Spain’s GDP grew 5.5%, one of the highest rates in Europe
In 2022, the Spanish economy registered a growth rate higher than most of the European countries, including Germany (+1.8%), France (+2.6%) or Italy (+3.9%). Its GDP expanded by 5.5%, the same pace as that from 2021, which was the highest increase since 1973. Spain’s GDP makes a comeback after plunging by 11.3% in 2020, dragged by the pandemic.
Also, Spain managed to contain its inflation rate closing 2022 with that of 5.7%, mainly due to the decrease in the fuel prices and a slower increase than expected in electricity prices. These figures confirm a better-than-expected scenario, which has dispelled recession fears at the start of 2023.
The Spanish economy will grow markedly slower this year in a context of interest rates hikes by central banks to tame inflation. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Spain’s GDP will increase 1.1% in 2023 compared to 5.2% last year and its previous estimate of 1.2%. For 2024, the Fund expects a 2.4% expansion, lower than its earlier projection of a 2.6% growth, the closely watched World Economic Outlook report said.
Spain is the only major economy to have its outlook downgraded by the agency, which warned of an imminent slowdown. However, it will also be the fastest growing advanced economy in 2023 and 2024.
In 2022 sustainable finance hits new record in Spain
In 2022, the sustainable finance market in Spain reached a new record; it reached up to €60.1 billion, 9% more than that from last year. This is mainly due to an increase in the traditional banking finance segment, according to a report published by Observatorio Español de Financiación Sostenible (OFISO).
Sustainable loans and credits from all categories raised by 64%, exceeding €30 billion, which offset a 24% drop in bond financing, with a combined issuance of €21.7 billion. Sustainable finance refers to the process of taking environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into account when making investment decisions in the financial sector, leading to more long-term investments in sustainable economic activities and projects.
New regulation benefits loyal investors in Spain
Spanish companies are starting to embrace a new legal mechanism which has been added to the 2021 Capital Companies Law (Ley de Sociedades de Capital) benefiting loyal investors when it comes to IPO processes or capital increases. This figure, called “loyalty shares” rights, consists of allowing listed companies -if approved by their shareholders’ meetings with a reinforced majority- to grant double voting rights to shareholders who have stayed in the firm for more than two years.
In practice, such a measure protects the main shareholders of the companies when this loyalty award is established. The idea behind it is that the owners of these companies can go public and/or carry out capital increases without fear of being diluted and losing control, avoiding hostile takeover bids or the emergence of other investors seeking significant stakes.