Investor survey shows 38 percent chance of euro zone break-up in 12 months

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 03, 2015 2:20 AM

By John Geddie

LONDON (Reuters) - Investor expectations of the euro zone breaking apart have risen to their highest level in two years, a survey showed on Tuesday, even after Greece agreed a financial lifeline with its euro zone partners.

The sentix Euro Break-up Index (EBI) gave its highest reading since March 2013, with 38 percent of respondents expecting the bloc to break-up in the next 12 months, up from 24.3 percent in January.

The current poll was conducted between Feb. 26-28, 2015, and surveyed 980 mainly German-based individual and institutional investors.

Greece won approval for a four-month extension to its bailout on Feb. 24, after tense negotiations between Athens and its international creditors.

"The new aid program for the country does not seem to be convincing, rather a "grexit" is now bound to be a constant topic among investors for the months to come," said Sebastian Wanke, a senior analyst at sentix.

Expectations of Greece leaving the euro in the next year rose to 37.1 percent from 22.5 percent, the survey said. A Reuters poll of economists in mid-February gave a one-in-four chance of Greece leaving the currency area in 2015.

The EBI hit a high of 73 percent in July 2012, and touched its low at 7.6 percent in July 2014.

The last time the reading was this high came after inconclusive elections in Italy and a banking crisis in Cyprus which saw the country become the fourth member state to be bailed out.

(Reporting by John Geddie, editing by Louise Heavens and Crispian Balmer)