GIG Economic Bulletin – May 3, 2022

Construction will officially start this week on the Alexandroupolis floating LNG terminal, which is due to become operational at the end of 2023. A new law is set to simplify RES and energy storage licensing, while Greek construction firms plan to install 7.5 GW of RES generation by the end of the decade.

Economic BulletinInsights
Construction work on the FSRU in Alexandroupolis will start this week, with targets set on it becoming fully operational in 2023. The Greek government has put out a fast-track consultation on new licensing procedures for RES, which include energy storage and marine PV installations, while Greek construction firms have unveiled plans to invest in a total of 7.5 GW of RES projects by 2030.

Macro

Income tax payments, VAT swelled by high energy prices and inflation, and the collection of road tax deferred from 2021 contributed to a revenue outperformance of €1.28 billion in the first quarter of 2022 according to the latest budget execution figures.

Greece’s deficit in 2021 totalled 7.4% of GDP, making it the second highest in the EU according to Eurostat data. Greece ranked second to France in expenditure, which totalled 57% of GDP, compared to France’s 59.2%.

UBS places Greek growth this year at 4% to 5% due to headwinds from the energy and inflation crises, while seeing support for the economy from higher mobility and economic sentiment, improved labour market conditions, RRF funds, and good tourism data at the start of the year.

Inflation shot up to 9.4% in April according to Eurostat’s harmonised index, compared to 7.5% in the eurozone.

Energy

Work on the Alexandroupolis FSRU is due to commence officially in the coming week. The facility, which will have a storage capacity of 153,500 cubic metres and an annual regasification capacity of 5.5 bcm, is scheduled to dock in November 2023 and become operational by the end of the same year.

Greek construction firms are set to invest in a total 7.5 GW of RES projects by 2030. TERNA Energy alone has plans to increase its RES portfolio from 0.9 GW to 6.4 GW by 2029, including 4 GW in wind and solar and 1.25 GW in hydro.

Tel Aviv-listed Econergy has acquired 49% of a subsidiary of TERNA Energy involved in PV installations in northern Greece. Following Hexicon and OX2, Nordic Solar is the latest Scandinavian firm to announce its involvement in Greek RES projects.

The government has put out a fast-track consultation on simplified licensing for RES, also including the licensing framework for energy storage and marine PV installations. The legislation is tied to the disbursement of €4 billion of RRF funds in June.

Tourism

Over 700 cruise liners are expected in the Aegean this summer, of which at least 570 will be homeporting in a Greek port, according to Shipping Minister Giannis Plakiotakis.

Retail

A KPMG report on “The Future of the Retail Sector” found an increase in online sales was one of the biggest changes to customer behaviour prompted by Covid-19. Retail sales grew by 5.6% annually between 2015-2020, peaking at €31 billion in 2019.

E-commerce sales totalled €6.1 billion in 2021, up 40% from 2020 levels. Credit and debit card transactions totalled €44.5 billion, representing an increase of 23.5% from 2020 according to data presented by Cardlink at the Digital Banking Forum.

Copyright: Rido / Shutterstock.com

Banks

Moody’s gave another significant vote of confidence to Greek banks, keeping the outlook at ‘positive’ despite the challenges of the Ukraine conflict.

Greek banks’ plans include the issue of €4 billion of debt annually until 2025 to cover the minimum requirement for own funds and eligible liabilities (MREL) in order for their relevant ratio to be kept at 23%. This year’s plans have been put on hold, however, due to the spike in yields.

Stock Market

The ASE general index closed at 922.43 points on Friday, registering weekly losses of -2.78%. Monthly performance for April was positive at 4.89% but prices have failed to cover all the ground lost since the start of the war in Ukraine.

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