"French, Belgian and Swiss investors continue to bet on Spain"
Arrived in Spain in 1997, Philippe Chevassus has created several companies in Spain, including the French business newspaper Le Courrier d'Espagne and the business club womms. For 15 years, it has also accompanied French-speaking investors in our country and that is why I created OPEA. According to him, interest is not going to drop because everything is a question of profitability and there are many opportunities in various market segments, he explains.
You are in contact with French-speaking investors every week, who are they?
We have been with a communication medium for 15 years that has been the first in Spain to report daily in French about opportunities. Since I arrived in the country in 1997, I understood the growth potential in some sectors and I realized that no one was telling it in French, so I decided to set up this medium. Over time we have also created more than 250 business networking meetings and today what we provide to investors are information, contacts and assets.
The investor can be anyone. A Family Office, like a businessman or an industrialist. There is no profile as such. We work for example with hotel chains that are looking for buildings or land. Or with logistics park managers looking for industrial assets.
Isn't this interest in Covid decreasing?
It depends on the sectors. In the case of hotels, you have to wait because we still don't know when normality will return. We will see more hotels on the market these months. But in the medium and long term it will always be a good business in Spain. Since 5 years, there are hardly any hotels for sale that are worth buying. Owners have had the 2006 syndrome thinking that their assets are worth twice as much and forgetting that a hotel investor is looking for a return higher than 6% in any case.
With the logistics issue what happens is interesting: the Covid has given an acceleration for ecommerce and the delivery of the so-called Last-mile ;. That is a market in itself and investors are looking for assets near urban centers for this market. To win the battle of ecommerce you have to control and have a network of logistics warehouses around the cities. That will increase. We have dedicated ourselves to the search for industrial assets to reconvert. That is in hotels, student residences or logistics parks. We currently have a portfolio of 60,000 m2 of industrial warehouses for sale near Madrid for example, something ideal to convert into ecommerce warehouses.
The French, Belgian and Swiss estates continue to bet on Spain and will even increase it. It is also true in the residential area of the coast. The promotions of new works grow because there is a latent market. Although there are no Chinese and Americans, the European market for looking for second homes in the sun is enough to absorb this new Spanish offer. We have seen Swiss farms get into the coastal development on the Costa Blanca and they are still doing very well.
What do you think of the near future in Spain? What do you advise your investors?
You have to watch what will happen in September and October of this year. The states themselves have put the economy in parentheses in an exaggerated way. There will be more deaths from the economic crisis and its indirect consequences than the virus itself, it is absurd. They have not known how to anticipate and now they are going to have to raise taxes to pay the debts. Furthermore, the bags are totally disconnected from industrial reality. They rise only because the state puts money on the table, not because the balance sheets of the industries are healthy. It does not make sense and this summer we will see how everything can seriously fall into the stock market creating even more psychosis.
We are going to enter a period where everything will be negotiated more. Unlike 2008, the economy is more organized around digital. You can report more and even close operations remotely. The economic crisis was latent anyway. Too much debt. The virus has been the trigger. What we advise our investors is to focus the search for assets to reposition. Create new value in emerging market segments and few exploited such as student residences where there are only 90,000 beds for a demand of 500,000 beds. They come to us because we work discreetly and we have a network, our club, of 2000 executives throughout Spain who give us information and opportunities according to requests