Low interest rates, low oil prices and the search for yield will be norm for a long time to come, according to Larry Fink, chairman and chief executive at BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager.
“Currently, we are in a low-growth world,” Fink said during the symposium of pensions magazine PBM in Amsterdam last Thursday.
However, he was positive about the prospects of equities due to technological developments and suggested investors look at the potential of new markets, such as Mexico.
In Fink’s opinion, Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, should be admired for his courage to push through his quantitative easing programme.
“Draghi stabilised Europe,” Fink said. “Without him, the world would be in a deep recession.”
He credited the rally of European equities to European companies benefiting from the fall of the euro relative to other main currencies.
Fink said corporate Europe was still weak compared with the US, but he cited rising birth rates as the chief indicator that Europe was turning the corner economically.
He said increased saving as a consequence of low interest rates was not necessarily a bad thing, “as it helps prevent future problems caused by liabilities”.
He also took pains to emphasise the importance of having a long-term strategy, both for investors and companies, and chided the “current corporate pressure for a short-term approach”.
Responding to questions from the audience, he said the solution must come from investors and regulators, adding that “fiduciary responsibility should be redefined”.
Fink said he did not expect Greece to leave the euro-zone, but added that it would not matter if it did “because Greece is a small country”.
Even then, he said any Grexit would not be a “real exit”, as Greece would “remain attached to the EU in so many ways”.