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Bearish on the U.K. and Bullish on Asia

The headline is the shorthand for Mark Tinker's current investment approach. The Axa Framlington fund manager has a remit to buy global equities and is very focused on opportunities in Asia. Mark was our Guest Host on "Squawk Box" Monday.

He likes energy and infrastructure plays in the Asian markets, but advised buyers of individual stocks in that part of the world to do forensic work on good corporate governance. Mark suggested an ETF that gives wider exposure to Asian growth as a sensible strategy. Let the ETF provider do the due diligence work and get the benefit of diversification for capital protection.

He suggested a few stock names: HDFC and ICICI, both mortgage banks in India, and Huaning Power, a Chinese company involved in the construction of energy infrastructure.

As we discussed the potential for another Asian currency crisis of the kind markets experienced a decade ago, Mark made a critical point that what is different this time is the ability of many companies to generate working capital from profit, thus removing the dependence on foreign fund flows.

Several significant events noted and discussed on the show: The arrival of the new CEO at Siemens; the new rule liberalizing European energy markets and a smoking ban in public places in the U.K.

The impact on Siemens is seen as positive, positive for smaller European energy providers like Poweo and positive for non-smokers!

A final thought. With meetings of the ECB and the BOE this week, Standard and Poor's have a piece of research out citing France and Spain as the countries most vulnerable to interest-rate shock. We would include the U.K., says S&P Chief European Economist Jean Michel Six - -only we are not sure we fully understand the U.K. The problem seems to be that as disposable income shrinks, U.K. consumers spend more. Now any cases as to how long that phenomenon can last?

Feedback welcome - here.

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HDFCBANK
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