Davos WEF
Davos WEF

Market uncertainty is not over and don’t expect a recovery this year: ABB CEO

Brexit had massive negative impact on orders: ABB CEO

Global markets might have obtained further clarity on Brexit and on the new U.S. administration, but the days of high levels of uncertainty are not over yet, the chief executive officer of ABB told CNBC.

"Global markets continue to be characterized by high levels of uncertainty," Ulrich Spiesshofer said Wednesday.

"We don't know yet exactly how Brexit comes out, we're looking forward to get the overall program of the US government, so there's a lot of uncertainty and that will have a subdued effect on the markets."

The U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said Tuesday she would try to strike a free trade deal with the European Union once the country leaves the trading bloc. Meanwhile, President-elect Donald Trump, who takes office on Friday, has revealed some of the names that will feature the new administration.

Transformation is in full swing: ABB CEO

Amid the uncertainty, Spiesshofer added that 2017 will be a "transition" year and more market momentum should come only in 2018.

"We are basically flying on the side and prepare for a market return later on in the year of 2017," he told CNBC.

"In 2018 we're looking forward to get a little bit more momentum in the markets," Spiesshofer added.

Spiesshofer admitted that Brexit has affected its business.

"People are just uncertain about the conditions that the ruling will be all about. The Brexit, how it will be executed, and that means a lot of our customers said, 'The project is not off, but we are delaying the project, we wait a little bit until we see.' Given what we do in infrastructure, we are very heavily exposed to capex, and that was the major hit."

Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.