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Billionaire Soros considers investing in European banks: paper

George Soros speaks on stage at the Annual Freedom Award Benefit Event hosted by the International Rescue Committee at the Waldorf-Astoria i
George Soros speaks on stage at the Annual Freedom Award Benefit Event hosted by the International Rescue Committee at the Waldorf-Astoria i

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - George Soros wants to invest in Europe's financial sector, according to a German magazine's interview with the billionaire investor on Sunday.

"I believe in the euro," weekly Der Spiegel quoted him as saying.

"Therefore my investment team is looking forward to make a lot of money soon in Europe by, for example, pumping money in banks which urgently need capital," he added, noting the euro zone needs this kind of private investment right now.

Soros, who founded Soros Fund Management, is one of the hedge fund industry's most closely watched investors.

Soros told Der Spiegel his management team was also considering investing in Greece.

"The economic conditions in the country have improved. The question now is whether one can earn money there on a sustainable basis. If that is possible we will invest," he said.

Soros renewed his criticism against Germany's policies to save the euro, saying the austerity measures Chancellor Angela Merkel had forced upon Europe had aggravated the crisis.

Euro zone financial markets have calmed down in the meantime, but a sustainable recovery still does not exist, he said.

"I fear that the euro zone could experience a long phase of economic stagnation similar to Japan's in the past 25 years," he said.

(Reporting by Marilyn Gerlach; Editing by Louise Heavens)

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