GO
Loading...

Don't 'Waste a Good Crisis' in Greece: Market Pro

Thursday, 10 May 2012 | 8:20 AM ET

There's still opportunity for investors in Greece—as long as they exercise caution, the managing director of investment holding company iGroup told CNBC Thursday.

Economou: There Is Opportunity in Greece for the Careful Investor
Anastasios Economou, managing director of igroup, told CNBC, "The best case scenario for Greece would be to have a government, I clearly believe that no government is the worst possible outcome but I do think at this stage it is very hard for us to form a government unless we end up going back to elections in a month and a half."

Anastasios Economou took a rarely heard positive stance toward his home country and told "European Closing Bell" that businesses should not "waste a good crisis" in Greece. There are still investment opportunities and a highly skilled and cheap labor force to be had in his home country, he said.

"If you can use the local labor force and produce products and/or services for abroad there is an extremely qualified personnel that you can hire very cheap here and most of them are UK- or U.S.-educated, so that is a very strong point."

He also believes there are stock market opportunities for the cautious and spoke about the current trade in the country.

"As long as there is some government stability and liquidity in the system, I do think that the system and businesses here [in Greece] are about to thrive," he said, adding that "even in a country with a crisis, there is an opportunity for the careful investor."

Speaking from Athens on the political instability and lack of coherent government in Greece—he called the weekend's elections the "worst possible outcome" for the country—he said that though the Greek people had rejected austerity measures, they were not rejecting Europe.

Economou mentioned two companies that he considers a buy in the current environment.

“I would say for instance two companies that are very interesting—one is really very active in the far east—that would be Foli Folie, a high end luxury manufacturer. And then interestingly there is a retailer here in Greece that has done very well...called Jumbo which imports stuff from China very cheaply. [It's] able to provide a good product at a very good price during a crisis, and we're seeing [its] numbers skyrocket. So even in a country with a crisis, there is opportunity for the careful investor,” Economou said.

Economou, who is also chairman of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO), a global body of young executives, discussed the YPO's latest 'Global Pulse' Confidence Index, a quarterly survey that offers insights into executives' confidence in—or pessimism toward—the global economic outlook

Among the 2,000 European and International CEOs surveyed, European business leaders showed the least positive outlook toward Europe's future. With confidence levels well below their U.S. and Asian counterparts, the survey points to European business leaders' anxiety over the continent's lagging economy, high unemployment levels and Greece's political and financial crisis.

- Sarah Rappaport contributed to this report.

Contact Europe: Economy

  • CNBC NEWSLETTERS

    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More