NEW YORK, April 30 Howard Marks, co-founder and
chairman of Oaktree Capital, the world's largest distressed debt
investor, said on Tuesday that his firm is buying European
"We buy corporate debt in Europe. We don't go heavily into
the periphery, but we are definitely active in Europe," Marks
told cable television network CNBC.
Oaktree's website says the Los Angeles-based firm has around
$78.8 billion under management. Marks said the firm primarily
likes the corporate debt of Germany and the United Kingdom,
which is "relatively safe."
Marks also said the timing of when the U.S. Federal Reserve
will end its monetary stimulus and how it will affect the
economy is the greatest source of economic uncertainty, and that
the Fed should begin ending the program to quell those fears.
"As long as that is out there in the future, that will be a
deterrent to growth," Marks said, and added that the uncertainty
keeps businesses from investing. "Get it out of the way. Start
winding it down, start to show that it won't be fatal to the
economy," he said.
The Fed is buying $85 billion in Treasuries and agency
mortgage debt per month in an effort to spur U.S. economic
growth and drive down unemployment.
The central bank has also pledged to keep interest rates
between zero and 0.25 percent at least until unemployment hits
6.5 percent, provided inflation stays under 2.5 percent. The
March jobless rate was 7.6 percent. The Federal Reserve's
policy-making committee began a two-day meeting that will end
Marks also said that his firm currently likes real estate,
particularly "lesser buildings in lesser cities."
"We think that they have not come back from the crisis, and
have a way to go," Marks said.