EN EL NEW YORK TIMES: Optimism, and Caution, as Spain Attracts Investment
Like other Spanish builders, Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas, or F.C.C., had struggled to convince investors that it could extract itself from Spain’s housing market quagmire.
In the last six months, the management of F.C.C. was on an almost continual investor road show in the world’s financial capitals. The campaign finally yielded fruit Oct. 21, when the company announced the sale of 6 percent of its equity to Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, for 113.5 million euros, or $154 million.
Two days after Mr. Gates’s purchase, as it happens, the Bank of Spain said the country had pulled out of recession and returned to growth of 0.1 percent in the third quarter after nine consecutive quarters of contraction.
Both announcements appeared to confirm what many Spanish executives and the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had been asserting for months: that Spain deserved its place back in the sunshine.
There are, of course, plenty of clouds still hanging over Madrid — so many that on Wednesday the Spanish economy minister, Luis de Guindos, warned against triumphalism, telling members of the Spanish Senate that, at a time of near-record joblessness of 26.6 percent, nobody should claim that “all is well.” Overall growth is expected to remain anemic for several years.
Still, the speed of the turnaround in investor sentiment has been striking.