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Alternative Market Briefing

The Big Picture: UBP positive about European equities, hedge funds

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Alan Mudie
Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva:

An Opalesque column for global macro investors.

The euro zone economy contracted for the sixth consecutive quarter, it was announced in May, making it officially the longest recession in the history of the euro, which launched in 1999.

But according to Union Bancaire Privée (UBP), even though Europe still has some deep-seated problems, there are good reasons to be optimist. UBP is one of Switzerland’s leading private banks, with around CHF80bn ($87bn) in assets under management (end of 2012).

The trend in the economy seems to be reversing, says Patrice Gautry, UBP’s Chief Economist, and this can be seen through monthly indicators, such as a drop in unemployment in Spain and an improvement in corporate sentiment. The combined budgetary and monetary policies are shifting and we are no longer spiralling into recession.

"Perhaps it is time to reassess our view of Europe and adopt a more positive outlook," he notes in the bank’s mid-year outlook (titled "Rebuilding Europe"). "Because even though credit is still frozen in the eurozone, the reforms implemented since 2008 and the determination shown by some governments – especially in the periphe......................

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