The Bel Paese is back

4 October 2013

Italy is an attractive market. This is news in and of itself, but it is even more noteworthy considering that the country’s crisis is far from over, its political situation remains highly uncertain and much of its macroeconomic data continues to be negative. Nonetheless, Italy presents sound opportunities for returns, and Massimo Trabattoni, manager of the Kairos International Sicav, knows it well. He describes a bona fide structural change sweeping the international landscape. “After years of apprehension, the world is changing once again,” he explained. “The general risk-averse approach is making way for braver choices. If, up until recently, interest was concentrated solely on global trends, in the past few months we have seen bond rates resume their growth and confidence regained in the trend of the economic cycle, with focus shifting to the domestic market.” This does not mean that now Italian investors are already buying in Italy, but we can justifiably maintain that foreign investors are less afraid of the risk. “The feeling is that the worst is over and, even if it would be unrealistic to believe we are back to pre-Lehman levels, we can expect to move forward from the current situation to a middle ground, with interesting prospects from a financial standpoint.”

Therefore, what we are witnessing is a genuine rediscovery of Europe, and Southern Europe in particular, as demonstrated by the well-received roadshows of certain Italian companies travelling the world. Trabattoni explains how the luxury industry is no longer as attractive, while focus is selectively returning to banks with fewer capital issues. “Insurance is very positive, specifically the non-life businesses, which fit into the scenario that benefited from the crisis. On the other hand, the industrial sector, especially those areas related to domestic consumption, should be weighed with care,” the manager concluded.