Edouard Carmignac: French government shake up on the cards

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PARIS: The outspoken French manager Edouard Carmignac gave a bleak outlook of his country's precarious economic position stating current policy could lead to a change within the socialist government's top ranks by next autumn.

Speaking at his firm's quarterly conference in Paris, which gathered close to 1,000 investors, the founder of France's largest independent asset management firm gave a scathing appraisal of French president Francois Hollande's government's policies.

'I must admit I am rather dumbfounded about the current approach.'

'We find ourselves in a sort of immobility that we are guilty of, but markets have seen it coming.'

However, while the outlook in his domestic market is bleak, France's contribution to global GDP is not significant enough to seriously affect global recovery, said Carmignac.

Current measures are not the solution and a major reshuffle and change in tack will take soon place within the French government.

'French productivity will be extremely affected,' he said. 'Our own vocal opinions are not what is going to make the country's politicians react.'

'What is going to happen is there is going to be such a drop in productivity and surge in unemployment that political leaders will be so afraid that by next autumn there will be a change in French government.'

Eurozone exposure

Since the previous quarterly meeting the French firm has increased its exposure to the eurozone and has added Italian debt to its Patrimoine portfolio.

One investor asked Edouard Carmignac why he'd made such a drastic turnaround on his euro exposure when he was previously so bearish on it.

The French manager said that Mario Draghi's intervention in July cannot be underestimated as it brought much needed support to the region.

One country that is in line to benefit, he said, is Spain as the support could offer relief to companies and households and get them spending.

'I'm ready to bet what you want that the activity in Spain will stabilise over the next 12 months from the moment Spain puts itself under oxygen.'

'The ECB might not even need to intervene.'

'We could soon Spanish lending costs reduce which could be a much needed boost to help get its economy running.'

The Carmignac Patrimoine fund has returned 14.21% over the past three years. Over the same period, its Citywire benchmark, the LCI Mixed Asset EUR Bal – Global, rose 28.07%.