The British agency FTSE will make its annual assessment of the Athens Stock Exchange in early September and it seems that the Greek financial market will be transferred from the group of developed countries to the group of advanced emerging markets. Significant loss of capitalization in recent years and the change in some regulations suggest the downgrade of the Athens Stock Exchange.
FTSE does not approve the imposition of new taxes on profits from trading in shares of companies listed on the stock exchange. The additional tax should have entered into force by the middle of the year but was postponed to early 2013. Such a debate has been taking place in Europe since the beginning of the year and the main opponent of taxation of profits is the United Kingdom. France has introduced a tax on profits from trading in shares on the stock market in August 2012. Its value is 0.1% of the reported profit but the country is alone in this initiative for the time being. In the event that the Greek government will follow France and introduces a tax on the profits from the trade in shares, FTSE will insist on a clause that will exclude foreign investors on the Athens Stock Exchange from that burden. Hellenic Banks Association supports the requirement of not imposing the additional tax on profits from trading in shares on foreign investors, because it could lead to dangerous outflow of investment.
The final decision to change the status of the Athens Stock Exchange will be made after a meeting of FTSE representatives with the head of the supervisory commission of the financial market, the chairman of the stock exchange and representatives of the Ministry of Finance. "FTSE will put the stock exchange where international investors want us to be," a local financial analyst told Nafteporiki. Some Greek financiers are concerned that the stock exchange downgrading may weaken the confidence of international investors in the abilities of Greece. On the other hand, reserved specialists note that in the present state of Greece, one can hardly speak of shaking the confidence, as it does not already exist in practice.
However, the country has something to offer the international investment community given that macroeconomic indicators have stabilized. The annual road show of the companies listed on the Athens Stock Exchange is about to take place. They will first visit London on 6-7 September and then New York between 9 and 11 October. "We cannot talk about economic growth without investment. Investment cannot come if we do not find the right investors. We have to be oriented outwards and take care of the constant communication with the investment community to achieve our goals," President of the Athens Exchange Sokratis Lazaridis said.
After the Assumption, the stock market in Greece has experienced a slight resurrection. The main index closed on Friday with a growth of 1.22% while on Thursday, it was preceded by an increase of 1.57%. The turnover was 18 million euro today and the main stock index reached 639.27 basis points. With the approaching of recapitalizations, banks are also reporting profits and only Piraeus ended the week with a negative result of -2.17%. Profits were reported by ΟΤΕ (+6.38%), Coca Cola 3E (+4.73%), DEI (+2.92%), Alpha Bank (+2.27) and the National Bank of Greece (+1.54%). The weekly growth of the stock exchange was 3.40% but the losses this year have reached 6.05%.