|Bill Gates Bets €114m on Spain with FCC Stake|
Microsoft founder Bill Gates snapped up a €113.5m stake in Spanish construction and services group FCC, five years after the country's property bubble imploded. The US billionaire's 6pc stake in the company makes him the second-largest shareholder after the group's president
Spain has seen one of the worst housing market crashes in Europe since the start of the financial crisis, with some property prices falling as much as 70pc. Further ill-effects have been imposed by changes in tax rules, according to experts.
A new law in April required residents to declare any overseas asset worth more than €50,000, sparking fears that their may be a future Cyprus-style money grab. But a decision by the Spanish government to grant residency to non-EU nationals who buy property in the country costing more than €500,000 has offered some support to the market. Despite shifting its focus away from Spain, the group announced a loss of €607.6 million in the first half of this year, compared to a €53.4 million net profit a year earlier, largely because of the collapse of its fully owned Austrian subsidiary Alpine Bau.
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Published on our website on October 31, 2013