An excellent initiative to drive institutional investment by Spain’s sovereign wealth fund (SWF) Cofides as they are readying their first deals under a new €2bn fund that will crowd foreign capital into local greenfield projects. The Foco fund underlines the growing trend of governments mandating SWFs to attract inbound investment, developed through collaboration and investor demand.
Foco is a co-investment fund that will see Cofides, foreign corporates, and institutional investors invest in Spanish businesses and projects that are pursuing activities linked to the green and digital transition. It was driven by the rationale that investing alongside a state-owned investment partner will reassure foreign investors to back more transformative, potentially higher-risk projects.
“The government [putting] some skin in the game shows it is an important project that will get the necessary visibility, provides comfort that permitting and licensing will go smoothly, and reduces investment risks by covering some of the equity needs and potentially crowding in other financial partners,” says Manuel de la Rocha-Vázquez, secretary general for economic and G20 affairs at the office of Spain’s president.
Mr de la Rocha-Vázquez said the real genesis was investor demand. “For the most part, it was inspired by conversations with large international funds — SWFs and pension funds — that were looking for opportunities beyond the [securities] and mature companies which they typically invest in,” he says. “We want to direct them to more greenfield projects and new technologies … But they are cautious, so if we accompany them they have more comfort.”
PRIORITY ELIGIBLE SECTORS
Those that contribute to strategic objectives of the Recovery, Transformation, and Resilience Plan such as, for example:
Increased production of renewable energy
Decarbonization of the economy
Digitization of business fabric and production processes
Sustainable infrastructure development