Salient to Investors:
French banks held $541 billion of private and public debt in Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain at the end of 2011, the most by foreign lenders. France had zero growth in Q1, and joblessness is rising.
Bill Blain at Newedge Group says once the misery of Spain and Italy is figured in, the next target will be France – seeing a very small number of international institutional players buying French debt.
John Stopford at Investec Asset Management will buy French debt on weakness given Hollande’s limited options.
Humayun Shahryar at Auvest Capital Management predicts France will be a big domino in the euro zone, saying market focus on Spain and Italy could change very fast.