NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 02/29/12 -- European financial stocks have performed surprisingly well this year as the finance ministers of the 17-member eurozone agreed to grant the second bailout worth 130 billion euros to a bankrupt Greece. The iShares MSCI Europe Financials Sector Index Fund (EUFN) -- which is designed to measure the combined equity market performance of the financial sector of developed market countries in Europe -- is up more than 18 percent year to date. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Foreign Banking Industry and provides equity research on National Bank of Greece SA (NYSE: NBG) and Banco Santander SA (NYSE: STD) (LSE: BNC). Access to the full company reports can be found at:
Recent money supply data for January from the European Central Bank (ECB) shows that the European Central Bank's generous liquidity policy is working. The annual growth in M3 accelerated to 2.5% in January following a 0.1 percentage point downwardly revised 1.5% increase in December. This was much higher than analysts' expectations of a 1.8% rise, The Wall Street Journal explains.
The data shows that the 12-month growth in loans to the private sector, including households and companies, rose from 1 percent to 1.1 percent in January. Lending for house purchases grew slightly, by 4 billion euros in January, while credit for consumption grew 2 billion euros, according to seasonally- adjusted data from the ECB.
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Banco Santander, S.A. (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. Earlier this week Belgian financial group KBC and Banco Santander agreed to merge their Polish units Bank Zachodni WBK and Kredyt Bank, creating a combined bank worth 5 billion euros.
National Bank of Greece SA (the Bank) is a Greece-based financial institution. It offers a range of integrated financial services, including corporate and investment banking, retail banking (including mortgage lending), leasing, stock brokerage, asset management and venture capital, insurance, real estate and consulting services.
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