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Stock market outlook “quite favourable”

18 January 2012, Eindhovens Dagblad

Written by Hans Vermeeren

The Greek debt crisis and the subsequent euro crisis will leave some scars on the stock market this year, forecasts asset manager Wealtheon. Yet the circumstances and outlook are moderately positive.

The outlook for the stock market this year is moderately positive, concludes the Eindhoven-based asset management firm Wealtheon. In the long term, according to Wealtheon, the prospects can even be described as favourable, as evidenced by the latest quarterly report by the asset manager. This is primarily because emerging countries and economies in Latin America and the Pacific offer promising opportunities of robust economic growth. In addition, the economy of the United States is showing clear signs of recovery, according to Wealtheon: the housing market is developing positively, the volume of business investment is increasing and consumer confidence in the U.S. is rising.

The asset manager is extremely negative about the European economy. The problems surrounding the Greek debt crisis and the euro crisis that subsequently arose are, according to Wealtheon, entirely attributable to the conduct of European politicians.

Their indecision, the tendency to hide behind national interests, the soft promises and vague agreements of the past few months mean, according to portfolio manager Martien Verleg of Wealtheon, that now there is "an extremely serious crisis" and "a disaster".

In the coming period, Wealtheon will therefore focus in the equity portfolios for its clients on emerging economies and the U.S.

A striking feature in the quarterly review by Wealtheon is the observation that European businesses are generally fairly resilient. Since the 2008 crisis, businesses have cut back their costs substantially. As a result, the profitability of businesses has improved sharply. Despite the difficult current economic conditions in Europe, profitability will probably continue to hold up in the near future, forecasts Verleg.

The Eindhoven-based company targets clients with a portfolio of at least one million euro. Wealtheon has offices in Eindhoven and Brussels and invests on behalf of private individuals, companies and pension funds.



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