"Do not confuse increasing uncertainty with chaos" – Arcynewsy

The managing director of Amundi, the leading European asset manager with € 1.5 trillion under management, does not foresee a decline in the financial markets this year.

Interview by Marie Charrel and Isabelle Chaperon Published today at 10h55, updated at 11h10

Time to Play 7 min.

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Yves Perrier, managing director of Amundi Group, European leader in asset management. THOMAS DORN / LAIF-REA

For Yves Perrier, managing director of Amundi – the leading European asset manager, with almost 1.5 trillion euros in management – the crisis of “yellow jackets” should not overshadow the image of France to international investors. The latter have other sources of concern after one year in 2018 at the half-way on the world financial markets. For 2019, despite the serious geopolitical uncertainties, Perrier remains optimistic, expecting a continuous high volatility on the markets.

Does the mobilization of “yellow jackets” start to damage the image of France among international investors?

Unquestionably, we would live better without such events. But do not overly blacken the image. Even the situation of partial paralysis of public services in the United States is problematic. In France, some sectors, such as trade, are interested, but at this stage, I do not think this crisis radically changes the trajectory of the French economy and the perception that foreign investors have. The latter are based primarily on factual elements.

The best proof is that the French “spread” [l’écart entre les taux d’emprunt français et allemand à dix ans] it has not deteriorated. This differential should also remain low, as the cumulative deficit of the euro area budget weakens. With 100 billion euros of surplus, Germany does not issue almost any obligations. If you want to invest in debt in euros, the first substitute document remains the French debt.

Will markets change their mind if the trajectory of reforms is inflected?

In a globalized economy, large market movements derive more from structural factors than from the political situation of a given country. Thus, this year, the decline in European markets is largely due to a return of capital in the United States, due to the tax reform of Trump and the economic conditions and the most favorable rates in the United States. Added to this is greater risk aversion for investors due to market volatility: 2018 is a very unusual year in this respect, as almost all asset classes have declined. That said, it is crucial for the attractiveness of the French economy that the current tense situation is a positive outcome.

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