Strong economic fundamentals are at the root of investors’ renewed love affair with Spain, delegates heard at the Iberian Investment Briefing, organised by Iberian Property and Real Asset Media, which was held at the Spanish Embassy in London recently.
‘The renewal of investors’ interest in Spain has been remarkable and shows no signs of faltering, while economic growth has been accelerating,’ said María Jesús Fernández, Executive Director, ICEX – Invest in Spain.
Spain’s economic growth is well above that of the Eurozone: GDP grew by 2.6% in 2018, against a Eurozone average of 1.8%, while the forecast for this year is +2.2% for Spain and +1.3% for the Euro countries as a whole. Spain’s strong economy has created 2.5 million jobs since 2014 and there has been a current account surplus for six years in a row.
Last year foreign direct investment rose to nearly €53 bln, a record increase of 31.6% on 2017’s €40 bln and the first time ever that FDI flows had broken through the €50 bln barrier. Spain is now the second largest recipient of greenfield investment in Europe after the UK and the 5thamong developed economies in the world after the US, the UK, the Netherlands and Australia.
Investments in real estate were over €10 bln last year, and property, logistics and tourism combined accounted for over €25 bln or half of total FDI.
‘Real Estate certainly is one of the most attractive sectors and last year accounted for over €20 bln of capex, 61% of which came from foreign capital, mainly from North America, the UK and France,’ said Fernández. ‘Companies like Cerberus, Lone star and Blackstone have been very active, but recently we have seen increasing interest by newcomers like Mexico, China and Brazil, as well as by sovereign wealth funds from the Middle East, China and Singapore’.
Confidence is high: all major credit rating agencies have raised Spain’s ratings, and companies that have invested feel they have made the right choice. According to a recent survey conducted by Invest in Spain among over 520 companies present in the country, 93% of respondents said that they are planning to maintain or increase their investment in Spain
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