Asia-Pacific News

Wish Europe Would Go Back to Being a Holiday Destination: Brokerage CEO


It's been more than two years since the euro zone's debt crisis began, but with Greece now in the final stages of negotiations over restructuring its debt, one brokerage CEO says he hopes Europe will go back to being famous for something other than debt, austerity and bailouts.

Michael Melford |The Image Bank | Getty Images

"For the first 20 years of my career, I almost never spoke about Europe, except as a holiday destination and I'm hoping we get back to that over the next six months," Jesse Lentcher, the Asia Pacific CEO of BTIG told CNBC on Friday.

Lentcher said things have improved a great deal from last month when investors feared a euro zone break-up and when Standard and Poor's warned of, and subsequently downgraded the sovereign debt of several European countries.

"If Greece can get through some kind of restructuring without causing contagion into the other countries, then I think the rest of the problems are manageable," Lentcher said.

A Greek debt restructuring would denote a default and trigger credit default swaps, Fitch said earlier this week. According to Reuters, a debt writedown could leave bondholders with a real loss of between 60 and 70 percent on their bonds and the market is already preparing for such an eventuality.

Lentcher said the move would create a hit to European banks as well as the ECB, but he believes European banks have gotten ahead of the issue by raising more capital and the fact that they have access to 3 year loans from the ECB. "I don't think it's nearly as big a problem as it would have been 6 months ago, where people were not prepared for it".