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Euro Sovereign Debt Fallout Biggest Risk: Survey

Wednesday, 21 Sep 2011 | 7:31 AM ET

The European banking system is the biggest threat to global equities, according to a survey of investors by Barclays Capital.

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EyesWideOpen | Getty Images
eu building brussels

60 percent of those investors polled by Barclays for its Global Macro Survey saw the fallout from the European crisis as a key threat, with a quarter believing that a break up of the euro zone is inevitable.

Although a greater number believe that fiscal union will occur – but only after greater monetisation.

"The majority of people expect massive monetisation of European debt by the ECB to be part of the process by which the problems will be resolved.

I think the ECB would be rather concerned about that," Paul Robinson, head of FX strategy at Barclays Capital, told CNBC Wednesday.

He said that this scenario would change the nature of the ECB's role dramatically.

"The monetisation of debt presumably would take the form of some sort of quantitative easing, which would therefore be extremely loose monetary policy and the currency would weaken significantly," he added.

The findings come amid widespread concern about the ability of European policymakers to address Europe’s sovereign debt problems.

The survey revealed that a majority of respondents felt a restructuring of Greek debt to be a positive move rather than a negative for the euro zone region.

Discussions among experts regarding Greek debt restructuring have included extending the maturities on various bonds or imposing modest haircuts.

"Most people see restructuring as inevitable at some point so if it is done in some sort of coherent way soon it would actually be a positive for risky assets by moving some of the uncertainty out of the way," he added.

The survey also revealed that a majority of respondents do not believe that the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF), a key element of the euro zone's response mechanism, will be enough to resolve the crisis.

Contact Europe: Economy

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