In its latest spring forecast, the European Commission has lowered its growth forecast for Greece to 3.5%, from 4.9%. Inflation is seen as skyrocketing to an average of 6.3% this year, above the Finance Ministry’s estimate of 5.6%.
The EBRD is predicting growth of 2.9% for 2022 and 3.5% for 2023, in the shadow of inflation and a potential reduction in tourist numbers as an indirect effect of the war in Ukraine.
In April the total employment balance was positive by 124,365, with six in 10 jobs in full-time employment, according to data released by the Labour Ministry’s ERGANI system. The 20-year record hiring balance in April reflects the expectation for a solid tourism season.
The latest ELSTAT data for March showed that unemployment dropped to 12.2%, with the absolute numbers of unemployed falling below 600,000. The number of people in employment also increased by 523,963 year-on-year, or 14.3%.
Company revenues in Q1 jumped by €18 billion to €88.28 billion, a rise of 25% compared to the same quarter of 2019. The rise is attributed partly to the post-pandemic release of pent-up demand, and partly to inflation.
The Finance Ministry is set to introduce a series of tax breaks for mergers, business transformations and joint ventures for SMEs. Tax breaks will reach up to 30% for business transformations meeting certain conditions.
The draft climate law tabled in Parliament last week contains some changes from the original version, including a replacement of the ban on oil-fired boilers with a requirement to burn 30% biofuels. The 2028 coal phase-out in electricity generation remains.
It is estimated that Greece could secure €5 billion in loans and €1 billion in grants from the €300-billion REPowerEU package. The funds are earmarked for investment in renewables and energy efficiency.
Greece will be putting together a list of “green” projects with a total value of €10-12 billion for submission to the REPowerEU scheme. Government officials believe they can leverage Greece’s portion of 6 billion euros by attracting private sector investment in a manner similar to RRF funds.
PPC and Iberdrola have both submitted offers for Volterra’s RES portfolio which has been put up for sale by parent company AVAX. A major private energy supplier is said to be interested in Volterra’s retail business.
Gas distribution operator DEDA is commencing construction in western Greece on 208 km of network which will deliver LNG to at least 8,000 connections in Patra, Agrinio and Pyrgos by 2023. The project is budgeted at €32 million.
Several Greek hydrogen proposals are lining up to secure funding through the EU’s Hydrogen Accelerator’s IPCEI list. They include White Dragon, Blue Med, Green HiPo and H2CAT TANKS.
Italian-Irish fund Helikon has increased its stake in GEK TERNA to 5.01% according to a notification to the ASE. Founded in 2019, hedge fund Helikon manages €1 billion in assets.
HRADF is preparing the tender for a logistics site at the former Gonou Camp west of Thessaloniki. The project, worth an estimated €300 million, is attracting interest from all of Greece’s major infrastructure firms as well as foreign funds such as US-based HIG.
Several international investors have submitted offers for a joint real estate venture with Alpha Bank, including Invel/Prodea, Dimand-HIG, Brook Lane and Davidson Kempner. The value of the property portfolio concerned is estimated at over €1 billion.
doValue is preparing to sell €2.6 billion of unsecured loans on the secondary market. The loans are part of the Cairo I and Cairo II SPVs under the codename Project Souk. Next in line are loans in the Frontier Securitisation.
New bad loans of €5 billion were formed in 2021, raising the Bank of Greece’s concerns that the situation could be compounded by the geopolitical and energy crises at the start of this year.
The ASE general index closed Friday at 860.06 points, with marginal weekly losses of -0.8% bringing losses since the start of May to -6.76%. Investors followed the trend of a global sell-off in equities, prompted by concerns over the prospect of stagflation.