GIG Economic Bulletin – February 21, 2022

Greek manufacturing beat pre-pandemic revenues in 2021 despite the challenges of the pandemic and supply chain bottlenecks. Flight and cruise operators are boosting their schedules to Greece this summer, with holiday bookings already surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

Economic Bulletin
Greece’s privatisations continue to gain traction with revenue targets of €2.2 billion expected to be well within reach, particularly with the closure of key highway and energy deals. International credit ratings agencies give positive nod to the sustainability of Greek debt, while pre-holiday bookings to Greece are on the rise from key markets such as the UK.

Macro

UBS predicts 8% economic growth for Greece in 2021, and 5% for 2022, spurred by the RRF package, employment growth and tourism revenues. The bank says Greece is likely to be upgraded by at least one ratings agency in 2023 but may not reach investment grade across the board until 2024.

HSBC, Scope Ratings, Fitch and DBRS told Naftemporiki newspaper they are not concerned about the rise in yields or its impact on the sustainability of Greek debt. However, according to the ratings agencies, it could complicate Greece’s path to securing investment grade.

Inflation hit a 25-year record of 6.2% in January according to the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), led by a jump of nearly 155% in natural gas, 56.7% in electricity, and 36% in heating oil. Fuels were also up by 21.6%.

The imports price index jumped by 23.6% in December according to ELSTAT. Given that the prices of raw materials often take months to cascade to retail prices, Greece could be looking at months of high inflation ahead.

Unemployment dropped to 12.8% in December according to ELSTAT from 13.4% in November. The number of people with jobs rose by 4.9% to 4,075,080.

Total company revenues in Greece in 2021 reached €332.43 billion, beating the €316.91 billion amassed pre-pandemic in 2019. Manufacturing was the best performer, reaching €71.66 billion, against €63.07 billion in 2019.

Energy

Energean and the GEK Terna–DESFA consortium are the finalists in the binding offer stage for the South Kavala underground gas storage facility, after the pricing process cleared the final hurdle with regulator RAE.

DEPA Commercial is expected to report record results for 2021. In 2020 the company reported a turnover of €549.8 million and pre-tax profits of €43.1 million.

Distribution company DEDA will be investing €60 million in expanding its gas distribution network in western Macedonia, with 360 km of new pipelines and 12,000 new domestic connections planned by 2023.

Energy supplier Watt+Wolt is partnering with Impax Asset Management to develop 200 MW of PV generation.

The Germanos Group has submitted a business plan to the Just Transition Fund for an investment of €1 billion in the production of lithium batteries in western Macedonia.

Battery manufacturer Sunlight has applied for €170 million financing under the RRF towards a €560-million investment plan aimed at upgrading its production facilities in Greece, Italy and the US.

Infrastructure

COSCO reported a 6.4% increase in container traffic at Piraeus Port Piers I&II from 363.7 thousand TEU in January 2021 to 386.8 thousand TEU in January 2022.

Public roadworks with a total budget of €1 billion and offer deadlines approaching in February are gradually picking up traction. They include a highway project in Central Greece with a budget of €285 million, a highway extension in Athens at €434 million, a project in Evia worth €210 million, and €145 million for the northern Crete highway.

Privatisations

The agreement between the Hellenic Gaming Commission and Athens IRC is due to be signed in the coming days. The agreement will award the casino license to GEK Terna, after which Hard Rock is expected to take a 51% stake in the project.

HRADF has published the tender for the redevelopment and 35-year concession of the 98-berth mega-yacht marina in Corfu.

The marina in Corfu covers a land area of 39,400 square meters, serving 98 yachts up to 140 meters. Through a possible extension, it could cover up to 100,000 square meters. Copyright: Aerial-motion / Shutterstock.com

The concession on the Egnatia Highway and the sale of DEPA Infrastructure are expected to be completed within 2022 to hit the €2.2-billion revenue target from privatisations, while the government is looking for the right time to unfreeze the sale of 30% of Athens International Airport (AIA).

Digital

OTE and the Grid Telecom–Terna Energy consortium have been awarded the temporary tenders for the €868-million Ultra-Fast Broadband project after emerging as the sole bidders for three and four of the geographical coverage zones respectively.

Power utility PPC is forming a new subsidiary to enter the wholesale telecoms market with the goal of achieving 80% population coverage with Fibre to the Home network using HEDNO/DEDDIE infrastructure by 2025.

Tourism

There is a critical mass of indications that Greece will have a solid tourism season with Greek destinations among the top five preferences on online booking sites and increased pre-bookings from key markets such as the UK, which is seen up by 28% this year. Pre-bookings in January are up by 30% compared to the high water mark of 2019.

January traffic was down to 371,090 arrivals compared to the pre-pandemic level of 628,084 in January 2020 at the 14 regional airports managed by Fraport Greece. It was however up by 240% from 2021 levels. The Civil Aviation Authority has reported a 223.6% rise in arrivals across Greek airports compared to January 2021. However, arrivals were 41.5% lower than January 2020.

Airlines, tour companies, and cruise operators are increasing scheduled arrivals to Greece for the coming season, with increases of between 20% and 189% expected across the board compared to pre-pandemic levels of 2019. Ryanair, EasyJet, Volotea, and Aegean are among the airlines that will be adding more flights to and from Greece this summer, while Air Canada and Jet2 are introducing new direct routes to Athens.

Out of 752 scheduled cruise arrivals at Piraeus in 2022, 575 will be home porting. The total number is up from 622 in 2019. Heraklion is expecting 242 arrivals, up from 202, while Corfu has 489 already scheduled, compared to 416 in 2019.

Banks

Piraeus Bank has issued over €250 million of credit to companies based on ESG criteria.

Stock market

The ASE general index dropped by -1.56% on a weekly basis, closing Friday at 955.93 points. Market jitters caused by the ongoing tension in Ukraine cased a generalised sell-off, with banks losing -2.23% and large caps ending the week down -1.59%.

Partners of Greece Investor Guide

Load More...
Back to top button
Close
Close