MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's stock market supervisor CNMV is studying the feasibility of a Spanish company listing its shares in the United States, after Ferrovial announced a plan to do so, the head of CNMV said on Wednesday.
The construction company, which operates London's Heathrow airport and makes most of its revenues outside Spain, on Feb. 28 announced it planned to move its corporate domicile to the Netherlands with the ultimate goal of listing its shares in the United States and joining stock indexes there.
The domicile change enraged the leftist government, which said it hampered Spain's interests and suggested Ferrovial was trying to avoid paying taxes in Spain, which it denied.
The junior ruling coalition partner introduced a bill last week to force companies to pay back state aid if they decide to leave Spain. The government is reportedly also studying other ways to make Ferrovial drop its plan.
CNMV Chairman Rodrigo Buenaventura said it was not up to him to comment on any Ferrovial domicile transfer, but rather to analyse the technical aspects of a listing beyond Spain.
"Both (the Spanish bourse) BME and the (supervisor) CNMV are analysing whether there could be limitations," Buenaventura told a financial event on Wednesday.
Ferrovial plans a dual listing in the Netherlands and Spain as a first stage, with a subsequent application to list in the United States.
It has said attaining the status of a listed Dutch company would facilitate the future admission to trading of these same shares in the United States. A Spanish-listed company can only be traded there through American Depositary Receipts (ADR) or other indirect means without access to U.S. stock indexes.
Buenaventura said that until today, the CNMV had not received any expression of interest or any enquiry from issuers about listing a Spanish company in the United States while still having its securities registered in Spain.
"In other words, this is a new and unprecedented case," he said.
(Reporting by Jesús Aguado and Emma Pinedo; additional reporting by Corina Pons; editing by Andrei Khalip and Barbara Lewis)