Spanish investors most optimistic over future of Euro

According to a study published on by JP Morgan, large private Spanish investors are the most optimistic in all of Europe about the future of the European Union.

The study, based on 325 surveys, revealed that 92% of the Spanish participants considered that the eurozone will manage to avoid any defaults in payments and that the austerity in spending will finally be rewarded.

After Spain, the other most optimistic countries are Ireland and the UK, with 90% and 85% respectively.

With regard to the opinion of high net worth investors in the eurozone, only 6% feared that a severe global depression would occur.

Also, 45% of the private European investors believe that the European equity is the most undervalued risk asset.

Meanwhile, 24% of the investors see parts of the housing sector as an investment opportunity, followed by equities (11%) and high yield bonds and oil (10%).

El Economista reported that with regard to the sectors that might perform better in 2012, investors consider these to be the technology sector, followed by the banking sector and the mining companies.

The director of strategy at JP Morgan, César Pérez, stated that although “the risk has increased” concerning European politics, they expect the markets to continue operating.

“The arrival of Mario Draghi to the Presidency of the ECB was positive for the markets because it increases the possibility that this central body could act as a last resort buyer,” he added.

Article source:

Tax increase could kill renewable energy investment

Renewable energy tax increases likely
A wind-farm in Spain

A group of international investors have contacted Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy to urge him to reconsider raising taxes on renewable energy.

The group sent a letter to the PM saying that any rise in tax could “put the whole industry at risk of insolvency. Moreover, it will send yet another warning to foreign investors that Spain is no longer a safe place to invest”.

The letter went on to say that should the increase be implemented the investors reserved the right to  take action against Spain under Spanish and European law, and the Energy Charter Treaty, which is designed to protect foreign energy investors.

A letter was also sent to UK Prime Minister David Cameron suggesting that if the change is made it “will probably have a detrimental effect on the UK meeting its low carbon and renewable energy targets, as if made these changes will irreparably damage investor confidence in European regulatory stability.”

What rubbish! Who cares what effect if has on the UK? This is a Spanish tax to raise Spanish money for Spanish residents – the UK can do what they like with their renewable energy. What a bad idea the EU was. No country has any right to tell another what to do, how to treat it’s people or anything else.

This is all about some rich investors somewhere who care little about the poverty being inflicted on people by their greed. This is the problem across the planet – those with money control it all. I personally couldn’t care less about some rich investor losing a little bit of money (or a big one losing a lot). The tax increase is needed to fix the country and make it better for the Spanish, not for some investor who doesn’t even live here. I understand the need for investment in the country but it should be on Spain’s terms, not the investors.

At the end of the day, if Rajoy implements the increase it will raise more money for Spain strengthening the economy and contributing to growth – then the investors will come running. Where else will they go with their wind farms? The North Sea? It costs twice as much to rig a wind turbine in the open ocean as it does to place it on land. So call their bluff, Rajoy. They will still come here even with the increase, they are just trying to save a few quid.

Russian Meeting Point gets under way

Russian Meeting PointThe “Russian Meeting Point” opened yesterday in a bid to boost the sale of Spanish coastal property to Russian investors.

This years event is being held at the Hotel Villa Padierna and so far has attracted large numbers of investors and property agents, all here to find investment opportunities on the Costa del Sol. The main focus of the group is the so-called “Golden Triangle” which includes Marbella, Estepona and Benahavis. However, other areas are also being marketed at the event including the Canary Islands, Balearic Islands, Alicante and Andalucía. The three-day event will close tomorrow (Friday).

Ángeles Muñoz, Mayor of Marbella, visited the event on Thursday morning accompanied by Enrique Lacalle, the president of the organizing committee, and the President of the Andalusian Federation of Developers and Residential Tourism, Ricardo Arranz.

Muñoz attended the event to see first-hand the level of interest from various investors and property agents for the Spanish property market and, more specifically, that of the Costa del Sol.

Many of the exhibitors have already expressed their satisfaction with the volume of contacts made at the exclusive real-estate forum.

Sr. Lacalle thanked the exhibitors for their attendance and is convinced that the event will prove to be profitable for all involved.

