Foreign investment in Spanish firms reaches €28.5bn

GMT 01:15 2015 Thursday ,13 August

Arab Today, arab today Foreign investment in Spanish firms reaches €28.5bn

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Madrid - XINHUA

 Foreign investment in Spanish firms reached 28.5 billion euros (31.8 billion U.S. dollars) in the first seven months of the year, according to data published Wednesday by Spanish economic newspaper Expansion.

However, the figure could be even higher as data includes completed and announced investments but not those whose figure is unknown or below 20 million euros.

There is a greater access to credit and prices within the real estate sector are more "attractive" for investors, while some firms need to reduce their debt, Expansion explained.

Investments arrive from different parts of the world and they are usually ordered by family offices, sovereign funds, industrial companies or investment funds.

Former prime minister of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al Thani bought a 10 percent stake of the Spanish department store chain El Corte Ingles for 1 billion euros. This was the first time El Corte Ingles sold a stake to a foreign investor.

The two major purchases, however, were carried out by the U.S. fund Blackstone and the French telecommunications company Orange. Blackstone bought about 6.4 billion euros of mortgages from Catalunya Banc for 3.6 billion euros and Orange invested 3.4 billion euros in Spain telecoms operator Jazztel.

Meanwhile, Spain's real estate sector also received investments. U.S. fund Lone Star bought half of Kutxabank real estate assets for 930 million euros and Grupo Sanjose received a 750 million euros investment from Deutsche and Barclays.

Foreign investment is "at record levels thanks to the improvement in the economy," according to the media report, adding the 2015 figure is expected to surpass the 47.3 billion euros investment of 2014 and the 23 billion of 2013. (1 euro = 1.11 U.S dollars)

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