View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/money/article/a604967
Growing number of investors fear for Germany
The number of fund managers questioning the integrity of Germany’s economy has trebled in the past month.
Investors are questioning the financial stability of Germany and France as the focus shifts from peripheral Europe to the core amid the ongoing financial crisis.
The number of investors questioning the integrity of Germany’s finances has trebled in the past month, with 32% expecting a 'negative surprise' from the country in the coming year, up from 10% in June.
Gary Baker, head of European equity strategy at Bank of American Merrill Lynch, said: ‘Germany has been a source of security in what has otherwise been a pretty dull investment picture for Europe.
‘If there were really a serious challenge to economic growth, optimism and performance in Germany then that would not be good news for Europe. If you are looking for another leg down in terms of European confidence it would be if Germany starts to be questioned as a source of stability.’
The figures come from a survey of 261 fund managers conducted by Merrill Lynch Bank of America between 6 July and 12 July.
The poll coincides with the publication of the ZEW survey today, a measure of investor confidence in Germany, which dropped for the third month in a row in July.
Outlook for France darkens
Fund managers have also turned their attention to France, with 55% expecting negative developments in the country’s economy in the coming year.
Baker continues: ‘At this point in time the bond market is pointing very much in favour of France and spreads have started to compress, but I don’t think it has escaped investors that the French problems are still fairly severe in terms of budget deficits.’
However, although France is under greater scrutiny, worries about Spain and Portugal have eased.
‘There’s much more concern about France than Italy, which isn’t what the bond market is telling you, so ultimately those two things will have to resolve themselves,' Baker said.
‘People think that if there’s a surprise coming it would be that much more dramatic if it came from France than perhaps if it came from Italy, Spain or Greece, where expectations are that much lower.’
The impact of the worsening outlook for core Europe translates into an expectation of poorer corporate profits in the region, with 61% of managers expecting worsening returns, double that reported in June.
News sponsored by:
Making the most out of Europe's potential means seeing things differently. Learn more about how BlackRock's focused approach to investing in Europe helps investors unlock the continent's vast potential.
In this guide to investment trusts, produced in association with Aberdeen Asset Management, we spoke to many of the leading experts in the field to find out more.
More about this:
Tools from Citywire Money
From the Forums
Weekly email from The Lolly
Get simple, easy ways to make more from your money. Just enter your email address below
An error occured while subscribing your email. Please try again later.
Thank you for registering for your weekly newsletter from The Lolly.
Keep an eye out for us in your inbox, and please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your safe senders list so we don't get junked.