Latin America and Spain: Shoe on the other foot [economist.com]
After two decades in which Spain amassed assets worth €145 billion ($200 billion) in Latin America, last year was the first in which Latin American companies spent more on acquiring their Spanish counterparts than the other way around (see left-hand chart). Dealogic, a data provider, says Mexican firms were the biggest investors, putting money into Avanza, a bus company, and (with a Chinese firm) Campofrío, a meat processor.
Mexican investors have also bought stakes in Banco Popular and Sabadell, two Spanish banks. Carlos Slim, Mexico’s richest man, has a variety of business ties with La Caixa, a Catalan savings bank. Banesco, a Venezuelan bank, recently bought NCG, a Galician bank, for €1 billion. A Colombian financier has pledged to invest in a Spanish property firm called, in a nice twist, Colonial.
Linguistic and cultural affinities attract Latin American investors.