"Do not confuse rising uncertainty with chaos"

The managing director of Amundi, the leading European asset manager with € 1.5 trillion under management, does not expect a dip in the financial markets this year.

Interview by Marie Charrel and Isabelle Chaperon Posted today at 10:55 am, updated at 11h10

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Yves Perrier, Managing Director of Amundi Group, the European leader in asset management.
Yves Perrier, Managing Director of Amundi Group, the European leader in asset management. THOMAS DORN / LAIF-REA

For Yves Perrier, the managing director of Amundi – the leading European asset manager, with nearly 1.5 trillion euros under management – the crisis of "yellow vests" is not allowed to affect the image of France for investors International. The latter have other concerns, after a year in 2018 at half-mast on the financial world markets. For 2019, despite the serious geopolitical uncertainties, Perrier remains optimistic and expects continued high volatility in the markets.

Is the mobilization of "yellow vests" harmful to the image of France among international investors?

Without doubt, we would live better without such events. But do not make the photo excessively black. The situation of partial paralysis of public services in the United States is also problematic. In France some sectors, such as trade, have been affected, but at this stage I do not think that this crisis fundamentally changes the French economy and the perception that foreign investors have. The latter are first based on factual elements.

The best proof is that the French "spread" [l’écart entre les taux d’emprunt français et allemand à dix ans] not worsened. This spread should also remain low as the cumulative budget deficit of the euro area becomes weaker. With a surplus of 100 billion euros, Germany is no longer paying any commitments. If one wants to invest in the euro debt, the first replacement paper remains the French debt.

Will the markets change their minds when the process of reforms is weakened?

In a globalized economy, large market movements result more in structural factors than in the political situation of a particular country. For example, the decline in European markets this year is largely due to a return of capital to the United States, due to Trump's tax reform and economic conditions and more favorable rates in the US. In addition, there is an increased risk aversion for investors because of the volatility of the markets: in this respect, 2018 is a very unusual year, because almost all asset classes have registered a decline. That said, it is fundamental for the attractiveness of the French economy that the current situation of tensions yields a positive result.