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Sentix survey shows 'Grexit' looming larger

Global investors are increasingly losing confidence in the ability of the eurozone to keep Greece in the euro. According to a survey by research group Sentix, half of those polled expect a Grexit within a year.

Sentix's latest eurozone breakup index for Greece, released on Tuesday, shot up to 48.3 percent in April from 35.5 percent in March, suggesting one in two investors is skeptical about efforts by eurozone members and the European Central Bank (ECB) to keep Athens in the single currency bloc.

"European politicians' promises to pursue the scenario of Greece keeping the euro are not taken at face value by about half of all investors," Sentix said in a statement.

The Germany-based research group surveyed more than 1,000 financial investors from 20 countries last week, as talks between Greece and its international bailout lenders remained deadlocked over reforms to be carried out by Athens.

Greece is weeks away from running out of cash and urgently needs a next loan installment to the tune of 7.2 billion euros ($7.8 billion) under its existing 240-billion-euro bailout program. However, the country's leftist government continues to refuse the implementation of measures such as pension cuts and labor market liberalization that would free up the funding. For the time being, the government is being kept afloat through emergency funds provided by the ECB.

"In 2012 [European Central Bank President] Mario Draghi calmed down investors with his ultimate commitment to the euro. But is his pledge still valid for Greece today?" Sentix questioned.

Eurozone still threatened

According to Sentix, its breakup index for the euro zone as a whole was also climbing again, rising from 36.8 percent in March to 49.0 percent in April, driven by the increase in expectations that Athens would quit the bloc.

That put the index at about the same level as during the peak of the eurozone debt crisis in 2012.

However, Sentix's index measuring the risk of contagion fell to a record low of 26.1 percent, meaning that investors do not generally expect the Greek debt crisis to spread to other eurozone countries.

uhe/sri (Reuters, Sentix)

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