David Scheffler, Director of Expansion of Engel & Völkers, said “This initiative is a great opportunity for the Spanish real estate sector in general and particularly for us, so we could not pass up this opportunity. At The Russian Meeting Point we are presenting over 6,000 real estate properties to potential buyers from Russia. ”

The event also included talks presented by some of Spain’s business leaders. One such talk, entitled “What the Russians want to know before buying a property: How to get a mortgage in Spain.” was given by Alberto Pulido, Director of Business Mortgages in Spain’s Banco Santander.

There will be further talks on Friday including “Managing visas and residence permits” which will be presented by the National Association of Developers.

This is the second edition of the Meeting Point and will be followed by a third which will take place in Barcelona in October at the Fira de Barcelona.

Investor confidence low

Fitch Ratings
Euro crisis will continue in 2012

The eurozone sovereign debt crisis will continue largely unchanged in 2012, according to a survey of investors conducted by Fitch Ratings.

According to the survey 25% think the crisis will get worse, while 24% think it will get better this year. Meanwhile, 48% say the crisis is likely to continue throughout the year.

The report showed a shift in mood with survey respondents seemingly more positive about credit issues across all major fixed-income categories. This is in contrast to Q3 in 2011 when investors expressed negative expectations across the board, relative to the previous quarter.

There was a noticeable change in bank confidence amongst investors with 22% marking the banks’ challenges as their greatest concern. This was down from 49% in Q4 last year when it was ranked above sovereigns for the first time. The change can be attributed to the European Central Bank’s (ECB) three-year maturity longer-term refinancing operation (LTRO) action in December, with a second to follow later this month.

Despite concerns surrounding the eurozone crisis, a record 27% of respondents stated banks as their first investment choice, only beaten by industrial corporates, with 28%.

However, investors also expressed a caveat regarding the banking sector based on the link between the eurozone banking system and its political unity. Half of all respondents said that only a resolution of the eurozone crisis will make banks a good investment again. High profile initiatives – such as increased capital, clarity on resolution legislation and imposing limits on assets for debt collateralisation – are not in themselves enough to restore banks’ credit standing.

A further 36% said a eurozone crisis resolution and the other specific measures would all be necessary.

Only 10% of investors surveyed believed that increased capital would restore banks’ credit status and attractiveness to fixed-income investors. Even fewer – just 3% – said clarity on resolution legislation, including bail-ins and depositor preference, would suffice.

While the ECB’s LTROs boosted banks, benefits to sovereigns are viewed as uncertain, 37% of respondents said the ECB liquidity action in December was “the big bazooka”, reducing the risk of eurozone sovereigns facing liquidity crises. However, 54% said there would only be limited take-up by banks for the purpose of buying sovereign debt.

Meanwhile, investors remain troubled by the fragile economic outlook, rating the risk of a double-dip recession high and inflation risk at the lowest since the end of 2010. This cautious stance is also evident in views on corporate growth investment, which have continued their downward trend since mid-2011.

Full report is available at Fitch Ratings

Will restrictions on NIE numbers slow investment?

The Secretariat of Labour and Immigration has ruled that the obligatory NIE number can no longer be applied for by representatives with power of attorney meaning personal attendance is required.

This means anyone wishing to buy a property in Spain will have to arrive at the police station at 7am, wait in the queue for hours, go to a bank to pay the fee, and then return to the police station to apply for the number.

This will be required for anyone wishing to buy a property, set up a business, sign up for employment and many other legal matters.

Antonio Flores, from legal firm Lawbird, says that in Madrid you can expect a 3 month wait for an appointment to apply for the NIE.

Some Spanish Consulates are being used to speed up the process of applications and return an NIE number within 5 working days (RD 557/2011). As part of cost-cutting many consulates have been closed so you will have to find one first.

Flores thinks that this will stop many investors from coming to Spain. The big investors that Spain needs to attract are not going to willingly queue up outside the police station and wait hours for a number. They will take their investment to another, more accommodating country, with less red tape. This is another strange decision by the Spanish authorities at a time when they are actively looking for an increase in foreign investment.

Recently there were rumours that Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin was looking to buy a property in Marbella. Would he have to wait outside the police station on a cold, dark morning?

Russian investors invited to ‘Golden Triangle’

Russian Meeting Point

The towns of Benahavis, Estepona and Marbella, together known as the ‘Golden Triangle’, are inviting Russian investors to help reduce the stock of property for sale on the coast.

‘The Russian Meeting Point – Marbella’ will be held at Hotel Villa Padierna between March 14th and 16th and will see representatives of the Spanish real-estate sector meet with Russian investors.

