La Camara aims to be the preeminent point of reference for the Spanish-Australian business community and to facilitate and foster the development of business relationships within this community.

La Camara achieves these aims through events such as corporate lunches, ministerial briefings, seminars, private boardroom functions, networking evenings and more relaxed cultural and cocktail events, as well as a variety of services and promotional opportunities for our members.

Events organised by La Camara allow both members and non-members to develop the professional contacts they need within the Spanish-Australian business community.

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CaixaBank completes legal procedures for merger with Bankia to become the leading bank in Spain

March 26, 2021 CaixaBank will have close to 20 million customers and €623.8 billion in total assets, becoming the leading bank in Spain, with a market share in loans and deposits of 26% and 24%, respectively, and a diversified and balanced geographic presence. • Bankia shares will cease trading on 26 March at close of market and the new CaixaBank shares issued as a result of the merger will begin trading on 29 March. • José Ignacio Goirigolzarri will become executive chairman of the bank once he is appointed by CaixaBank's new Board of Directors, which is scheduled to meet in the next few days. • José Ignacio Goirigolzarri: “The merger between CaixaBank and Bankia marks a milestone in the history of the Spanish financial system. We face this challenge from a position of strength that allows us to be an active part of the solution to the current crisis, as well as to become an important stakeholder for the socio-economic recovery of our country”. • The current CEO, Gonzalo Gortázar, will continue as CaixaBank's chief executive and will oversee the Management Committee. • Gonzalo Gortázar: “A transformational operation like this is necessary to adapt to a new environment in which conditions have changed as a result of technological disruption and the macroeconomic environment. We are moving ahead so we can continue to be a key player in supporting families and businesses”. CaixaBank, Spain’s leading bank, has today completed the legal formalities of the merger with Bankia, following the registration of the merger deed with the Commercial Registry. The deal, which involved the creation of the leading entity in the Spanish financial sector, was approved by a large majority at the Extraordinary General Shareholders' Meetings of both CaixaBank and Bankia last December and has obtained all the corresponding authorisations. The operation thus complies with the timetable established last September to complete the legal merger in the first quarter of 2021 and maintains the objective of completing the operational integration of the two entities before the end of 2021. CaixaBank, a key organisation in supporting the economy CaixaBank’s chairman, José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, pending his appointment by the Board of Directors in the coming days, and the CEO, Gonzalo Gortázar, have said that the bank's objective is to continue to be a key player in supporting families and companies, and to become an important contributor to the socio-economic recovery of our country. For Goirigolzarri, “the merger between CaixaBank and Bankia marks a milestone in the history of the Spanish financial system; a project that we are taking on with tremendous enthusiasm, while remaining aware that overcoming the challenges that lie ahead will be no minor feat”. In this regard, Goirigolzarri added that, “we face this challenge from a position of strength that allows us to be an active part of the solution to the current crisis and, above all, to be the organisation that is closest to our customers and to society”. For his part, Gortázar stressed that, “the merger of CaixaBank and Bankia makes us the undisputed leader in the financial sector in Spain. A leadership that we will continue to place at the service of our customers and of society as a whole, in line with our foundational origins and our social commitment”. According to Gortázar, “a transformational operation like this is necessary to adapt to a new environment in which conditions have changed as a result of technological disruption and the macroeconomic environment”. Creation of the undisputed leader in Spain's financial sector CaixaBank will have close to 20 million customers in Spain and €623.8 billion in total assets, a volume that will make it the largest bank in the domestic market, with a relevant position at a European level, and a market capitalisation of more than €20.5 billion. CaixaBank will also consolidate its leadership in retail banking in Spain, occupying the number one position in terms of market share in all key products: deposits (24%), loans (26%) and long-term savings (29%), which includes savings insurance, mutual funds and pension plans. The bank offers a balanced and diversified geographical presence, with the most extensive and specialised branch network in the sector, and aims to maintain a commitment to the community and to financial inclusion that CaixaBank and Bankia have always demonstrated. The combined entity will have a presence in approximately 2,200 municipalities, and it will be the only entity with representation in 299 municipalities. The extent of the network's penetration together with its digital capabilities - with 10 million digital customers in Spain - will allow it to continue to improve customer experience. CaixaBank's new shares will be listed on 29 March On 17 September 2020, the Boards of Directors of both banks approved the exchange ratio of 0.6845 new ordinary CaixaBank shares for each Bankia share. The agreed price includes a 20% premium on the exchange ratio at the close of trading on 3 September, before the market was informed of the negotiations around the proposed transaction. In addition, it represents a 28% premium over the average exchange ratio in the three months prior to the announcement. Considering the total number of outstanding Bankia shares that could participate in the exchange, the maximum number of CaixaBank shares to be issued to meet the merger exchange amounts to 2,079,209,002 ordinary CaixaBank shares with a nominal value of one euro each. Bankia shares will cease trading on 26 March at market closing time and the new CaixaBank shares issued as a result of the merger will begin to trade on 29 March. The new shares will give their holders the same rights as the rest of CaixaBank's shareholders. Customers will not be required to make any arrangements Despite the legal closing, which was completed today, customer operations will remain virtually unchanged until the migration of each institution's operating platform, a process which is expected to be completed before the end of the year. Current accounts and savings account documents will be renumbered. This change, however, will not affect direct debits, transfers or payments received. Therefore, it will not be necessary for customers to make any arrangements. Existing contracts for loans and mortgages will also maintain the agreed terms and conditions. Bankia cards can be used until the user activates the CaixaBank card they will receive at home, following the integration of IT systems. In addition, as of today, all CaixaBank and Bankia customers will be able to make debit withdrawals with their cards, free of charge, at the more than 14,000 ATMs across the joint network in Spain that both banks will offer after the merger. Gradual replacement of the Bankia brand The merged entity will maintain the CaixaBank brand and, having completed the legal merger, the Bankia brand will be replaced at branches and other landmark buildings. The brand transition process will be gradual, but will begin during the first days of integration, with the process of replacing signage on landmark buildings expected to be completed within the next week. The replacement of signage in branches will also begin at the same time and will continue for several weeks. Digital channels (web, mobile and ATMs) will be customised to incorporate CaixaBank's image with Bankia's until full technological integration has been completed. New Board of Directors and new Management Committee The Board of Directors will consist of 15 members, 60% of whom will be independent. Women make up 40%. On 3 December 2020, at CaixaBank's Extraordinary General Shareholders' Meeting the appointment of new directors conditional to the merger was approved: José Ignacio Goirigolzarri Tellaeche, Joaquín Ayuso García, Francisco Javier Campo García, Eva Castillo Sanz, Teresa Santero Quintillá and Fernando Ulrich. All of the new directors will join the current CaixaBank directors: Gonzalo Gortázar Rotaeche (CEO), Tomás Muniesa Arantegui (Vice-Chairman), José Serna Masiá, María Verónica Fisas Vergés, Cristina Garmendia Mendizábal, María Amparo Moraleda Martínez, Eduardo Javier Sanchiz Irazu, John Shepard Reed and Koro Usarraga Unsain. As indicated in the merger plan, the combined entity resulting from the merger will be chaired by José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, current chairman of Bankia, once he is appointed by CaixaBank's new Board of Directors, which is scheduled to meet in the coming days. The current CEO, Gonzalo Gortázar, will continue as CaixaBank's chief executive, reporting directly to the Board of Directors and overseeing the Management Committee. In addition, at its meeting on 18 February, the CaixaBank Board of Directors proposed a new composition of the Management Committee. This proposal will have to be approved by the Board of Directors at its first post-merger meeting. The new CaixaBank Management Committee will be overseen by Gonzalo Gortázar, as CEO of CaixaBank, and will include Juan Alcaraz (head of retail, business and private banking); Xavier Coll (chief human resources officer), who will leave his position on 1 January 2022, when David López will succeed him; Jordi Mondéjar (chief risk officer); Iñaki Badiola (director of CIB and international banking); Luis Javier Blas (chief operating officer); Matthias Bulach (head of financial accounting, control and capital); Manuel Galarza (head of control and compliance); María Luisa Martínez (head of communications and institutional relations); Javier Pano (chief financial officer); Marisa Retamosa (head of internal audit); Eugenio Solla (chief sustainability officer); Javier Valle (head of insurance); and Óscar Calderón (board secretary and general counsel). The Management Committee also proposed a new Regional Divisions structure which, in turn, will also be submitted for approval to the new Management Committee formed following the merger with Bankia. Under this new regional reorganisation, CaixaBank will be geographically divided into 14 regional divisions Read more.

