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Foreign Investment
Inversiones extranjeras  

Within the context of the growing internationalisation that is characterising modern stock markets, the Barcelona Stock Exchange can provide foreign investors with optimum access to the global Spanish fixed and variable income market.

To be specific, all members of the Barcelona Stock Exchange may have access to the Electronic Parquet (Electronic Floor) and the Continuous Market (SIBE) and the Electronic Fixed Income and Registered Debt Market from their respective offices, with identical conditions to the members of other Spanish stock exchanges. Foreign investors are offered the same liquidity and speed in performing their orders since they have access, in real time, to the global market itself and can obtain the best price available at all times.

This must, in any case, mean that the spirit of competition and absolute service to investors, characteristic of this Stock Exchange, provides great benefits to those foreign investors who choose to operate in the Spanish market through the Members of the Barcelona Stock Exchange. These benefits are particularly significant and allow for great savings in the settlement of payments and deposit of acquired securities.

Furthermore, through the Members of the Barcelona Stock Exchange foreign investors may benefit from multiple value added computer services that will be of great use in the management of their investment in Spain.



Foreign investment in Spain is currently regulated by Royal Decree (R.D.) 664/1999, of 23 April, on foreign investment and by R.D. 876/2001, of 20 July, on the legal framework governing companies offering investment services.

Concept of foreign investment

The owners of foreign investments in Spain may be persons not resident in Spain and private legal entities with their head offices abroad.

Foreign investments in Spain may be carried out through:

  • Holdings in Spanish companies.
  • The opening or expansion of a branch office network.
  • The subscription to and the acquisition of tradable securities in representation of loans issued by residents.
  • The participation in investment funds.
  • The acquisition of real estate in Spain.
  • The constitution, formalisation or participation in contracts of joint venture accounts, foundations, groups formed with an economic motive, cooperatives and owners’ associations.

Restriction on foreign investment

Foreign investment in Spain and its settlement is deregulated, though this deregulation may be suspended in the following circumstances:

  • The Council of Minister may decide the suspension of general deregulation measures in the event that the investments affect activities related to the exercise of public power, public order, security and public health. In this case it is necessary to request prior administrative authorisation.
  • Activities directly related to National Defence require prior administrative authorisation in addition to coming under special conditions.
  • There are also special conditions that affect foreign investment in Spain in matters of air transport, radio, minerals, mineral raw materials of strategic interest and mining rights, television, gambling and telecommunications.

Declaration of foreign investments in Spain and its settlement

Foreign investments in Spain and their settlement must be declared to the Register of Investments of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, for administrative, statistical or economic purposes, with the exception of investments derived from territories or countries considered to be tax havens, that must be previously declared, except, in so far as is relevant here, when the investments have been made in tradable securities previously issued or offered publicly in an official secondary market. A special Stock Exchange registry is not required.

Declaration of investment and settlement is obligatory:

  • As a general rule for non-resident holders of the investment.
  • In special cases:
    • When concerning investments made in tradable securities, for investment service companies, credit entities, other authorised financial entities or entities whose involvement is required for the subscription or transmission of securities, or who act as depositories or administrators of the securities acquired.
    • For the Spanish issuing company in the case of registered shares.
    • For companies managing investment funds in the case of investment operations with Spanish investment funds.



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