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“Keep Cool and Look Forward”

Published: July 26, 2011; 15:17 · (Vindobona)

Alois Wögerbauer, Executive of 3 Banken-Generali Investment-Gesellschaft m.b.H., gives his view on the current situation at the Vienna Stock Exchange.

“Keep Cool and Look Forward” / Picture: © www.3bg.at / Corporate Logo

“In these times, many experienced stock market participants feel as if they traveled back in time several years or even decades. We currently have to constantly explain that a pro capital market sentiment should in fact be a matter of course in an industrialized nation. It is hard to believe that this is being disputed in the year 2011. We explain that after objective analysis, we invest in various domestic companies, because we understand their business models and want to own a share in well-run firms. We are tired of repeatedly being called speculators for this in many published commentaries. Are we really speculators when we invest our money and the money of our customers in companies like OMV and Verbund. And we are noticing that the Vienna Stock Exchange is losing its international standing, because many critical foreign investors have the feeling that the political class in Austria is just resting on its laurels – which is always the beginning of an adverse development. Exaggerated and simplified, one can say: Investors that want security invest in Germany, and those looking for growth invest in Turkey. This is the main reason behind the decreasing trading volumes on the Vienna Stock Exchange. The perspective of major foreign investors is more important than new domestic taxes. The conclusion: this is a pity – because this is arbitrarily destroying a lot of the good work achieved over the past 10 years.

However: Keep cool and look forward. A pretty good motto. Investors with long years of experience also know that the Viennese market has been “in” and “out” intermittently and that foreign investors always have been more or less heavily invested. This is not really news. It may be true that global investors with a country focus currently do not have Austria at the top of their list. But there are just as many investors with a sector focus. It is precisely these investors that know that domestic companies have learned their lessons and are well positioned on global markets, and in many cases are simply too cheap versus international peers.”

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