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Monday, September 17, 2007

Let's All Head South!

Following my last post on the way the construction market in some of the European "housing boom" economies - the UK, Ireland, Greece, Spain (these are really the important ones) - may now be "maxed out" by the change in lending conditions and the lack of demand from first time buyers, I couldn't help noticing this:

CRH Plc, the world's second-biggest maker of building materials, is in talks to buy Cemex SAB's U.S. concrete plants, pipe-making unit and cement division for as much as $4.5 billion to increase revenue from the Americas.

Cemex, North America's largest cement producer, is selling 39 concrete and aggregate plants in Florida and Arizona to gain U.S. Justice Department approval for its $14.2 billion purchase of Rinker Group Ltd. CRH, based in Dublin, could also acquire the Mexican company's Pacific Northwest materials division.

For me it is obvious that the high value construction and financial services sectors based in Madrid would be quickly heading south to Latin America to get in on the growth spurt that may be about to come in some key economies there - Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Columbia (perhaps) - but I had hardly expected Dublin to be moving so fast. No wonder they call Ireland the Celtic Tiger!

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