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Euro zone investors take money abroad despite recovery: ECB data
February 20, 2017 / 2:27 PM / 7 months ago

Euro zone investors take money abroad despite recovery: ECB data

* Foreign holdings rise to 4.6 tln euros

* Almost equal to domestic investments

* To see a chart: reut.rs/2mexbj1

By Francesco Canepa

FRANKFURT, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Euro zone investors are taking a growing share of their money outside the currency bloc, European Central Bank data showed on Monday, underscoring growing unease with the bloc despite the economic recovery and continued ECB support.

Euro zone investment funds owned 4.7 trillion euros’ worth of the currency bloc’s debt, equity and funds at the end of 2016, compared with 4.6 trillion euros in foreign holdings, the data showed. The ratio was roughly two-to-one when records began in 2008.

The difference between the size of domestic and foreign holdings started narrowing when the euro zone debt crisis broke in 2010, and it shrank rapidly last year. To see a chart: reut.rs/2mexbj1

Growing fears about the future of the euro zone, ultra-low yields and more muted growth prospects than in the United States are all likely to have played a role in the shift.

The ECB does not provide commentary with the data.

Even if the euro zone’s economic recovery is taking hold, it is not benefiting all countries in the same way and calls for leaving the euro are growing louder in Italy and France before political elections.

Reuters’ own allocation poll showed last month European investors had raised holdings of U.S. equities, betting President Donald Trump will embark on a spending splurge that would accelerate growth and inflation.

The ECB is trying to do the same with an aggressive policy of low rates and bond buying but it has complained that its stimulus is not being matched by national governments and European institutions. (Reporting by Francesco Canepa; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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