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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO) Chief Executive John Chambers said it was a good time to acquire small companies, although an uncertain economy meant it was important to maintain a strong cash position.

"Cash is king and queen and the royal family," he told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday, but added that the network equipment maker will use cash to acquire more shares and invest in small companies once the outlook on the economy becomes more clear.

"It is perfect now to be acquiring small companies because small companies have no exit strategy, the IPO market is dead, and the price of these small companies is very attractive at the present time and probably will remain so," he said. (Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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