GIG Economic Bulletin – February 7, 2022

Economic sentiment reached record levels in January. The acquisition of two Greek tech start-ups by U.S. companies and the announcement of a Meta outpost in Greece reaffirmed the positive dynamic in the sector.

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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced a new permanent reduction of the ENFIA property tax, and companies in the country’s tech and innovation ecosystem are being snapped up by international buyers, particularly from the U.S. Meanwhile, the Greek shipping fleet continues topping international rankings.


The IOBE think-tank expects 2021 growth to reach 9-9.5%, slowing to 4.5-5% this year, while highlighting risks of fiscal deficits and rising borrowing costs.

Annual inflation is estimated to hit 5.5% in January according to Eurostat’s harmonised price index, up from 4.4% in December, mostly due to price rises in energy and foodstuff. The Finance Ministry has upped its inflation forecast for 2022 to between 1.5-2% from the figure of 1% included in the budget. The figure is expected to approach 5% in Q1.

Markit’s PMI index dropped to 57.9 points in January from 59 in December due to a slowdown of production, with the main reason being lower orders as clients are concerned about product prices.

Economic sentiment for January rose to 114.2 points on the IOBE index, the highest in 21 years. However, the retail sector sentiment experienced a sharp drop of 5.4 points.

Retail turnover was up by 19% Y-o-Y in November reflecting the base effect of last year’s lockdown, but down 6.3% since October, according to data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).


The first €1.64-billion tranche of RRF-backed loans will be offered at a minimum interest rate of 0.35%. The rate will be adjusted at each funding round.


5-star hotels helped last year’s tourism recovery with sales down just -8.4% compared to 2019, while the rest of the categories had to deal with serious losses ranging from -63.1% for 2-star to -45.8% for 4-star. The sector sees challenges remaining, with 33% of survey respondents expecting the business activity returning to 2019 levels in 2023, and another 33% expects it in 2024.


HELPE’s “Vision 2025” strategy includes green investments totalling €4 billion by 2030, with the goal of moving from a traditional petroleum company to a utility with a smaller environmental footprint. A major corporate restructuring will see business areas split into separate entities under a holding company.


The Greek merchant fleet grew by 0.3% Y-o-Y in November according to ELSTAT. Total capacity in terms of vessels of 100 gross registered tonnage and upwards dropped by -2.8%.

A study by the International Chamber of Shipping ranks the Greek fleet among the top 10 globally, and one of only five in the top 10 to achieve a green flag across all categories based on the results of ship inspections under the Paris MoU, the US Coastgard’s QUALSHIP 21, and other global standards.


The regional airports managed by Fraport Greece recovered 58% of 2019 traffic in 2021, matching 2017 levels. If the recovery continues, the company expects to hit 80% of 2019 traffic in the current year, while across all airports the BoG predicts that 2022 could match 2019 levels.

Real estate

Lamda Development signed a deal with Brook Lane Capital for the development of the 150-metre-high mixed purpose tower at Hellinikon. It is a €200-million investment for a building that will include office spaces, a hotel, and residences with a total surface of 60,000 square meters.

Marina Tower, Hellinikon. Copyright: Lamda Development

The Golden Visa scheme had underwhelming results in 2021 as the new permits issued were just above 1,000. Despite the rise from 2020, it was one third of the number issued in 2019, the record year since 2014 when the scheme rolled out. The largest hit continues to come from the lack of investors originating from China. 

The Prime Minister announced a new permanent reduction of 13% to the ENFIA property tax, which contributes to his government outperforming its pledge to reduce the tax by 30% during its tenure.


Facebook’s parent company Meta Platforms is set to acquire Greek start-up Accusonus, while the company has also informed the Greek government that it intends to set up a subsidiary in Greece. The enterprise value of Accusonus is estimated at between €70-100 million.

California-based online marketing firm Prodege has announced the acquisition of Greek online market research start-up Pollfish from Piraeus Bank’s Jeremie venture capital fund.

Conglomerate Mytilineos will be building the biggest data centre in Greece for Lamda Helix/Digital Realty at its site in Koropi. ATH-3 will cover an area of 8,600 sqm and will use 100% green energy.


The needs of Greek banks within the MREL framework up to 2025 come to €14.5 billion, according to the latest data from the EU’s Single Resolution Board up to September 2021. These will be covered through the issuance of senior preferred, Tier II and AT1 bonds, with the Greek banks having already lined up €4 billion of issues this year, with NBG expected to lead in the coming weeks. 

Stock market

The ASE general index made weekly gains of 2.22% to close Friday at 945 points. Banking stocks continued their upward momentum, climbing 5.46% on the week, while large caps made gains of 2.6%.

The number of companies to the de-list from the ASE since 2000 reached 300 with the exit of food companies Karamolegos and Nikas. In recent months majority shareholders have taken advantage of low valuations to take several household names private, with more expected imminently.

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