Bloomberg reports European CEOs Move Cash to Germany

Grupo Gowex (GOW), a Spanish provider of Wi-Fi wireless services, is moving funds to Germany because it expects Spain to exit the euro. German machinery maker GEA Group AG is setting maximum amounts held at any one bank.

“I don’t trust Spain will remain in the euro zone,” said Jenaro Garcia, founder and chief executive officer of Madrid- based Grupo Gowex, which provides Wi-Fi access in 15 countries. “We moved our cash and deposits to Germany because Spain will come back to the peseta.”

The Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank, registered capital inflows of 11.3 billion euros ($15 billion) from non-banks in September, according to the breakdown of its current account published Nov. 9. That helped transform a deficit of 47.3 billion euros in Germany’s balance of other capital flows in August to a surplus of 700 million euros in September.

“A couple of weeks ago I would never have thought about having conversations on the probability of the euro disappearing, but now there is more speculation on such a scenario,” Wolters Kluwer NV (WKL) CEO Nancy McKinstry said in a Nov. 29 interview at the company’s headquarters outside Amsterdam.

“We obviously have plans in place if something happens,” ABB Ltd. (ABBN) CEO Joe Hogan said in Zurich on Dec. 1. “They can never be as robust as you’d want them to be but we certainly are prepared if there is a crisis.”

The Swiss engineering company “updated what we would do” in the past few weeks, Hogan said. “We just keep updating and making our plan more and more detailed.’

“We are more careful about investment decisions,” said Juerg Oleas, CEO of GEA, a machinery maker based in Dusseldorf. “We have internally defined maximum amounts that we place with a single bank.”

K+S AG, Europe’s biggest potash supplier, said the company is assessing the counter-party risk of the banks it works with and, should they reach predetermined thresholds, stop the flow of any new funds into that institution.

“We spread our risk by defining maximum amounts that we allocate to individual bank or issuers of commercial paper and spread our funds broadly among many different parties,” said K+S spokesman Michael Wudonig.

Juan Jose Nieto, chairman of Service Point Solutions SA (SPS), a Barcelona-based document-management company, said he would move the company’s headquarters to the U.K. or Scandinavia in the event of a euro breakup.

Expect Capital Controls

As I said in regards to Greece, the sane thing to do is get your money out of any troubled countries. If everyone does the sane thing, it will bring the crisis to a head quicker. In response, expect countries to impose capital controls.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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