THE world’s top billionaires are all looking to Spain for a cut-price piece of the property pie.

With Bill Gates, George Soros and Spain’s richest man, retail tzar Amancio Ortega, already holding stakes in Spanish real estate companies, Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim is now eying up his own Spanish empire.

After beating off Soros to become the largest shareholder in building firm FCC in December, Slim is now set to become the second largest investor in Realia, one of Spain’s largest property developers.

Slim’s investment company, Inmobiliaria Carso, has announced plans to buy a 25% stake worth €45 million in Realia, ahead of making a full takeover offer.

US billionaire Soros took a €92 million stake in Hispania Activos Inmobiliarios, a Spanish property-investment vehicle, last March.

He also became one of the largest shareholders in leading Spanish builder Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas SA during a €1 billion capital expansion aimed at reducing the beleaguered company’s debt.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates in turn purchased a 5.7% stake in the company, immediately creating a hype around the Spanish property market.

While Zara owner Ortega’s property empire includes some of Spain’s most exclusive sites, such as Barcelona’s Passeig de Gracia.

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  1. If only Bill Gates, Carlos Slim, George Soros and Spain’s richest man, retail tzar Amancio Ortega had spoken to the property and business experts on here first. The doom mongers would have told them the truth.

  2. Silly comment John, do you think Spain is the only place they are investing in? Don’t forget it’s dirt cheap now! Slim’s investment is tiny in comparison to Jianlin’s in his statement today where he says the UK is the best place to invest in the world. Chinese are investing in droves in the UK and now the Russians are pouring their money into UK as a safe haven from Putin and co and UK PLC.

    When assets become so cheap people will invest. UK not cheap but still money pouring in. You choose.

  3. Hold your horses! Just before people take this as an indication of happy days to come for holiday flats on the Costas note that what’s critical to this is what information is missing. These are “Spanish Property Companies” in the sense the company is Spanish and it deals in property. The property they deal with could be anywhere in the world and even if it’s in Spain it could be a shopping centre or office park on the outskirts of Madrid. And even if it IS residential you can bet they paid a LOT less than retail for the whole portfolio.

  4. @Mike It is is just a comment of mine that after reading many of peoples comments on here who advise do not buy property in Spain, do not invest in Spain and do not try to run a business in Spain. I was not talking about Russia, UK, or anywhere else. I was pointing out that the experts on here seem to know better from the comments they have made. I personally have never worked high up in financial or property circles so do not know much. I have owned several houses but that does not put me anywhere near experienced.

  5. Fair comment John, however there are quite a lot of brains on here who have experience of problems in Spain who give their opinions based on their own knowledge which IMO should be considered or valued and not classed as doom mongers because of it.

    Any investment is good for Spain but it is from a low base at present, unfortunately those in the business of selling properties are almost heralding a boom which it’s not.

  6. My apartment has gone up very roughly 3% a year for the last 16 years using £ as the benchmark. You have to remember that these people are worth 10’s of billions each so a few 10’s million is just diversification and spreading he risk. Spanish property prices are very low, lower than many 3rd world Countries so they are probably not taking much of a gamble. I read in a UK National newspaper that Spain is changing he law with demolitions, wonder if they keep their word. That could have a big impact.

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