The Bank of Greece (BoG) lowered its GDP growth forecast for this year to 3.2% from its previous estimate of 3.8%. Next year is seen at 4.1%, while 2024 is expected at 3.6%. In the adverse scenario, this year drops to 1.8% while 2023 delivers just 0.3%.
Credit ratings agency DBRS has lowered its growth forecast to 3.9% from 4.3% this year and to 3.2% from 3.4% in 2023. The agency has lowered its predictions for most countries, on the prospect of a long-drawn-out war in Ukraine continuing to push up inflation.
Inflation has contributed to an overperformance in tax intakes totalling €2.84 billion in the first five months of 2022, including VAT which came in at €837 million above the target.
Deposits grew by €1.31 billion in May according to the BoG. The increase was mainly due to the deposits of corporations rising by €1.65 billion, an annual rise of 14.3%. Household deposits decreased by €336 million.
Resilience and Recovery
Around €1.9 billion of RRF-backed business loans have received pre-approval, while a further €650-700 million are being processed, according to Alternate Finance Minister Theodoros Skylakakis.
Finance Minister Christos Staikouras told the “Future of Sustainable Finance” conference that Greece will be issuing a green bond within 2022 if the right conditions emerge.
The Environment and Energy Ministry will shortly be inviting tenders for 1,000 MW of RES capacity, to be followed by a tender for 1,500 MW of energy storage by 2025 and 3,000 MW by 2030. The ministry expects to see 25 GW of RES installed by 2030, compared to the target of 19 GW.
Intrakat Energy has been formed out of four subsidiaries of Intrakat – Greek Windpower, Alpener, Clamwind and Kastri Evoias (renamed Inkat Energy). The new company controls a total 98 MW of wind projects, licensed or under construction.
Battery maker Sunlight has raised €70 million through a capital injection from shareholder Olympia, having secured loans totalling €275 million from the four systemic banks, which the company says will be invested in implementing its five-year business plan.
Plans are underway for the ports of Thessaloniki and Alexandroupolis to become gateways for the export of Ukrainian grain to global markets, following the NATO Secretary General’s announcement that Greece is ready to supply ships to move the grain currently under blockade in the Black Sea.
A new railway connection between Nea Karvali and Toxotes Xanthis is to receive EU funding of €154 million towards its total budget of €213 million. The project is part of the Eastern Rail Egnatia, which will connect the Aegean with the Black Sea.
TRAINOSE and DAMCO (Copelouzos Group) have submitted a binding offer for the 30-year concession on Thriassio II. In July the Infrastructure and Transport Ministry aims to pass legislation to enable the commencement of the development of Thriassio I.
French defence manufacturer Naval Group has inked a series of agreements with Greek companies in connection with the frigate-building programme for the Greek navy. EMMAS, MEVACO, STELMA and VIKING HELLAS have already signed up, with further discussions underway.
Foreign buyers accounted for €374 million of property investments in Q1, a 75% increase on 2021. The amount is only 4.7% below Q1 2019, which developed into a record year with a total of €1.45 billion worth of transactions.
Lamda Development announced that the Board of Directors of the Company resolved on the issuance of a “green” common bond loan, amounting up to €230 million with a minimum amount of €200 million, with a duration of seven years.
With hotel bookings and flights reaching pre-pandemic levels and the average spend per trip higher, Greece could conceivably exceed its 2019 travel intakes by 10%. This trend started in April, with receipts up by 20% compared to 2019, and this is to continue in May and June. The industry has started talking about a season that could reach €20 billion in takings.
The cruise industry expects a 25% increase in arrivals and a 10% increase in revenues compared to 2019. Around 4,900 arrivals are expected over the summer, 750 of which will be homeporting.
Arrivals at the five international airports of the south Aegean exceeded 2019 by 13% in April, 5% in May and 13% in June, according to data from Fraport and the Civil Aviation Authority. A total of 1.7 million visitors are estimated to have arrived in April and May.
In August, privatisation fund HRADF is expected to call the tender for the concession of the airport of Kalamata. According to the new strategic plan for 2022-2024, HRADF plans to bundle the remaining 22 regional airports into one tender.
NBG applied for the inclusion of Frontier II securitisation in the Hercules APS guarantee scheme, asking for state guarantees worth €460 million for the senior notes. Frontier II is roughly one billion euros and, following its completion, the NPE ratio of NBG will drop down to 6.5%.
The BoG has warned about the potential of bad loans rising, despite the progress in reducing the stock down to €17.7 billion, which is €91 billion below the peak of March 2016.
The forthcoming visit of the head of the SSM to Athens on July 12 will focus on the risks of new NPEs forming and the preparedness of banks for the new cycle of interest rate hikes.
In another negative week for U.S. and European equities, the ASE general index lost -3.48% on a weekly basis to close Friday at 805.97 points, its lowest level since March 10. The banking sector was down -5.13%, marking a 17-month low.