Madrid Adopts Law to Help Catalonia-Based Companies Move to Other Regions

Madrid Adopts Law to Help Catalonia-Based Companies Move to Other Regions
Sputnik/ Alexey VitvitskyBusiness15:57 06.10.2017(updated 16:55 06.10.2017) Get short URLTopic: Catalonia’s Independence Referendum

Several days after the independence referendum was held in Catalonia resulting in multiple clashes between the vote’s supporters and police, the Spanish government has approved a legislation to help businesses based in the region amid the uncertainty of Catalonia’s future.

MADRID (Sputnik) – The Spanish government adopted on Friday a law making it easier for Catalonia-based companies to move operations to other regions of the country, Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said.

“We have approved this legislative change at the request of several business groups,” he said.

The law implies an easier procedure for the companies to change their legal address. According to the legislation, the decision of the Board of Directors is enough without convening a meeting of the shareholders, even if companies’ charters say otherwise.

One of Spain’s largest banks CaixaBank, currently registered in Catalonia, is scheduled to hold a shareholder’s meeting later on Friday to discuss change of the legal address. Another major bank, Sabadell, changed its legal address from Catalonia to Alicante on Thursday.

The Gas Natural Fenosa energy company will convene a meeting of the Broad of Directors on Friday, while the Catalana Occidente insurance company has also announced plans to “undertake respective measures in the interests of clients, employees and shareholders.”

The move comes several days after the independence referendum was held in Catalonia on Sunday, which is not recognized by Madrid. According to the Catalan authorities, slightly more than 2 million people out of 5.3 million of those eligible to vote cast their ballots, and 90 percent of them backed independence. Almost 900 people had to seek medical help because of the clashes between referendum supporters and police on the day of the vote.

The uncertain future of Spain’s autonomous region hasn’t so far negatively affected the real estate market at the moment and foreigners are likely to keep buying property in Barcelona and neighboring towns, according to Tine Mathiassen, a founder of a Danish real estate company Casamona International based in Barcelona. Meanwhile, the  co-founder and executive manager of Barcelona Zero Limits S.L., specializing in tourism and inclusive tourism, told Sputnik that tourism agencies have a mostly positive outlook on the business prospects, only slightly tinged with concern.