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By Jason Stipp | 06-03-2010 02:37 PM

Yockey: Attractive Time to Look at International Equities

Right now, it's not a problem finding high-quality names that generate a lot of cash and that are extremely attractive, says the Artisan manager.

Jason Stipp: I am Jason Stipp for Morningstar. As the European crisis continues to unfold, we've been checking in with some fund managers that have expertise and investments in the area to get their take on the situation. I'm pleased to be joined today by Mark Yockey. He is a Manager of Artisan International, Artisan International Small Cap, and the newly launched Artisan Global Equity Fund.

Thanks so much for calling in today, Mark.

Mark Yockey: Sure. It's my pleasure, Jason. Nice to talk to you.

Stipp: First question for you. In our January Analyst Report on your fund, Artisan International, you had mentioned that you had returned aggressively to European banks, and you mentioned some of the qualities of those banks that attracted you to them. I was wondering given the situation over the last few weeks, if your outlook for those banks has changed, and how you are thinking about those investments now?

Yockey: Well, the environment for banking globally has changed. They are under a lot of threat from a number of different pressures. One is the Greek near default, and the European bailout of the Greek financial system is one thing that's changed. And the other thing is the worry about sovereigns in general around the world.

And the third thing is the regulatory risks, and no one knows what the rules are going to be going forward. I guess, you'd have to add the fourth thing, and that's all the politicians in the world have decided that banks are bad guys and they want to somehow punish them. And so they are all risks that I think were there in the fall, but I think are in there more to the point now.

Stipp: Would you say that for your holdings, particularly in Europe, do you think that some of those threats may be less of an issue for those banks or they may be able to weather the storm better than other banks or how do you see, I guess, the picks that you've chosen in the European financial space versus perhaps the landscape for the banking industry in general there?

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