Market news
04.05.2021, 09:40

French central banker pushes back against warnings of bankruptcy wave

Reuters reports that Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau said there was no evidence business bankruptcies would go beyond catching up from exceptionally low levels seen last year, warning against exaggerating the likelihood of insolvencies.

Many European countries saw corporate bankruptcies fall to historic lows last year as governments put in place a range of measures to help them survive the coronavirus crisis and the lockdowns that left many businesses shuttered for months. However, fears are rising that there will be a surge in insolvencies once the measures are rolled back.

"Is there a risk of going beyond catching-up with an increase beyond the 2020 bankruptcy 'deficit'? Nothing can be excluded, but nothing allows it to be anticipated today," Villeroy said.

Though bankruptcies in France were rising this year from 2020's lows, they remained significantly lower than in 2019, Villeroy told.

He said the central bank's monthly business climate survey showed cash levels were above long term averages in industry and heading that way in services, with the exception of sectors hardest hit by COVID restrictions like hotels and restaurants.

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