GIG Economic Bulletin – 1 November 2021

Rising inflation casts a cloud over a range of positive economic indicators, which continue to capture the post-lockdown momentum of the Greek economy. The offer book is about to open on a landmark share capital increase by state-controlled power company PPC, which is expected to raise over €1 billion for investments in renewables.

Economic BulletinInsights
Growing inflation in the Hellenic market – widely attributed to surging energy prices – could become a hindrance to the country’s post-pandemic economic recovery. Private sector bank deposits have reached their highest level since November 2011, while CVC Capital is poised to become the lead investor in PPC’s share capital raise – which is set to raise a total of €1 billion for investments in renewables.

Macro

Greek household disposable income increased by 7% Y-o-Y in Q2 2021, after a 5.1% rise in Q1, according to data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT). Household final consumption increased by 15.3% over the same period.

Retail sales grew for the fifth month in a row in August, but at the slightly lower rate of 8.8% Y-o-Y compared to 13.1% in July. Data from ELSTAT shows the biggest increases in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, followed by clothing and footwear, and automotive fuel.

Economic sentiment rose by 3.7 points in October to 112.4 points, after dropping 3.3 points in September. The index has risen 20.6 points from the start of the year, according to figures from the European Commission. Consumer confidence, however, continued to deteriorate, dropping 6.4 points to -44.7 points in October, erasing gains since the start of the year.

Credit expansion slowed to 0.7% Y-o-Y in September, from 0.8% in August according to the Bank of Greece (BoG).

Private sector bank deposits grew by €443 million in September, compared to a €1.48 billion increase in August, according to the BoG. Total deposits now stand at €173.86 billion, the highest level since November 2011.

Inflation hit 3% in October according to Eurostat, a 10-year record for Greece but lower than the eurozone monthly average of 4.1%. The energy sub-index, however, jumped 25.3% compared to the eurozone average of 23.5%.

GGBs

Ratings agency S&P has held off on issuing a new credit rating for Greece at the latest scheduled review point, meaning the year will close with a BB grade and positive outlook for Greek debt.

Privatisations

Privatisation fund HRADF is expected to bring in €2 billion by the close of 2021, compared to just €45 million in 2020. The lion’s share has come from the Egnatia highway (€1.5 billion), DEPA Infrastructure (€733 million) and Hellinikon (€300 million). The fund is currently working on its programme for 2022.

CVC Capital is set to become the cornerstone investor in PPC’s share capital raise, acquiring a 10% stake for €396 million. Total offers stand in the region of €1.3 billion for a target €1 billion capital raise, which has been increased from the initial target of €750 million. The offer book will open this week and stay open until November 4. The proceeds will be put towards an investment programme of €5.3 billion over the next 3 years, including 9.1 GW of RES by 2026.

PPC headquarters in Athens, Greece. Copyright: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com

Banks

Alpha Bank has signed a deal with Davidson Kempner for the Cosmos securitisation. The Cosmos portfolio has a gross book value of €3.4 billion and consists of 60,000 mortgages and consumer loans. Combined with upcoming transactions worth €4.6 billion, the deal will bring the bank’s NPE ratio down to 7% by the start of 2022.

Piraeus Bank raised €500 million from a green bond issue, which attracted more than €850 million in offers and a yield of 3.875%. Greek banks have committed to issuing roughly €15 billion of MREL issues by 2025.

Attica Bank has received five offers for its share capital raise from investors including Ellington, Bain and J.C. Flowers. The target for the share capital raise is in the range of €120-240 million. Existing shareholders HFSF and the Engineers’ pension fund TSMEDE are also expected to participate.

Stock Exchange

The ASE general index closed the week at 898.06 points. Overall, the index rose 3.78% on the month and 11% on the year to date.

The Board of Directors of the Athens Exchange announced that Socrates Lazaridis, CEO of the Company, had tendered his resignation early last week, with him expected to remain in the position for a few months to complete the succession process.

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