PIIGS won't fly, but European stocks might

Where Templeton's Norman Boersma is finding global bargains

Sonita Horvitch 21 July, 2010 | 6:00PM

Norman Boersma, executive vice-president and director of research at Templeton Investment Management, has taken advantage of the weakness in the European equity market to selectively add to his holdings there.

A veteran global value manager, Boersma says that concerns about the government debt loads of the so-called PIIGS -- Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain -- put considerable pressure on both European bonds and stocks in May and June.

"This provided an opening to buy, for example, European bank stocks, which were cheaper than some of their global counterparts." These stocks were down significantly year-to-recent close in Canadian-dollar terms, he says. "By contrast, U.S. banks put on a strong showing."

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Sonita Horvitch

Sonita Horvitch