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The Daily Interview: Jupiter's Darwall says globally focused groups can beat crunch
Veteran European manager Alex Darwall remains relaxed about a European economic downturn as he believes many of his holdings are well placed to continue benefiting from globalisation.
Veteran European manager Alex Darwall Alex Darwall remains relaxed about a European economic downturn as he believes many of his holdings are well placed to continue benefiting from globalisation.
Darwall who has run the £1.1 billion Jupiter European fund since January 2001 said: 'The UK, Spain and Ireland have appalling problems to come as they have been very stupid in pumping up real estate prices but that is not my problem.
'People just forget that it is not all about the US slowdown. There is growth in Latin America and China.'
'There are lurid headlines about Chinese consumer spending slowing but it is only the growth rate that is slowing. Even if economies fail there are still vast economies out there and there will always be winners and losers.'
He added: 'It is not easy out there and the banking problems do not help, but it is wrong for people to give up and say everything is wrong.'
The one potentially serious cloud on the horizon for Darwall remains any potential rise in protectionist policies, spearheaded by France and Germany.
'The end of trade liberalisation would be worrying. Sarkozy and Berlosconi do not live in the real world but luckily globalisation means most people want liberalisation of trade.'
Darwall is attracted to companies that have a technological edge and are able to move beyond the constraints of locally challenged markets to benefit from the globalisation of demand.
He said: 'Productivity gains from technology are still very significant. The current oil price is only really a problem for the West. Capital is still doing well because we can all continue to benefit from the process of globalisation.'
Darwall said: 'I am drawn to companies with pricing power which can differentiate themselves. I avoid companies with a lot of capital stuck in the ground in Europe. Right now, a German retailer would have no growth prospects but a good technology company can go anywhere.'
A key investment theme for Darwall is companies that can profit from resource scarcity.
Two core long term holdings that play on it are Syngenta and Novozymes.
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