Chinese Investors Await Edificio España Verdict

3 June 2016 – Expansión

The negotiations between the Town Hall of Madrid and the Wanda investment group, the owner of the property, over the future of Edificio España, has had the sector on tenterhooks, and not only the main players involved, but also the Chinese investment community in general, which is waiting for the outcome before deciding whether Spain is an appropriate destination for their capital.

The Chairman of Wanda, Wang Jianlin, said recently in an interview with Chinese state television CCTV that he is waiting for “written” permission from the Town Hall of Madrid to demolish Edificio España, whilst, in parallel, he analyses offers to resell the building. In the interview, Wang Jianlin complained about the change in the conditions surrounding the building’s renovation following the arrival of the new mayoress.

Recently, the Chinese ambassador to Spain, Lyu Fan, acknowledged that some Chinese companies are determining their future plans on the negotiations being held by the Chinese giant in Madrid.

Investments in 2015

Interest from Chinese capital in Spain has grown considerably in recent years. The Director of the Economics Department at Casa Asia, Amadeo Jensana, explained that in 2015, total investment (by Chinese players) amounted to €850 million, compared with an average of around €100 million five years earlier. (…).

The Head of Development and Expansion of the company Christie & Co in Asia, Joanne Jia, said that Spain has always been a very active market, but she acknowledged that what is happening with Wanda will undoubtedly have an effect. According to Jia, investors are waiting to see what will happen with Edificio España before they take their investment decisions. “If it is resolved favourably, it will be promising. If not, it could cause some investors to stop looking for opportunities”…given that a blockage in negotiations would mean less confidence in the legal system, in addition to the cultural barriers. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake