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Wealtheon: The sector wants willingness to act

11 April 2012, Eindhovens Dagblad

Written by Hans Vermeeren

The politicians need to do everything in their power to regain the confidence of the financial sector.  Only then is there any chance of economic recovery. That is the argument put forward by Martien Verleg, portfolio management director of Wealtheon, in the new quarterly newsletter of the Eindhoven-based asset management company. The confidence of the financial sector in the political world has been seriously damaged by the absence of political willingness to act in the current euro crisis, Verleg says. This lack of willpower has a crippling effect on the economy. Because in fact, all the lights are green for the economy to make a successful recovery, Wealtheon concludes.

Interest rates are currently at a very low level in historical terms. That helps entrepreneurs to attract new capital investment.  In addition, most companies are in a good position vis-à-vis profitability at the moment: despite the current economic climate, business revenues are remaining on target. The only reservation is that longer-term growth forecasts need some adjustment. Wealtheon also observes that economic growth in emerging countries – such as China – is providing a good deal of compensation from a global perspective. The economy in such countries is still growing robustly, offsetting declining growth in Western Europe. This combination of factors is enough for Verleg to describe the economic situation on behalf of Wealtheon as ‘fairly positive’. Its advice is to buy shares in this sort of period of relative weakness with prospects of growth. Wealtheon also notes that the economic situation in Japan is very worrying. The country has had to deal with a shrinking economy. In addition Japan has to carry massive public debt: 233 percent of gross national product (GNP). By comparison, the public debt of the USA – 100 percent of GNP – is still under control.  Also in the USA’s favour is that the housing market appears to be recovering, that there are signs of improvement in the labour market and that business investment is holding up. The Eindhoven-based concern Wealtheon manages the assets of customers with investment portfolios of a million euros upwards. Wealtheon has offices in Eindhoven and Brussels and invests for individuals, companies and pension fund.



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