22nd Oct 2020

Europeans buying kroner, property, gold amid euro fears

  • The eurozone crisis continues to intensify as politicians struggle to find solutions (Photo: Images_of_Money)

A growing number of Europeans are moving their savings into what they feel are safe havens, amid fears that the eurozone crisis could lead to the break-up of the single currency.

One unnamed private banker at a global group, who specialises in clients worth at least $5 million, told Reuters on Monday (5 December) his team had seen a pick up in clients fleeing the euro. He described the trend as something "between a trickle and a flood."

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Richard Cookson, chief investment officer at Citigroup's private banking arm, which caters to clients worth more than $25 million, told the news agency he had seen clients "shifting out of euros."

In the UK, which is outside the eurozone, London estate agents have reportedly seen an increased interest in the city's high end residential property market from European cash buyers.

In Belgium, Thierry Martiny, a spokesman for Dexia Bank told this website: "Both in number and in amount [of money], we notice a limited increase in fixed-term savings accounts in Norwegian kroner."

Separately, Portuguese financial daily O Diario Economico on Monday confirmed the trend, reporting that over the last couple of weeks many Portuguese have opened up savings accounts in foreign currencies.

"There has been an important increase in openings of accounts in a foreign currency, especially in dollars, Swedish kronor, Norwegian kroner, and Swiss francs," said Joao Queiroz of GoBulling, an online trader. "It is a phenomenon that has been visible for at least the last two months."

The newspaper noted an increased number of bank accounts being opened up abroad.

The price per ounce of gold also rose nearly four percent last week - its sharpest rise in more than a month. It has almost doubled over the course of last year.

David Woo, the global head of rates and currencies at the Bank of America, told investors on Friday they should buy gold rather than the euro for fear of the currency losing more of its value.

"The European Central Bank will be buying more government debt and doing quantitative easing [pumping more euros in the market], so buy gold against the euro," he told Bloomberg.

Germany asks capitals to give a little in EU budget impasse

European Parliament negotiators are demanding €39bn in new funding for EU programmes such as Horizon research and Erasmus, in talks with the German EU presidency on the budget. Meanwhile, rule-of-law enforcement negotiations have only just begun.

EU budget talks suspended in fight for new funds

MEPs are requesting additional, new funding of €39bn for 15 EU programs. The German presidency argues that budget ceilings, agreed by EU leaders at a marathon summit in July, will be impossible to change without a new leaders' meeting.

EU countries stuck on rule of law-budget link

Divisions among EU governments remain between those who want to suspend EU funds if rule of law is not respected, and those who want to narrow down conditionality.

MEPs warn of 'significant gaps' in budget talks

The budget committee chair said the European Parliament expects tangible improvements to the package in its talks with member states - while the German minister argued that the EU leaders' deal was difficult enough.

Top EU officials urge MEPs give quick budget-deal approval

MEPs criticised the EU deal on the budget and recovery package clinched by leaders after five days of gruelling talks, saying it is not enough "future-oriented", and cuts too deeply into EU policies, including health, innovation, defence and humanitarian aid

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