'Absolutely clear’ that a market correction will happen, warns Allianz CEO

  • Allianz chief Oliver Bate acknowledged the positive health of the global economy but warned of major danger spots ahead.
  • He named soaring market valuations and credit risk as major risks.
Oliver Bate
Ali Atmaca | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Oliver Bate

A correction in the stock market is not a question of "if" but "when," according to Allianz CEO Oliver Bate.

Speaking to CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the bank chief acknowledged the ever-improving health of the global economy but warned of major danger spots ahead.

"Underlying economic growth has been much better than people predicted, so that's the good news despite all the political turmoil," Bate said, who has headed the German financial services provider since 2014. "But markets are very, very dangerous."

"And you don't see that, because valuations are at ever-higher levels and credit risk looks like it has disappeared," he went on.

"Well, it hasn't disappeared, we know that, and we need to make sure we're prepared for the next market correction."

A market correction is a backtrack of at least 10 percent in a stock or other security to account for an overvaluation in price, interrupting the market's upward trajectory.

Bate would not be the first to suggest the markets are near tipping point. Many experts predict an imminent correction or even a full-blown crash, while some well-known market watchers have warned that today's stock market is the most overvalued on record — more so than in 1929, 2000 and 2007.

"We just don't know when (a correction) is going to happen," he added, "but it's absolutely clear it is going to happen."