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Large foreign funds see opportunities on the Greek market again

16 June 2013 / 19:06:57  GRReporter
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Greek businessmen participating in the Roadshow in New York expressed their satisfaction in terms of the marked interest which foreign funds are showing towards the Greek market. The forum was organised by the Athens Stock Exchange and the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce. Businessmen expressed optimism and belief that this is another step in the attempts to attract foreign investment. They also noted that despite the underestimation of the index of the Athens Stock Exchange, the climate is changing and everybody is seeing Greece’s progress. On the other hand, they admitted that foreigners are still cautious, since the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Greece is still declining and unemployment is high, therefore they urged the government to expedite the reforms and structural changes that will make Greece friendlier to investors.

Cautious but definitely interested

Panagiotis Tsinavos President and Chief Executive Officer at Kri Kri

Healthy companies are the focus of interest, mainly because of their opportunities on the international market. According to Kri Kri’s president, at the latest Roadshow forum in New York, foreign investors were markedly cautious, but also keenly interested in Greek companies aimed at the foreign market. It will take time for this interest to become reality, and Kri Kri "will try to work appropriately for its development."

Tsinavos noted that, at the forum, Kri Kri presented its good development in 2012 and the first quarter of 2013, as well as its attempts to develop sales of yogurt outside Greece. The slogan of the presentation was "Invest in Greek yogurt." This attracted interest, since Greek yogurt is making progress on international markets. Ever since FAGE’s court victory in England, which stipulated that the name “Greek yogurt” can be used by companies that produce it in Greece, Greek companies have made great progress - something that is now attracting the interest of foreigners.

Foreigners see companies with prospects for a success story

Ioannis Papadopoulos, Economic Director at Creta Farms

 

People from Creta Farms said that with an appropriate cooperation the company could achieve great things abroad. Creta Farms’s Economic Director Ioannis Papadopoulos expressed his satisfaction with messages received at the forum in terms of Greece, and specifically Creta Farms. He emphasised that such efforts should continue in the future. Papadopoulos admitted that the attitude towards Greece is changing for the better and foreigners will broaden their interest in cooperation with Greek companies. Specifically for companies in the food industry, offering quality products such as Creta Farms – with its world-renowned patent "En Elladi" - "Made in Greece" (deli meats, for the production of which olive oil is used instead of animal fat) prospects are huge, as long as appropriate partners appear. "With the right partners we can achieve great things abroad because an increasing number of foreign consumers are turning to healthy food." Therefore, expansion on markets abroad is the only way for Greek companies, since, according to Papadopoulos, in Greece opportunities are limited due to the lack of liquidity and the banking system’s inability to lend to companies at an affordable interest.

Positive messages about the Greek economy

Dimitris Papadopoulos, Group Corporate Affairs at Mytilineos

Dimitris Papadopoulos said that for the Mytilineos group maintaining close relationships with the investment community, and especially foreign investors, is a constant policy which is included in its general business strategy. Therefore, the group chooses to participate in such events and can state that, following this year's participation in the New York’s Road Show forum, messages are positive and meetings there confirmed that interest in the Greek market is increasing. As for Mytilineos, foreign investors bet on companies from the so-called real economy sector, since they recognise that the development of the sectors in which Mytilineos operates are central to the improvement of the Greek economy’s competitiveness.

Increased interest from foreign investors

Michael Tsamaz, Chairman and CEO of OTE

Sources mentioned an increased interest in OTE at the Road Show forum. The successful development of the company’s programme for refinancing of liabilities was the focus of attention of investors at about 25 meetings that were held during the forum.

It is noted that in late 2012 and early 2013 the company started implementing a refinancing plan, which ended in February with the expiration of the bond loan amounting to 700 million euro. Along with the sale of Hellas Sat and Globul, the company has managed to reduce its loans almost by half - by 2.3 billion euro. At the Roadshow, OTE was represented by Dimitris Tzelepis, Director of Investor Relations at the company.

An increased tendency to an upturn in Greece

George Chryssikos, Director of Eurobank Properties

Tags: Road Show Investment Forum New York Кri Кri Papоutsanis Mytilineos Folli Follie Eurobank Properties ΟΤΕ Creta Farms
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