of the 17-member euro zone to shrink by 0.4 percent, which is the first annual decline since the sovereign debt crisis began.
"The aggravation of the sovereign-debt crisis in the first half of the year, with rising market concerns about the long-term viability of the euro area and negative feedbacks between banks' funding pressures and economic activity, and to a lesser extent the unexpected slowdown in non-EU GDP growth and global trade, are the main reasons for the disappointing growth performance in 2012," the commission said.
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Banco Santander is a retail bank based in Spain and present in ten major markets. It is the Eurozone's leading bank and is among the top 15 financial institutions worldwide in terms of market capitalization, with more than EUR 50 billion at the close of 2011.
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA is a customer-centric global financial services group founded in 1857. The Group has a solid position in Spain, it is the largest financial institution in Mexico and it has leading franchises in South America and the Sunbelt Region of the United States.
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