Survey: CEOs, CFOs See Eurozone Crisis as an Opportunity to get Ahead

Tuesday, 27 Nov 2012 02:23 PM

By Michael Kling

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The eurozone crisis might be rattling financial markets and threatening the global economy, but many companies see it is a huge opportunity.

The crisis has prompted companies to seek acquisitions and increase investments in the eurozone, according to a survey of more than 450 executives across six countries both inside and outside the eurozone conducted by Accenture.

Half of the eurozone-based companies participating in the survey are seeking acquisitions within the eurozone because of the crisis.

Editor's Note: See the Disturbing Charts: 50% Unemployment, 90% Stock Market Crash, 100% Inflation

Although 55 percent of companies are delaying investments in Europe and 50 percent are turning their attention to emerging markets, confidence in the euro remains, as 25 percent of the French, 27 percent of the Spanish business leaders and 64 percent of the German executives say they are accelerating investments in the area.

Half the eurozone companies and 38 percent of firms outside the currency block are seeking or plan to start seeking acquisitions in the eurozone.

“It is inevitable that slow growth and uncertainty in Europe will make investment to emerging markets look attractive,” said Mark Spelman, Accenture's managing director of strategy. “But the eurozone remains a good long-term bet and a significant number of high performing companies see opportunities for organic and inorganic growth."

Chinese companies appear more interested in eurozone opportunities than those in the United States or the United Kingdom do. For example, 25 percent of the Chinese respondents plan to accelerate investments in the eurozone, compared with 3 percent of U.S. and 11 percent of U.K. companies. In addition, 71 percent of the Chinese firms are seeking or will soon start seeking acquisitions, compared with 20 percent of U.S. and 30 percent of U.K. companies.

Sberbank, Russia's largest bank by assets, credits the debt crisis for its expansion success this year. The bank purchased Volksbanken International, a branch network in Eastern Europe and DenizBank a bank in Turkey, according to the Financial Times.

“Of course, the eurozone crisis helped us in our acquisition strategy,” Sberbank Chairman German Greg told the Times.

Editor's Note: See the Disturbing Charts: 50% Unemployment, 90% Stock Market Crash, 100% Inflation

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