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The funds are covered in banking before the ECB and the results

Banks await the first big test of the year without a trend and with large doses of irregularity on the stock market.

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The funds are covered in banking before the ECB and the results

Banks await the first big test of the year without a trend and with large doses of irregularity on the stock market. Today the first meeting of the year of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the results of Bankinter coincide, which opens the curtain on a results season that will last until February 6.

The future of the sector on the stock market in the short term will depend on the ECB's guidance and the entities' guidelines for 2024. These key clues will be decisive, since the market has more than discounted that the Spanish banking sector as a whole will earn the record figure of 26 billion in 2023.

Now, the banks are going at two different speeds, although the differences on both sides of the scale are short. The worst part is for Santander, which lost 1.35% in January and leads the falls in the sector.

For its part, Unicaja lost 1% and BBVA remained at the same levels at the beginning of the year.

On the other side of the balance, the group of domestic banks that make up Sabadell, Bankinter and CaixaBank lead the gains with advances between 5.62% and 6.92%. It is this trio of entities that currently allows the Ibex 35 Banks index to gain a slight 0.84% ​​this January.

However, banking has lost a lot of steam as the days have gone by. The banking index managed to amass a rise of more than 5% in the first sessions of the year. At that time, the market was practically assuming a first interest rate cut of 25 basis points in the spring.

Paradoxically, the Ibex Bancos has subsequently lost ground, going into negative territory at times, precisely with the expectation that the cuts in the price of money will arrive later. The market now points to June for the first rate cut of 25 basis points to take place. A delay that would allow banks' margins to benefit from 4.5% interest rates for practically the entire first half of the year.

But part of the market fears that, in a scenario of global economic weakness, financial margins and commissions may suffer.

However, some entities see the bottle half full. For example, BofA believes that the major problems of European banking are subsiding. On the one hand, the regulatory pressure is over. On the other hand, BoFa believes that, although interest rates will fall, "they will continue at a favorable level."

The firm expects that the bank will distribute 170,000 million euros between dividends and share buybacks in the next fifteen months.

For his part, S

In any case, large international funds have been covering Spanish banking in recent sessions, with some significant selling movements. The most striking is Deutsche Bank, which according to Bloomberg records has reduced positions in large banks.

The German manager has gotten rid of a large package of around 120 million Santander securities; of more than 40 million BBVA shares and 20 million CaixaBank securities. It is this last entity that registers the most significant movements, since Goldman Sachs and Invesco have also sold packages of 49 and 12 million securities, respectively.

In the smaller banks by market capitalization, the most notable thing is the reduction of positions of Dimensional Fund, which throughout 2023 made a strong commitment to these entities. The American firm has sold just over 4 million shares of Bankinter and almost 6 of Unicaja, the worst Spanish bank of the year on the stock market with a drop of close to 3%.

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