Nordic players don’t see debt crisis spreading
Most Nordic credit market participants don’t see a high risk that Europe’s debt crisis will spread beyond Greece, Ireland and Portugal, according to a survey conducted in the region by Fitch Ratings. The survey showed 64 percent of credit market participants in the Nordic region see a “medium” risk that Europe’s credit crisis will spread to Spain, Italy or Belgium, the rating company said yesterday in a statement. Some 15 percent found the risk low, while 21 percent said it was high. “Most market participants do not see a high risk of further eurozone contagion but they do believe the protracted eurozone crisis is the main threat to European credit market stability,” Fitch said. Concern that Greece will trigger a deeper debt crisis in the region was greatest in Copenhagen and lowest in Helsinki, Fitch said. Denmark is the only country in the region in a recession, after consumers cut spending and investment fell last quarter. “Some 40 percent of delegates said that sovereign debt problems were the greatest risk to the European credit markets over the next 12 months,” Fitch said. “However, threats to the markets from a potential double-dip recession or the end of credit market easing,” such as the US quantitative easing, “were ranked close runners-up, with 30 percent of votes each.” Fitch based the conclusions on delegate voting survey tak- en at its seminars in the four capitals of the Nordic region last week, it said in a statement. (Bloomberg) several encouraging signs, including 3.0 percent gross domestic product growth in the first quarter of this year and a slight rise in employment in the last two months. “It is true that the figures are not spectacular, we are talking about several thousand new jobs per month, but we have stopped the rise of unemployment for the first time in two years,” he said. The optimistic estimates of the Serbian prime minister were backed by the representative of the International Monetary Fund in Belgrade, Bogdan Lissovolik, who recently said that 4.5 percent GDP growth is expected in Serbia in 2012. Asked if Serbia had overcome the crisis, Lissovolik said, “It seems so,” Beta news agency reported. However, “the possibility of a re- lapse exists,” he warned. “The possible augmentation of petrol and gas prices and trouble in the public sector in Serbia” are key risks that could hamper the outlook for economic improvement, Lissovolik said.