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Foreign investors do not trust Greece

12 September 2015 / 15:09:41  GRReporter
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Watching without touching. This is the brief comment on the attitude to the Greek market expressed by the foreign capital managers who participated in the tenth annual roadshow of Greek companies organized by the Athens Stock Exchange with the support of Bloomberg in London. It is also evident from the turnover of the stock exchange on Thursday and Friday, when the forum took place, as over the past years, there has been a significant increase in the daily value of transactions from abroad during the days of the roadshow.

Managers of funds with smaller investment capital, who were fewer than last year, with minimal exceptions remain especially cautious and concerned over the ability of Athens to implement the agreed reforms and to repair the damage inflicted over the past year, as stated by investment sources in London for the newspaper Kathimerini.

Even those who might be willing to bet on the recovery of the Greek economy through the Athens Stock Exchange have received no answer to dozens of questions. The terms of bank recapitalization are unknown, the amount of non-performing loans is unknown, the impact of uncertainty on consumer spending is unknown, the depth and duration of economic recession is unknown, the election outcome is unknown as well as the possibility of forming a government that will secure trust in the markets, it is unknown when capital controls and all restrictions on the stock exchange will be lifted, the actual scale of the consequences of the negative climate and the recent developments associated with refugees on tourism is unknown, the impact on Greek exports is unknown. Unknown, unknown, unknown ...

All this does not necessarily mean that fund managers have not found outward-looking firms with a solid foundation and positive outlook among the 29 Greek holding companies. However, the profound caution about the macroeconomic environment is apparent as is the damage suffered by the foreign companies in the Greek market over the past years.

What does it matter that caretaker Minister of Finance George Chouliarakis and economists from Piraeus Bank and Eurobank Ilias Lekos and Platonas Monokroussos tried to convince foreign investors that things would develop normally, that the memorandum would be implemented, that recession would be lower than expected and that the sustainability of Greek debt would be maintained? "Foreigners remain deeply distrustful", a Greek analyst told Kathimerini during the forum. Said analyst had participated in many meetings between the Greek representatives of 29 companies listed on the stock exchange and the managers of foreign funds.

Some optimism came from the most composed and experienced fund managers, who arrived at Finsbury Square, where the forum was held, "The damage on the investment climate is such that at the first signs that the agreed reforms are effectively implemented, the climate could spectacularly overturn."

Foreign managers expect action, not words, to decide on whether to invest their capital, and if so how to do so, in the Greek market again.

Tags: RoadhowLondonAthens Stock ExchangeForeign investorsGreek companiesCapital
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