GIG Economic Bulletin – 15 November 2021

The European Commission has upped this year’s growth forecast for Greece to 7.1%, as tourism and manufacturing continue to deliver positive news.

Economic BulletinInsights
The Greek economy continues to make positive strides, with the European Commission having revised its 2021 growth forecast for Greece up to 7.1% – the 3rd highest in the bloc – while the country’s manufacturing, tourism, and construction sectors continue to accelerate. Meanwhile, Piraeus Bank inked a deal with Intrum and Serengeti Management over the Sunrise II securitisation, with a book value of €2.7 billion.

Macro

In its autumn forecast, the European Commission revised its 2021 growth forecast for Greece upwards to 7.1% and down to 5.2% in 2022. The V-shaped recovery is attributed to enhanced domestic demand and a better-than-expected tourism season. The new growth estimate is the 3rd highest in the EU, however the deficit of 9.9% and debt of 203% are the highest in the EU.

The official government growth forecast is likely to be revised up from the current 6.1% according to Finance Minister Christos Staikouras. The minister also stated that the early repayment of €7.1 billion of IMF and eurozone debt is a government priority, along with the country’s exit from the enhanced surveillance programme.

Greece’s Industrial Production Index grew by 9.7% Y-o-Y in September, following a 10% rise in August according to the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT). Manufacturing recorded the biggest sector-based increase with 11.5%, followed by 5.8% growth in electricity supply and 2.1% in mining and quarrying.

Inflation was 3.4% Y-o-Y in October, according to the official CPI published by ELSTAT. The main drivers were an 11.7% rise in housing costs due to electricity, natural gas and heating oil, and a 7.8% increase in transport costs.

The scope of the government’s energy subsidies has widened, with the size of the recently formed Energy Transition Fund rising from €150 million to €600 million to accommodate increased contributions to households’ electricity and heating bills.

GGBs

Analysts expect the European Central Bank to continue providing some kind of support encompassing Greek Government Bonds (GGBs) in the post-PEPP era, with JP Morgan and ING suggesting that a bridging programme worth €200-300 billion will succeed PEPP to absorb any potential shocks.

Privatisations

Three investors remain in the running for the twin tenders by privatisation fund HRADF and the special administrator for mining and metals company LARCO: Mytilineos, GEK Terna/AD Holdings and Commodity & Mining Insight UK.

Consultants are about to deliver a study on the 22 regional airports currently managed by the state whose concessions are due to be put out to tender by state superfund HCAP, starting with the Kalamata Airport.

Investments

The Project Preparation Facility (PPF) within privatisation fund HRADF has taken on €2.5 billion worth of projects in order to help facilitate strategic investments and RRF-linked projects in an advisory capacity. These include 19 projects and reforms.

Real Estate

New building permits in the private sector were up 13.1% Y-o-Y in August, as construction continues to accelerate. Over the period January-August, there was a 19.3% increase compared to the same period last year.

Tourism

Tourism revenues are expected to reach €12 billion for the whole of 2021 according to figures presented by Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias at the 36th Philoxenia International Tourism Fair. The number is approximately double the official forecast at the start of the tourist season.

Hotel occupancy at seasonal resorts exceeded 83% in the second week of August, which marks the traditional peak of the tourist season. For city hotels the equivalent figure was just over 70%, according to industry reports.

A quaint taverna in Nafplio, Peloponnese, Greece. Copyright: Solomakha / Shutterstock.com

Banks

Piraeus Bank has finalised a deal with Intrum and Serengeti Management over the Sunrise II securitisation. The securitisation, which has a book value of €2.7 billion, includes 47,000 loans.

The government’s intention for HSFS to divest from Greek banks will be addressed in upcoming legislation redefining the role of the fund, according to comments by Prime Minister Mitsotakis’ chief economic adviser Alex Patelis in an interview with business paper Naftemporiki.

Stock Market

The ASE general index edged up 0.78% this week to close at 913.94 points, as gains early in the week led by the PPC share capital increase were mostly eroded in subsequent sessions.

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