Spexit’ contingency plans in demand, says Inversis selector

Inversis fund selector Eduardo Anton has said that the risk-off environment in Spain means managers are being asked about their contingency plans if Spain were to leave the euro.

Anton (pictured) is fund analyst and head of mutual funds selection and ETFs at Spain’s Inversis Banco, as well as the founder of blog ETFroom where he shares his views on the asset class.

At the end of October, he agreed to be interviewed by Italy and Iberia correspondent Chiara Albanese via Twitter to discuss what will be next for the Spanish economy.

In 140 characters questions and answers, here are his views on the country.

What is your title and where are you based?

I work for Inversis in Madrid as fund analyst. I am responsible for the selection of mutual funds and ETFs.


You work in the eye of the eurozone storm. What has changed in the Spanish market?

Definitely a risk-off scenario. The Spanish index dropped to ten-year lows this year and Spanish investors are used to investing locally.


Has this also changed your fund selection processes and your risk mechanisms?

Risk control has always been important, but now we are asking new questions. For example, if they have a contingency plan if Spain leaves the euro.


What feedback do you get on that? Are firms planning for Spain’s exit?

Most managers aren’t expecting a ‘Spexit’, but they are investing in companies that have a contingency plan if that happens.


Have you seen a significant capital flight from Spain? Which asset classes do you favour at the moment?

We haven’t seen much capital flight, but clients worried about the euro are investing in money market funds in Swiss francs and Nordic currencies.


Which trends do you foresee for the coming months? Which investments are you considering?

My choices for next year are flexible allocation and absolute return funds.

I am looking for managers who move actively and are unconstrained by benchmark.


What short-term intervention from EU policymakers do you think would support the Spanish market?

The short-term solution is the Spanish PM asking ‘officially’ for help so the ECB can activate the OMT programme.


Why do you think there is a delay doing that?

It is difficult to understand politicians but having the long-term rates below the mid-cost of current debt is not an incentive.


What is happening on the ETFs side?

Counterparty risk is limited by UCITS at 10% and asset managers are very transparent on the swap and collateral they have.


Why did you start the ETF Room blog and what is your target audience?

We started the blog to provide independent research on ETFs for Spanish speakers.

We have seen a lot of interest in Latin America.


Is Twitter useful for your job and how?

Yes! Firstly because I save time reading the news. On Twitter I have a quick overview and just click on those that interest me.

Secondly, having conversations and sharing information with investment managers around the world helps me discover market trends.


What are the ‘can’t miss’ profiles on Twitter within the asset management industry?

Specialised magazines such as @inveurope; blogs like @zerohedge and@sintetia; professionals such as @david tnavarro and @dlacalle; and funny stuff like @gselevator.


A final guess. Spexit yes? Spexit no?

No. At least in the near term, but Northern Europe has to change some rules so the periphery remain interested in being part of the European Union.


InvestmentEurope is available on Twitter: @InvEurope


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