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Iberdrola consolidates its world leading position in the renewables sector with its arrival in Australia

February 27, 2021 Iberdrola group becomes one of the leaders in the Australian renewable energy market after acquiring Infigen Energy. Thanks to this operation, the company now operates more than 800 MW of solar, wind and storage batteries in the country and has a significant portfolio of projects, of which 453 MW are under construction and more than 1,000 are in various stages of development. As part of its strategy against climate change, Iberdrola continues to consolidate its position as the world's largest renewable energy company, adding new projects to its portfolio. Along this context, it successfully completed in record time a friendly takeover bid for the Australian renewables company Infigen Energy, an operation that reinforces its entry into this new priority market, in which it has already begun the construction of its first renewable development: the 317 megawatt (MW) Port Augusta wind-solar hybrid project. This is the eighth corporate operation carried out by the group led by Ignacio Galán so far this year, which has committed to making record investments of 10 billion in 2020 to continue reaffirming its world leadership position in the field of renewable energies. Infigen has seven operational wind farms totalling over 670 MW, as well as a wind and solar project portfolio of 1,000 MW. The company also has another 560 MW in operation through various proprietary, leased and capital-lite assets, which includes the power obtained through four PPAs (245 MW) and energy storage batteries (75 MW). Those 75 MW include the 25 from the battery which it already manages in the Lake Bonney wind farm in Southern Australia and a further 50 which it is to operate in the Wallgrove substation in New South Wales, through an agreement signed with the local distributor TransGrid [PDF]External link, opens in new window.. PORT AUGUSTA WIND-SOLAR PLANT Iberdrola has just begun construction on the Port Augusta complex in South Australia, its first solar-wind hybrid plant in the world. It is a renewable facility which will combine a wind farm with an installed capacity of 210 MW and a 107 MW photovoltaic plant and, once in operation, it will generate enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 180,000 Australian homes per year. This project, together with those of Infigen, will make Iberdrola the market leader in the South Australian region in terms of installed capacity, with almost 1,000 MW. The purchase of the Australian company will also make it possible to sell the power produced by Port Augusta to industrial clients in the country. The complex will involve an investment of 500 million Australian dollars and could be operational by 2021. During its construction phase, approximately 200 jobs will be created and, once it is up and running, it will employ about 20 people. It will involve global, Australian and Spanish suppliers and is already contributing to the revitalization of industry. AUSTRALIA: A GROWING MARKET Ignacio Galán was very positive about the purchase of Infigen and stated that, "with our experience as a world leader in clean energy and Infigen's talent and knowledge of the Australian market, we are prepared to successfully deal with the future growth of renewable energy in the country, which has very good prospects." Renewable energy in Australia continues to increase its market share and is expected to accelerate its growth over the next 10 years. According to the Australian government's latest Energy Report, 21 % of the country's total electricity production will come from renewable sources by 2019, with solar production increasing by 46 % and wind production by 19 %. By 2030, emissions from the power sector in Australia are projected to fall by 23 % and the share of renewable energy in the generation mix are projected to reach 48 %. This favourable outlook is based on plans to upgrade the country's transmission and distribution network, as well as to reduce the cost of storage technologies. Read more.

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GRS and CHINT sign 48.5 MW EPC contract in Portugal

February 24, 2021 We will build the Insua PV project, in accordance with the requirements recently arranged with the European Chint Solar division of the multinational CHINT Group. Located in the region of Pias (Serpa, Portugal), the EPC agreement covers the detailed engineering design, construction, and supply of solar tracking solutions. The facility, which will occupy an area of 85 hectares, will generate 48.5 MW of peak power, the production of which will prevent the emission of 55,280 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere annually, equivalent to the consumption generated by around 15,355 vehicles. With this new project, GRS strengthens its position in Europe, one of the markets where it expects to continue adding projects in 2021. As our COO, Jordi Vega, explains: “It is especially important for us to consolidate our position in Europe and, in particular, in Portugal, a country where we want to maintain our activity, aligning our business with the Sustainable Development Goals set out in the European Union’s Agenda 2030“. The Insua photovoltaic plant will have 116,778 modules, which will produce approximately 90,132 MWh/year, enough energy to cover the electricity demand of 25,000 households. In line with its commitment to creating local jobs in the countries where it builds and operates its photovoltaic projects, the company estimates that Insua “will involve around 250 employees, taking into account the construction, operation and maintenance phases,” says Vega. Insua is expected to be operating at full capacity by the end of 2021. Read more.

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