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This is unusual and a little relieving coming amidst so much of news of turmoil being bombarded all the time. The co-founder of private equity group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co said that the banking situation was beginning to stabilize, but investor and business confidence had been shaken by the financial crisis.

Henry Kravis said the global economy was threatened by a lack of confidence in the value of financial assets.

He said it had come at a "very high cost to hard working people" with job losses hitting hard.

"Unfortunately I've seen little evidence that makes me think these trends will turn around anytime soon," he told a packed room at the Super Return private equity conference in Dubai.

But he added: "It seems to me that the banking situation is finally beginning to stabilise and we can certainly expect the industry to consolidate over the next year or so."

He said private equity and sovereign wealth funds could be part of the solution, in terms of supplying capital.

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