8th May 2021

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.

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