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Spain beats Italy for investment: Analyst

In a Europe dominated by political uncertainties, Spain emerges as the attractive spot for investment, an analyst has told CNBC .

"The attractive area for us at the moment is Spain. We like Northern Europe, but Spain is really interesting," Neil Brown, investment manager pan European equities at Alliance Trust Investments told CNBC on Wednesday.

Catching investors' eyes is Spain's robust growth. In 2015, the country's gross domestic product grew by 3.2 percent and it is set to match that pace in 2016, according to the last estimates of the country's central bank. The 2015 figure was substantially higher than the euro zone average, which grew 1.6 percent, according to European Union database Eurostat.

"You've got that growth coming through. Obviously, they had high growth last year, it won't be that good (this year), but we still think it will be good," Brown added.

Furthermore, Madrid has recently managed to dissipate the political uncertainty clouding it for nearly a year. Mariano Rajoy, the caretaker prime minister since a general election last December, is set to be re-appointed after the socialist opposition decided to lift its veto on the right-wing minority government.

"Spain looks like they might have Rajoy in seat by the end of the weekend. Italy still has its referendum coming up," Brown added comparing the two European economies.

However, analysts warn for potential problems in Rajoy's minority government.

Gizem Kara senior European economist at BNP Paribas said in a note Monday that the government's stability will be "under spotlight", citing concerns over the 2017 budget.

"Rajoy will need to depend on other parties for the approval of key legislation, such as the budget. Potential periods of political friction, therefore, could test the stability of the government during its tenure," Kara said.

Barclays also said that in the "highly fragmented parliament, the government is likely to struggle with further reforms, and even with the passage of the 2017 budget."

Brussels required Spain to present fiscal consolidation measures amounting to 0.5 percent of GDP for 2017 and 2018.


Despite the numerous uncertainties in Europe, including the Italian referendum and the upcoming elections in France and Germany, Brown prefers looking at the long-term horizon when managing investments.

"We have a lot in Europe coming up, which is on the horizon, but it's also going to be done quite quickly. So within 12 months, we'd have de-risked a lot of really big issues for us, as a team. It's looking at those issues, facing the risks now, but trying to understand where would we be, how different Europe would be with perhaps Clinton in the White House, perhaps Renzi secured, perhaps Europe through a number of elections," Brown told CNBC.

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