ECONOMY

Investors withdraw their cash from banks, placing it elsewhere

Greek investors who have withdrawn some or all of their deposits in the last month-and-a-half are not panicking, aiming, instead at finding investment targets that would secure them positive returns, at least for the first half of the year, according to sources.

Some of the alternative solutions that Greek investors are opting for – via lenders’ private banking and certified property management consultants at insurance and brokerage firms – concern state bonds from the US and Germany, as well as several mutual funds placed in the markets of Asia, Latin America and Africa.

There is also notable demand for derivatives contracts for gold and silver, following the strong decline in the euro and the derivatives on oil. Through international online platforms, numerous investors are placing their money on the stocks of international groups that stand out for low borrowing and strong cash flow. Demand is also noteworthy in food commodity contracts via companies active in emerging economies such as Mexico, China and parts of South America.

Above all, the climate created due to the election period dictates keeping cash ready for use and not in time deposits, as used to be the case in previous quarters.

Officials from mutual fund companies, brokerage firms and the dealing rooms of local banks say that 2015 has many fluctuations and surprises in store. However, as one source said, “just like in 2013 and 2014, long-term investors are returning to the fundamentals, to corporations that stand out for their sensible management, production of wealth, low borrowing and steady cash flow.”

Stockbrokers say that across all kinds of portfolios, investment priority is given mainly to state bonds (US, Germany and Japan) and to emerging economies such as those of Mexico, China and the countries of Eastern Europe.

Most portfolio managers agree that 2015 will favor companies with strong fundamentals that will issue corporate bonds, offering significant returns to investors who choose to position themselves in this category of investments.