16 June 2017 – Expansión
The President of Merlin Properties, Ismael Clemente (pictured above), confirmed yesterday that his Socimi would invest “twice as much in Cataluña in the absence of the political instability there”. “Our investments in Barcelona account for 16% of the total at the moment, but we could invest up to 30%”, he said. However “the types of political movements based on superiority do not create any kind of sympathy amongst investors”, he added, and so “we are not able to invest as much as we would like to in Cataluña”.
Regarding the reactions that international investors – including some of Merlin’s shareholders – have had to the political problems in Cataluña, Clemente said that “there is no kind of sympathy for the topic” and that “if the (Spanish) Government were to give a more definite reaction, both the international investor community and the Ibex 35 would applaud it”.
Clemente, who participated yesterday in the Annual Meeting of the Esade Alumni Real Estate Club, in Barcelona, said that the Catalan sovereign process may also affect the city’s candidacy to host the European Medicines Agency. “The project has a lot of potential, the coordination between the administrations is exemplary and the proposal is spectacular, but Barcelona has a gigantic problem, the political issue”, he added.
Ismael Clemente shared the discussion table with Colonial’s CEO, Pere Viñolas. They addressed issues such as the change in the cycle of some international real estate markets. “The deceleration in London and New York may have a limited impact here, but Spain will continue to grow and at a faster rate than other European economies”, said Clemente. Viñolas added that the only approach is “to focus on industrial added value because it is the only margin that we can work with”.
Original story: Expansión (Marisa Anglés)
Translation: Carmel Drake