ELSTAT announced 7% Y-o-Y growth in the first quarter, exceeding expectations. Consumption and investment led the rise despite inflation-related concerns, as households and businesses proved resilient, while the base effect relative to the negative start of 2022 also played a part. The Finance Ministry now sees Q1 as setting the stage for growth that could exceed 3% for the full year.
The OECD became the first international organisation to lower Greece’s growth forecast to below 3%. The OECD sees average inflation this year at 8.8%, while on the fiscal front it sees a return to primary surpluses from 2023, in line with the government’s commitment to its lenders.
Inflation jumped to 11.3% in May, led by energy and food prices, the highest level since 1993. Natural gas prices increased by 172.7%, electricity is up by more than 80%, and heating oil has increased by 65.6%.
The ECB’s interest rate decisions have put the Southern European sovereign debt market under pressure. The Greek 10-year benchmark is at 4.12%, Italy at 3.69%, Portugal at 2.65%, while Spain is at 2.61%.
Momentum is building behind major energy infrastructure projects totalling €6 billion, with the most prominent being the interconnectors with Israel and Egypt, which will transport electricity generated from renewable sources in the Middle East and North Africa to Southeastern Europe. The EuroAsia interconnector – an underwater cable connecting Israel, Cyprus and Greece – has a budget of €2.5 billion and has received EU backing of €657 million. The Greece-Egypt interconnector proposed by Copelouzos subsidiary ELICA has an estimated cost of €3.5 billion.
Greek refineries have been operating without Russian oil supplies since before the conflict in Ukraine, according to operators HELPE and Motor Oil. As such, they are not directly affected by the embargo imposed by the EU and there are no supply concerns for the Greek economy.
The renewables portfolio of Volterra is to be acquired by PPC Renewables. Volterra has wind parks with a total capacity of 36 MW and has RES projects in the pipeline totalling 150 MW.
Mytilineos signed a 10-year agreement to provide 1.1 TWh annually to Enel, the largest power company in Chile, from four photovoltaic sites.
The legislation that will determine the wholesale electricity price is expected in the coming days and, according to relevant sources, will set a cap on the price for each generation source. The funding comes mostly from the Transition Fund, which is expected to amass €3.2 billion, including the windfall tax on power companies.
HELPE’s business plan over the next 3-5 years includes investments totalling over €2 billion, half of which will be directed towards green energy, and will include acquisitions in addition to organic growth.
Greece’s 2021 FDI did not just surpass the pre-pandemic levels but also managed to break the previous high of $5.36 billion in 2006, according to data from UNCTAD. FDI in 2021 came to $5.73 billion, from $3.21 billion in 2020 and $5.02 billion in 2019. M&A activity accounted for $2.66 billion while greenfield investments were $2.77 billion.
TIKUN Europe will be establishing the largest production unit for pharmaceutical cannabis in Europe, and the first of its kind in Greece, in Corinthia by the end of 2022. Production at the facility is set to start in July 2023.
Green shipping and ferrying, a centre of maritime environmental innovation in Piraeus, and changes in environmental charges from the ship owner to the user were some of the basic proposals outlined by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the Posidonia conference.
Greece remains the leading shipping nation in the world, with 5,514 ships owned by Greeks, standing at 21% of the global tonnage. According to VesselsValue, the 50 top Greek shipping firms add up to a market value of $101 billion.
The Greek fleet has doubled in value within just four years, rising by 92% to $159 billion. The fleet has been upgraded with new ships and investment in new markets like LNG.
This year’s bar for travel receipts has been raised to €15 billion, with most resorts having a good June with high occupancy rates. The head of the hoteliers’ association starts the new season with optimism on bookings and investments in the industry.
Fraport Greece is optimistic that the 14 regional ports that it manages will reach 80-85% of the traffic recorded in 2019. In 2019 the regional airports served more than 30 million passengers, while in 2020 due to the pandemic there was a drop of 71.4% to 8.61 million.
The path has been cleared for the €1.1-billion investment in the Hellinikon integrated casino resort, with the Greek state set to secure €150 million from the casino licence. The consortium composition has changed after Mohegan Gaming backed out and Hard Rock, which was initially rejected, joined with a 51% stake.
Lamda Development has signed an agreement with Orilina Properties for a €70-million investment in the Hellinikon site for development rights in the area between Riviera Tower and the shopping mall Riviera Galleria.
Ble Kedros became the sixth property investment company to list on the Athens Stock Exchange after Prodea, Trastor, Briq Properties Intercontinental International and Premia Properties.
Piraeus Bank’s plan to develop its property portfolio is in full swing, with the bank focussing on two primary objectives, sales and the doubling of the property stock and rent intakes of its property subsidiary Trastor.
Alpha Bank is running a tender for a co-investor in a portfolio of 573 properties, that has attracted three binding offers from Invel-Prodea, Brook Lane-Bain and Dimand-HIG-Premia. According to sources the portfolio is valued at €450 million.
Alpha Bank has extended €2.2 billion of loans to the tourism sector over the last four years and is the first bank to form a dedicated department to serve the industry.
Ratings agency DBRS has recommended the extension of Hercules APS beyond its end-of-life date of October this year due to the special conditions arising from the conflict in Ukraine and the inflation wave that has gripped households and firms.
The ASE general index dropped by -2.72% on a weekly basis to land at 862 points at the close of Friday’s session. The losses were greatest in the banking sector, which lost -3.7% during the week following the ECB’s decision to start raising interest rates.