Finance bosses cautiously upbeat on Netherlands economy

With reporting by Zack Newmark.

Financial directors are more optimistic about the Dutch economic recovery than a year earlier, according to the survey of Dutch CFOs conducted by Deloitte. Still, nearly a third feel unprepared for an economic crisis, and a third believe a new crisis is on the horizon.

The level of optimism in chief financial officers recovers to the mark of 52% from the level of 31% set in the last quarter. The level of net optimism (optimistic minus pessimistic respondents) is at 33% as opposed to the previously recorded three percent.

All but one of the 27 CFOs surveyed said they thought mergers and acquisitions would show growth in 2015, while 22 were upbeat with regard to private equity. Of the panelists, 13 thought it likely their company would take on a new partnership, and 12 thought an acquisition was on the horizon. Ten also thought it likely they would sell off a subsidiary or asset this year.

Meanwhile, 46% of financial officers assess the current economic and financial situation as normal. This is five percent more than in the last quarter of 2014, and three times higher than year ago. Still, 54% of the respondent CFOs express concerns about uncertainty in the current economic situation. The proportion decreased by five percentage points since the last quarter.

The topics CFOs are most concerned about are financial disruption, technological and industrial crisis, malevolence and cybercrime, misdeeds and financial crime and confrontations.

Respondent CFOs also exhibit the highest ever level of risk appetite, with the figure at 48%. More than three-quarters of the financial officers also believe that their companies are prepared for the crisis that would threaten the company's very survival. One-third of the CFOs find an occurrence of crisis likely.

Deloitte interviewed the 27 corporate CFOs in March. The CFOs represent 2.9 billion euros in net turnover.

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