Santiago Principles Self-Assessment

Compañía Española de Financiación del Desarrollo

Fund Details Fund Website Search Assessments PDF version
  • Pillar 1: Legal
  • Pillar 2: Institutional
  • Pillar 3: Investment
Principle 1

1. The legal framework for the SWF should be sound and support its effective operation and the achievement of its stated objective(s).

1.1. The legal framework for the SWF should ensure legal soundness of the SWF and its transactions.

1.2. The key features of the SWF’s legal basis and structure, as well as the legal relationship between the SWF and other state bodies, should be publicly disclosed.

This self-assessment refers to the two Spanish SWFs managed by Compañía Española de Financiación del Desarrollo, COFIDES, S.A., S.M.E. (hereinafter “COFIDES”): Fund for Foreign Investments (Fondo para Inversiones en el Exterior, F.C.P.J. -hereinafter (“FIEX”) and Fund for Foreign Investment Operations of Small and Medium Enterprises (Fondo para Inversiones en el Exterior, F.C.P.J. -hereinafter “FONPYME”) (both FIEX and FONPYME hereinafter referred as the “Funds” or “SWF”):

The Funds were created and are regulated by the statute of the following Spanish legal framework:

FIEX was created by article 114 Law 66/1997, of 30 December, Administrative Fiscal Measures and Social Order, and FONPYME by article 115 of the said law (hereinafter “Law 66/1997”).

Law 66/1997 provides for the main features of the Funds. Additional and as the development of such act, Funds’ activities and operation are in more detail regulated by the Spanish Royal Decree 1226/2006 of October 27 (hereinafter “Regulation 1226/2006”)

The owner of the Funds is the Spanish State, as the only contributor. Consequently, as Spanish State wholly-owned funds, for public law purposes, the Funds belong to the Spanish public sector. Specifically. Funds are assigned to the Secretary of State for Trade (“Secretaría de Estado de Comercio” -hereinafter “SEC”), which currently belongs to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.

From a legal standpoint, Funds are stablished as fund without legal personality (“fondo carente de personalidad jurídica”), therefore not as a corporation, company or any sort of separate legal entity, but rather established as a separate pool of assets (“patrimonio separado”).

As per article 116 Law 66/1997, (i) governing body of each SWF corresponds to its respective Executive Committee (“Comité Ejecutivo”), whose composition and key features are provided by the Development Regulation; (ii) COFIDES is designated as Fund Manager for the Funds, acting for such purposes in its own name and on behalf of the Funds. 

See referred legal framework at (Spanish language only available):

COFIDES ownership is:

56.68% public held by ICEX (Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade), ICO (state-owned bank, attached to the Ministry of Economy) and ENISA (public institute to finance start-ups).

46.32% private capital held by Banco Santander, BBVA and Bank Sabadell.

1.14% held by CAF-Corporación Andina de Fomento (Development Latin-American Bank)

Principle 6

6. The governance framework for the SWF should be sound and establish a clear and effective division of roles and responsibilities in order to facilitate accountability and operational independence in the management of the SWF to pursue its objectives.

As generally described in section 1, in fine, Funds are administrated by its respective EC and managed by COFIDES (“Manager”).

The division of roles and responsibilities are clearly established by Regulation 1226/2006 (see sections 8 and 9).

In general terms, the EC is responsible for the final decision on investments and disinvestments, the review of the portfolio, the approval of the Funds Annual Accounts and Report, and the oversight over Manager’s activity.EC meetings are held on a monthly basis.

COFIDES, as the Funds’ Manager, is responsible for the day-to-day running of the portfolio, including inter alia the execution of investments/disinvestments approved by EC, monitoring of portfolio companies, accounting, depositary and other related administrative tasks. 


Principle 18

18. The SWF’s investment policy should be clear and consistent with its defined objectives, risk tolerance, and investment strategy, as set by the owner or the governing body(ies), and be based on sound portfolio management principles.

18.1. The investment policy should guide the SWF’s financial risk exposures and the possible use of leverage.

18.2. The investment policy should address the extent to which internal and/or external investment managers are used, the range of their activities and authority, and the process by which they are selected and their performance monitored.

18.3. A description of the investment policy of the SWF should be publicly disclosed.

The Funds investment policy is included in the Operational Guidelines.

It is approved by the EC and was initially established in 2005. Since then, it was reviewed in 2011, 2015, 2017 and 2019.

The Operational Guidelines states that the Funds can invest in:

  • Viable private investment projects or commercial implementation abroad promoted by Spanish private companies.
  • Viable private investment projects abroad promoted by private companies from other countries, provided there is “Spanish interest”.
  • Viable projects of private investment abroad that the Spanish Trade Administration deems appropriate in response to reasons of general interest.
  • Support to Spanish companies for internationalization, which can be linked to the fulfilment of an internationalization objective. Such compliance may be verified through the systematic observation of an internationalization variable, such as maintaining a certain amount of international equity or obtaining a certain international EBITDA.
  • Investment in expansion capital funds that promote the internationalization of the company or the Spanish economy.

The investment policy adjusts tight to the objective of the fund contemplated in the Law (66/1997):

Promote the internationalization of the activity of companies, and, in general, of the Spanish economy, through temporary and minority direct participation in the social capital of Spanish companies for their internationalization or of companies located abroad, and, in general, through participation in the own funds of the aforementioned companies and through any participatory instruments. Temporary and minority direct participations may also be taken in vehicles such as expansion capital funds that promote the internationalization of the company or the Spanish economy.

The risk matrix is included in the same Operational Guidelines (see section 22).

The Funds do not use any kind of leverage or speculative derivatives.

The Funds, through COFIDES, have never used external investment managers. External Due Diligence is requested following market standards.

A description of the Funds investment policy and how to apply to receive financial support is publicly disclosed in the COFIDES web page: