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Europeans ‘should learn to love Donald Trump,’ asset manager says

  • Mark Dowding, head of investment grade at BlueBay Asset Management, said Europe has a "cause to rally against" with Trump in the White House.
  • Given the stronger cooperation between the 28 European countries and the economic performance of the region, Dowding said it's time to buy the highest yield.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump has helped Europe in a way that his predecessor Barack Obama didn't, and Europeans should love Trump for it, an asset manager told CNBC on Thursday.

The European Union (EU) and the Trump White House have different views on key policies, with the most recent issue being trade. Trump has taken a tough stance on global trade that nearly resulted in new tariffs on European imports before the EU was "temporarily" excluded from them. The U.S. incumbent has also voiced support for populist and anti-European movements across the continent.

However, this divergence has led Europe to come together and work against Trump's policies and ideologies, Mark Dowding, head of investment grade at BlueBay Asset Management, said.

"We should, as Europeans, learn to love Donald Trump, because he's going to make Europe great again," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe."

"When we had Obama in the White House, he was such a European, we loved him to bits, Europe didn't have a reason to exist. But now Donald (Trump) is in the White House and we have got actually a cause to rally against — surprise, surprise, Europe is coming back to the middle again."

Jasper Juinen | Bloomberg |Getty Images

Given the stronger cooperation between the 28 European countries and the economic performance of the region, Dowding said it's time to buy the highest yield.

What to buy?

"Greece is actually the standout in the European periphery at the minute," he said.

The indebted country is set to end its third bailout program this summer after years of economic turmoil. Greece is the last euro zone country ending a bailout program in the wake of a sovereign debt crisis.

"We've seen this story play out several times already, we've seen it play out in Ireland, in Spain, in Portugal, in Cyprus, how heavily indebted countries in the periphery have become turnaround stories," Dowding said, suggesting that as a result investors should buy the riskiest bond — Greece. The country will return to growth like the other bailed out countries and investors will get higher profits, he said.

Patrick Armstrong, chief investment officer at Plurimi Investment Managers, told "Squawk Box Europe" that this is the moment to invest long-term in the European periphery. "The time you want to short Italy and the periphery countries is in a time of economic weakening," he said.

The EU registered its fastest growth pace in a decade last year, according to forecasts from the European Commission. It's estimated that gross domestic product (GDP) in the 28-country-region was 2.4 percent in 2017. Growth is expected to continue in 2018 and 2019 at 2.3 and 2 percent respectively.