GIG Economic Bulletin – April 18, 2022

Intense activity continues in the energy sector in anticipation of the new energy reality created by the war in Ukraine, with domestic and international players focusing on boosting hydrocarbon exploration, gas storage, and renewables.

Economic Bulletin
Greece’s political leadership has announced plans to fast-track the development and monetisation of its upstream natural gas sector in view of growing energy security concerns, with exploratory drilling set begin in 2023. Meanwhile, both domestic and international players are making headway in large-scale energy projects spanning from carbon capture and storage to offshore wind to cross-border energy interconnections.

Macro

The government’s latest projections see a primary deficit of 2% this year, moving to a primary surplus of 0.8% as of 2023. From 2024 it is believed that Greece will be able to cover interest payments estimated at €5 billion on its own.

Moody’s Analytics expects average inflation to reach 7.7% in 2022 and growth to be limited to 4.5% GDP in its base case scenario, 0.8% lower than the previous forecast.

Unemployment settled at 12.8% in February compared to 12.9% in January according to the latest data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT). According to Labour Ministry data, the hirings balance in March was positive by 34,373. Over Q1 the balance is positive by 23,758 hirings. However, this falls short by 24,974 compared to the same period in 2021.

The import price index shot up by 27% Y-o-Y in February, with the oil and gas component registering a 62% rise, petroleum products up 61%, and base metals up 29%.

GGBs

The PDMA has not changed its plans to issue a green bond in the second half of the year. In fact, it is widening the scope of the projects that could be financed by the proceeds. The issuance is expected to raise €2 to €2.5 billion. 

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras told the Capital Link forum that Greece is leaving open the prospect of issuing a new bond in the coming period despite rising yields. At the same time, the authorities are signalling to foreign investors that fiscal prudence remains paramount.

RRF

The list of projects included in Greece 2.0 is up to 173, adding up to a total budget of €8.5 billion.

Energy

The government will be taking measures to accelerate hydrocarbon exploration of six blocks, including upgrading selected projects to projects of national interest. This includes three offshore blocks located in the Ionian sea, two blocks offshore Crete, and one onshore block – Ioannina – where Energean will proceed in 2023 with its first exploratory drilling in Greece in two decades.

According to initial estimates made by Hellenic Hydrocarbon Resources Management (HHRM) Greece could be sitting on more than 600 billion cubic metres of recoverable natural gas, while the sector is valued upwards of €250 billion. The intensive exploration plans announced by the government aim to conclude seismic surveys to assess the size and scope of deposits by the end of 2023.

Energean has applied for a license to build the first Carbon Capture and Storage project in Greece in the Prinos basin. The project has been approved for RRF funding, while the licensing is expected to be completed by the end of H1 2024.

Elpedison has applied to the energy regulator RAE for a license to build an FRSU in the Thermaic Gulf near Thessaloniki with a storage capacity of 170,000 cubic metres.

Motor Oil says it will reach an investment decision by the end of 2022 on its plans for an LNG terminal in Corinth.

Grid operator IPTO/ADMIE is examining the possibility of becoming a shareholder in the proposed Greece-Egypt interconnector after a high-level meeting with Egyptian counterpart EETC.

TERNA Energy reported EBITDA of €405 million in 2021, an increase of 24% compared to 2020. The company has ramped up its target for renewables installation from 3 GW to 6.4 GW by 2025.

Swedish offshore wind specialist Hexicon is going into a joint venture with Greek investment firm ELMAL. Hexicon Power SA will join Ocean Winds-TERNA Energy and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners-Mytilineos as the third player in the emerging Greek offshore wind space.

Real Estate

REICs invested more than €550 million in Greek real estate in 2021, according to the Bank of Greece (BoG).

Dimand Real Estate has applied to the Capital Markets Commission for a public listing on the ASE. The company intends to list 35% of its shares, with the aim of raising €200 million in investment capital.

Tourism

Traffic at Athens International Airport in the first three months of the year was down by 36% compared to 2019. At the 14 regional airports, where traffic in the first quarter reached 1.3 million travellers, it was down by 31.5% compared to 2019 but up by 310% versus 2021.

Athens International Airport. Copyright: Markus Mainka / Shutterstock.com

In five years of operating Greece’s 14 regional airports, Fraport Greece reported that it increased traffic from 25 million passengers to over 30 million in 2019 and completed a €450-million investment programme.

MSC Cruises will be using Piraeus Port for homeporting for the first time this summer for one of its cruise liners. The MSC Lirica will perform 28 cruises starting and ending at Piraeus between April and October.

A draft law published this week by the Shipping Ministry aims to reform the framework for marine tourism and yachting with a view to making Greece a competitive destination for the sector.

Privatisations

The eight bidders for the majority share in Heraklion Port are Grimaldi Euromed/Minoan, Portek International/GPH Cruise Port, GEK Terna/Aviareps, SEKAVIN/Golden Step Shipping, TEKAL/JCC, Olete Limited and OLTH.

Banks

HSBC has lowered its target price for the systemic banks. Most banks are still expected to report profits in 2022, despite revising their downward forecasts due to inflationary pressures and the early repayment of commercial loans.

Stock Market

The ASE general index rose 1.4% on a weekly basis, closing Friday at 918.96 points. The index has gained 4.49% since the start of April and is now just 5.36% short of its level prior to the invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Blue chips were the biggest winners, with banking stocks recording marginal losses.

Partners of Greece Investor Guide

Load More...
Back to top button
Close
Close