SOURCE: Paragon Financial Limited

Paragon Financial Limited

August 16, 2012 08:20 ET

Foreign Banks Struggle as Europe Nears Recession

The Paragon Report Provides Stock Research on Banco Santander and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Aug 16, 2012) - Foreign bank stocks have struggled in recent months as concerns continue to mount that Europe will fall into a recession. Recent data from a European statistics agency, Eurostat, showed that the 27 economies of the Eurozone and European Union (EU) contracted by a quarterly rate of 0.2 percent in the second quarter of the 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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A recession is officially recognized when two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth occurs. During the first quarter of the year, Eurozone and EU economic growth rate was flat. During the second quarter the third and fourth largest economies in the Eurozone, Italy and Spain, saw their economies shrink by 0.7 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. Of the 17 countries in the Eurozone, six are currently in a recession - Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Malta and Portugal.

"The big picture is that the economic growth required to bring the region's debt crisis to an end is still nowhere in sight," said Jonathan Loynes, chief European economist at Capital Economics.

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Banco Santander is a financial group operating principally in Spain, the United Kingdom, Portugal, other European countries, Brazil and other Latin American countries and the United States, offering a range of financial products. The company reported net profit in the second quarter 2012 fell almost 93 percent to 100 million euros ($121.37 million), compared to 1.39 billion euros in the year ago quarter.

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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