Spanish firms cross pond in big way to US
19 November 2007, MADRID - Spanish companies have been buying up US assets at an unprecedented pace since the beginning of this year, making Spain the fourth biggest foreign investor in the world's largest economy, a new report shows.
19 November 2007
MADRID - Spanish companies have been buying up US assets at an unprecedented pace since the beginning of this year, making Spain the fourth biggest foreign investor in the world's largest economy, a new report shows.
The recently published study by Thompson Financial, a business information provider, highlights the growing interest of Spanish firms in the United States thanks in large measure to the weakness of the US dollar that has made US assets attractively cheap. With net investment of $21.73 billion (around €14.8 billion) since January, Spain has invested more money in the US than any other country except for Canada, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. It is the first time Spain has been in the top 10 of US investors.
"Since 2005 there has been a spectacular increase in Spanish activity in the United States. Spain has overcome its concerns and shed its fears of definitively entering the US market," argues Bisila Bikoko, the director of the Spanish-US Chamber of Commerce in New York.
Two purchases in particular stand out: the acquisition of Compass, a big lender, by BBVA, Spain's second largest bank, and the buyout of Energy East by electricity provider Iberdrola.
However, though purchases in the banking, energy and construction sectors have dominated Spanish activities in the US, other companies, from agri-food group Ebro Puleva to clothing firm Inditex have also been snapping up assets on the other side of the Atlantic.
[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL./ Juan Pedro Velázquez-Gaztelu 2007]
Subject: Spanish news