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Greece doesn’t matter: Caisse CIO

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Greece no longer matters -- but the main issue now to make sure Spain is "safe," the chief investment officer at one of Canada's largest public pension fund managers tells BNN.

"I'm afraid to say that Greece doesn't really matter that much any more," Roland Lescure, the executive vice-president and CIO of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, says.

Of course the situation is important to the Greek people and for the precedent it may set, he says.

What's important right now is Spain. Lescure says solutions to date for Spain's budgetary, banking and economic issues have been drawn, but not announced. "There's no concrete step, except for maybe the $100 billion that was announced this weekend, but even there, it's incomplete."

"We need to know what conditions, we need to know if we ever decide to invest in a European bank what are the conditions of that investment and what are they going to be not only in the next ten days, or ten months, the next ten years. We need to lengthen the horizon in Europe. And that's tough," he says.

Lescure was involved in the creation of the euro -- a project he says that he is proud to have worked on. While he sees risks and opportunities in Europe, he says we have to be careful, as Europe is at a crossroads.

"We still want to believe that reason will prevail, that the political leadership will lead to the right choices, but risks are higher than ever." For the investor, he says this means being wary of the quality of the projects of the companies of the people they're investing in, rather than investing in an index somewhere they're not familiar with.

And Southern European states require even more caution. "Until we know for sure that the solvency of those states is kind of guaranteed by the proper measures…we'll probably be more wary of investing money there."

"There are opportunities. But probably in the short term, too many risks," he says.

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