Spanish government clarifies the regulatory framework for foreign investment in strategic industries

The Spanish government approved new legislation on foreign acquisitions, which reduces the authorisation period from six to three months, exempts transactions involving companies with revenue of less than €5m from Council of Ministers’ authorisation, and exempts from authorisation any increase of stake when the shareholder already owns a stake of more than 10 per cent and the transaction does not imply changes in the control of the company. The new rule will enter into force on September 1. The new royal decree has been passed three weeks before the general elections, scheduled for 23 July. The main opposition party, the Popular Party, has signalled its intention to amend the regulation to make it more friendly to EU investors if it wins the elections.

Spanish government rules on cross-border mergers after Ferrovial case

Spain’s government has set up a European regulation governing cross-border mergers, such as the one Ferrovial has carried out by relocating its operation. The royal decree, among other measures, requires the Mercantile Register to approve these decisions, it demands reports from independent auditors, and safeguards the rights of shareholders, creditors and workers. The regulation makes it compulsory for companies to prove that they are up to date with their tax situation before undertaking this type of merger.

Gross foreign investment grew by 8.1% yoy in Q1

Gross foreign investment into Spain increased by 8.1% in the first three months of 2023 compared to the same period of last year, according to government data. By sectors, industry gained weight and became the main recipient sector, practically levelling out with the services sector. Thus, 48.8% of total foreign investment went to industry, 48.5% to the services sector and 2.6% to construction.

Spain’s listed companies pay €12.9 billion in dividends in five months

Spanish listed companies have distributed €12.9 billion in dividends among their shareholders in the first four months of 2023, up 16% from a year earlier, stock market operator Bolsas y Mercados Españoles said. Higher profits after the pandemic and the monetary policy tightening by central banks -which ended years of zero rates for the financial sector- increased retribution for investors.

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