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ECONOMY| 23.11.2021

Latin America: The natural growth market for Spanish companies 

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MAPFRE takes part in the Latibex Forum, which brings the largest Latin American and Spanish firms face-to-face with international investors.

When embarking upon international expansion, Spanish companies have always looked first to Latin America. Historic and cultural reasons, along with the language, have always been the main drivers leading Spanish multinationals towards Latin American countries. They have done so working with local partners, through acquisition or by undertaking operations there directly.

Twenty-two years ago, the Spanish stock exchange created a market for buying and selling the shares of Latin American companies in euros. And a meeting forum was also launched, bringing together the main Latin American and Spanish companies with interests in the region. These days, the Latibex Forum is once again serving as a meeting point for companies, investors and analysts. MAPFRE will once again have a presence there. In one-to-one meetings, it will explain the companies performance, its results and immediate plans and answer any questions investors may have.

MAPFRE’s arrival in Latin America goes back to the year 1984, when the Group made its first venture in Colombia. From that time on, MAPFRE has been increasing its presence in Latin America, and today it is a multinational with a presence in virtually every country of the region. Indeed, it is one of the major insurance groups in Latin America and a leader in the non-life business. Premiums in MAPFRE’s insurance business in Latin America came out to more than 5.4 billion euros in the first nine months of the year, representing one third of the Group’s entire business.

But MAPFRE is not the only example of a Spanish company that has continually bolstered its presence in different countries of Latin America. Banks, energy companies and telephony operators have also followed the path that MAPFRE opened up several decades ago. Today, Spain is the number one European investor in the region, and it is surpassed only by the United States at a worldwide level. A substantial part of the revenue and profit of Ibex 35 companies come from Latin America. 

For many reasons, the Latibex forum aims to function not only as a meeting point for companies and investors, but also to foster and deepen even further the institutional relations between Spain and Latin America.

Created in 1999, Latibex is the only international market only for Latin American stocks, and it has become a gateway for European investments in Latin America, as it allows for buying the shares of Latin American companies in euros. It is governed by the same rules for trading and settlement as the Spanish stock exchange. Hence, it is just like buying share in any listed Spanish company. Through this market, European investors can enter one of the regions with the most growth potential and, in turn, Latin American companies can gain access to the European capital market.