'Don’t overestimate' Italy risk, pleads Amundi’s Perrier
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'Don’t overestimate' Italy risk, pleads Amundi’s Perrier

Italy flows up despite populists’ impact on bond yields; warns of peak debt across the West

The chief executive of Europe’s largest asset manager has launched a stringent defence of investment in its Italian business, despite increased worry about populist economic policy in Rome. Amundi’s shares plummeted 14% in mid-to-late May as the Northern League and Five Star Movement formed a coalition. The stock then underperformed peers such as Ashmore and Schroders but rebounded after promising second quarter results on Thursday.

Amundi’s Yves Perrier admits wider Italian worries – which have pushed up spreads on Italian government debt in early August – will continue until parliament votes on the budget in October. Pronouncements in recent days have suggested that the Northern League might continue to push for the introduction of a flat-rate tax at 15%, with the Five Star Movement having advocated a minimum €800 monthly salary. “This would create a huge deficit,” Perrier notes.

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Yves Perrier, Amundi

The more likely scenario, according to Perrier, is still that the government will forge a more orthodox path, even if it is not perfect and some uncertainty continues. “On the economic side they have to be realistic,” says Perrier, drawing a contrast to the direction of immigration policy.

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