Tech Check

EU Stress-Test Results May Spur Tech Spending: CEO


Sovereign-debt concerns have led big businesses in Southern Europe to spend a bit less on technology than they otherwise might, said Juniper Networks CEO Kevin Johnson, and he’s hopeful that the EU stress-test results might give those customers confidence to buy again.

Johnson made the comments in an exclusive interview with CNBC on Friday, as the results of the stress tests on European banks were still coming in. Juniper got 30% of its $978 million in quarterly revenue from the region in the second quarter.

Kevin Johnson, Juniper

“This last quarter, the discussion was the sovereign-debt crisis in Southern Europe,” Johnson said. “We saw some of the impact of that on our enterprise business in Southern Europe. Our service-provider business in Southern Europe was strong, and our business in Europe overall was strong. So it’s certainly something that we’re watching as either a positive indicator or a cause for some concern going forward.”

It’s still unclear what long-term impact the stress-test results will have. Just seven out of 91 banks failed the tests, a better-than-expected outcome that some cited as proof that the tests weren’t tough enough. Others point out that the tests forced several private banks to reveal their sovereign debt levels for the first time, and the clarity could have a calming effect on investors.

Indeed, at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Xerox CEO and American Express board member Ursula Burns echoed that optimistic sentiment. Burns, who is also vice chair of the President’s Export Council, said the most important outcome of the tests would be to restore credibility to healthy European banks and to bring confidence to jittery markets.

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