Nordic play­ers don’t see debt cri­sis spread­ing

Kathimerini English - - BUSINESS & FINANCE -

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.

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