PARIS Feb 24 Fidelity International fund
manager David Simner said on Friday he would continue to have a
"healthy" allocation to French bonds and would look to buy up
more, arguing there were reasons to be relatively upbeat on the
asset despite political uncertainty.
French bonds have been rattled by concerns that far-right
National Front leader Marine Le Pen might win the presidential
election this year and lead France out of the euro zone, even
though current opinion polls show her losing to either centrist
Emmanuel Macron or right-wing Francois Fillon.
"Marine Le Pen has laid out a strong message around
immigration and euro membership, and undoubtedly the market is
right to price in that political risk," said Simner in a
"However, the barriers are high, not only to a Le Pen
victory but to the likely policy options she would pursue on the
very small chance she was elected."
Simner added he thought the European Central Bank would
intervene to prop up the financial system if Le Pen did win, and
that Le Pen herself might not follow through on some of her
policies if she became president.
"On that basis, the funds I manage will continue to hold a
healthy allocation to French government bonds and look to
allocate tactically as opportunity arises," said Simner.
On Friday, analysts at Swiss bank UBS wrote that they
thought French equities appeared "a bit too relaxed" given the
uncertainty over the country's election.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Leigh Thomas)