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Baring's says risk of euro break-up is high

Source: Reuters - Thu 9th Dec 2010

Baring Asset Management sees a breakup of the euro and a high risk of defaults in the periphery of the euro zone, and is wary on western government bonds, the head of its global multi-asset team said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the Reuters 2011 Investment Outlook Summit, Percival Stanion said British equities with overseas exposure, as well as emerging markets, offered opportunities for next year due to better growth prospects.

"There's a fundamental flaw in the euro and eventually some kind of default will occur for Ireland and Greece and eventually Portugal and even Spain. The powers that be are trying to put off that evil day" Stanion told the Summit, held at Reuters offices in London on Wednesday.

"We don't like government bonds, we don't like western bonds. The few bits of safe-haven status we have, we are gradually trading out of. We like Australia because of its linkages to Asia."

International companies such as Unilever and SABMiller also provided exposure to emerging market growth.

"The equities we like are UK, multinationals, parts of the emerging arena. The UK we like, not because of the UK domestic economy, but because of exposure to better growth abroad" Stanion said.

Stanion said Baring's flagship dynamic asset allocation fund, with 2.7 billion pounds under management, owned no euro zone debt or euro currency.

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