Where's the growth? Euro zone still lacks investor appeal
"Even if Greek bonds might have generated 80 pct for you last year, it didn't change anything on the unemployment front where 50 percent of young people are unemployed," said Alexander Bazarov, a member of the management board and vice president of Sberbank, Russia's biggest bank.
"I don't see any major appetite among Russian businessmen for investing in the European Union. An hotel here and there. But there are no major, mainstream deals," Bazarov said.
While some investors, especially in North America, are wary of moving back decisively into Europe, others will be well aware that fortune can favour the brave.
Davide Serra, a founder of hedge fund Algebris, is placing his bets on being long in 2013 on bank and insurance stocks, much shunned by investors over the past five years of crisis.
And some cash-rich players from Asia and the Gulf with a longer-term perspective have been actively looking for bargains in what remains one of the richest regions of the world.
These investors are shunning bonds and equities and rather looking to snap up quality companies at attractive prices.
"We see opportunities both in Europe and the United States. Despite the crisis these are the most developed, most trusted and most liquid markets of the world," said Scott Freidheim, Europe CEO of Investecorp, a manager of alternative assets for Gulf investors.
"We don't dismiss the headwinds that Europe
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