European stocks that should be Grexit-proof

As the probability of a Greece euro zone exit appears to be increasing, we take a look at some European equities that should be able to withstand the potential fallout.

Across the European landscape, exposure to Greece has been slashed since the last major Greek crisis in 2012. The banks, which were thought to be most vulnerable to another crisis in the country, have cut their holdings of Greek bonds.

Yet the euro zone recovery that many were predicting has not quite materialized. Growth in the single currency region came in below expectations at just 0.4 percent in the first quarter of 2015, compared to the previous three months.


A man walks under switched off share price tickers and screens as the Athens' Stock Exchange is shut after the Greek government imposed capital controls June 29, 2015.
Alkis Konstantinidis | Reuters
A man walks under switched off share price tickers and screens as the Athens' Stock Exchange is shut after the Greek government imposed capital controls June 29, 2015.

The biggest fears about contagion from Greece now seem to rest in other weaker European economies, with focus on the eastern European countries bordering the country. However, there was a larger-than-expected selloff following the announcement of Sunday's referendum in Greece, with the Eurostoxx 50 falling by 4.2 percent and countries like Portugal, Italy and Spain -- perceived to be vulnerable to some of the same stresses as Greece -- all losing around 5 percent.

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Amid all the uncertainty, Tim Crockford, co-manager of the Hermes Sourcecap Europe ex-U.K. Fund, named five European companies that looked likely to defy the gloom surrounding Greece. These were French auto company Renault; French electrical equipment maker Legrand; German laboratory equipment maker Sartorius; Dutch semiconductor equipment manufacturer ASM International and Italian credit information supplier Cerved Information Solutions.

"We continue to like those firms that have reinvented their product lines and are reducing their fixed costs – which has driven profitability ahead of improving revenue growth," he wrote in a research note Thursday.

A man puts up posters with the word "No" in Greek in Athens, July 1, 2015.
Greece waits for referendum vote   

There are also some who point out that, if you believe that Greece will stay in the euro zone, now would be a great time to get into the cyclical European equities which have been worst hit by Greece.

"Looking longer-term the Greek risk premium is a short-term setback as part of a longer-term recovery," Ramin Nakisa, strategist at UBS, wrote in a research note Thursday.

"This crisis would appear to be creating an attractive entry point for an outright long position in European equity."

- By CNBC's Catherine Boyle