April 1, 2001
Spanish and Portuguese companies have spent billions of dollars over the years assembling empires in Latin America's banking, power and telecom markets. Spanish companies alone invested an average of $10 billion a year in Latin America over the last decade and last year they invested about $20 billion. They recognized - before many other international companies - the profits to be had from the privatization of Latin assets.
Iberian companies have been willing to take on greater risks in Latin America for the prospect of earning considerably greater rewards. The strategy also served to compensate the European companies for growth limits in their home turf, where most Spanish and Portugu
In the last decade, Spanish and Portugese companies have taken Latin America by storm. Last year, they earned impressive profits in the region. But can the trend continue as risks rise and rewards threaten to fall?