CQS founder Michael Hintze, one of Europe’s most influential hedge fund managers, has warned that France’s struggling economy could present a “major pothole” for investors in 2014.
Hintze, whose firm manages around $12 billion and who was one of the world’s top-performing hedge fund managers last year, painted a picture of a “pretty benign world” for investors and a recovery in Europe’s peripheral economies next year, but picked out France as a concern.
Speaking at the Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit in London, Hintze pointed to social tensions, government debt, an exodus of workers and the possibility that France may drop out of the euro project.
“The real issue will not be the periphery. The real problem would go back to France,” said Hintze, whose CQS Directional Opportunities fund rose 36 percent last year and is up 12 percent this year.
“Core Europe is in sensible shape, especially Germany, but what does worry me a little bit is what happens in France, because I think that’s one that could be a major pothole in 2014.”