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BDO’s annual ‘global opportunities’ survey found that the eurozone debt crisis remained one of their key concerns.Almost half (44pc) of the 1,000 CFOs surveyed by the global business consultancy reported that the crisis had affected their expansion plans, with 16pc reporting a “large impact”.
Only Iran and Iraq were considered more risky than Greece, while Spain, the eurozone’s fourth largest economy, also made the top 10.
Nearly one in five finance directors (18pc) said that they would be less likely to invest in Spain or Greece, and 14pc would be less likely to invest in Italy.
“Because of the financial state of [Greece] there is a chance they may have to pull out of the eurozone. It is a bad debt risk and it is not a place we would look to for sustainable growth,” one CFO commented.
The survey found that CFOs in the manufacturing and technology, media and telecoms industries were most reluctant to invest in these countries.
“CFOs are becoming increasingly wary of Southern Europe, parts of which they now see as risky as the politically unstable countries of the Middle East,” said BDO chief executive Martin Van Roekel.
Brazil and China were the most wary about investing in Europe’s indebted countries in the wake of the debt crisis, while China was considered the most attractive country for expansion, closely followed by the US. Britain was considered the seventh most attractive country for expansion.