The initiative seeks to present all of the properties for sale in those areas with significant discounts on the original price. The meeting will have an area of ​​approximately 1,000 sq/ft to promote contacts and trade between marketers, Spanish development and construction companies and other professional investors.

The organisers of the meeting said “We have the support of major Russian real estate associations that will present a significant presence of investors interested in buying Spanish property, or promoting it in the Russian market, one of the most powerful in Europe, and generate more interest in Spanish real estate, especially in the ‘Golden Triangle’. ”

The warm reception received by Russian investors in the last edition of “Barcelona Meeting Point” led to the sale of luxury homes on the Costa del Sol, thanks in part to an influx of buyers from the East, and also led to the organising of this event.

Ricardo Arranz, current president of the Andalusian Federation of Developers and Residential Tourism recently said that luxury homes valued between four and 10 million euros are being purchased mainly by buyers from Saudi Arabia, U.A.E. and Russia.

‘The Russian Meeting Point – Marbella’ comes with great expectations for the sale of both luxury properties and other stock due to the heavy discounting currently available.

More information is available on the official website: Marbella Meeting Point 2012

MIPIM – The world’s premier real estate event for professionals

mipimMIPIM is the world’s leading real estate exhibition and conference. It brings together the most influential real estate professionals to explore major international property development projects, connect with potential partners, and strike deals over 4 intensive days.

Dates: 6 – 9 March, 2012

Location: Palais des Festivals – Cannes, France

Register now to join over 18,000 real estate professionals expected to attend, MIPIM 2012 is going to be one of the hottest events of the year!

Visitor registration package includes:

  • Full access to the exhibition zone, conference sessions, networking events and matchmaking sessions
  • Access to the MIPIM online database from January 2012
  • Access to the Business Lounge
  • Listing of your company and delegates in the MIPIM event directory (for registrations received before January 31, 2012 only)
  • Free copies of the MIPIM Guide and MIPIM Preview magazine

Visitor registration

Exhibitors registration includes:

  • Registration for 4 full-time employees
  • Discounted rate for additional employees
  • Carpeting, partitioning walls, basic furniture, sign posting, electricity, basic lighting, power supply and daily cleaning
  • Full access to conferences and official networking events
  • Company and delegates listing in the MIPIM event directory (for registrations received before January 31, 2012 only)
  • Access to the MIPIM online database from January 2012

To book an exhibitor stand contact

More information on the official website: MIPIM Website

What makes Marbella so attractive?

Marbella's social scene attracts a lot of visitors
Marbella's social scene attracts a lot of visitors

With property prices at a ten year low, all year round good weather and increasing tourism, just what is it that attracts people to Marbella?

Marbella means “beautiful sea” and this is plain to see from any beach on the Costa del Sol. With an average 320 days of sunshine each year it is hard to find a more consistent climate anywhere else in Europe, or maybe even the world.

Thanks to the surrounding mountains Marbella has its very own micro-climate which is one of the main reasons why so many people head south. Add to this the miles of sandy beaches, myriad of international restaurants, bars, sports activities and of course the views and Marbella seems like the only choice when looking to re-locate.

With property prices still dropping and some at ten year lows it is understandable that some agents are noticing an increase in sales. Maybe now is the right time to buy your Spanish property, before prices begin to rise once more.

Puerto Banus based Marbella For Sale say they have noticed their sales numbers climbing recently. Managing Director, Nicolas De Zutter, said “Many people come here for the lifestyle. It’s not always about making a profit on your property. With prices so low, and some still dropping, buyers feel they have waited long enough and are now ready to buy. For the private buyer Marbella’s cosmopolitan social scene is often the main attraction. Marbella is well known as a place to mix with the rich and famous”

He also told me that investors are returning to the market as prices have dropped to such levels that making a good return is now more likely. “Long term investors are returning to the market, many purchasing multiple units, which they will hold on to until prices start to climb”, he said.

Ángeles Muñoz, the Mayor of Marbella, recently announced plans to re-develop El Puerto de la Bajadilla, Marbella’s marina, with the help of a 400m Euro investment from Qatar. The plan is to extend the marina adding more berths but also to add commercial and residential areas creating yet another reason to come to Marbella and hopefully ensuring the tourism and real-estate markets remain buoyant for years to come.