Greek sea bream has been among the victims of the coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016, as a large drop in tourism to the neighboring country since last summer has redirected Turkish bream from the domestic to the international market, where 85 percent of the Greece’s bream output is also headed.
With the value of the Turkish lira having dropped significantly since the attempted coup, with Ankara subsidizing the air transport of Turkish bream and other facts, Greek aquaculture groups have little room to improve their competitiveness.
This could not have come at a worse time, as Greek banks are trying to secure the best price for their stakes in the Nireus and Selonda fish farming companies.
Are these concerns well-founded? “Possibly, in the short term,” a top banking source tells Kathimerini, adding that Greek aquaculture is definitely a long-term challenge, as investors interested in the field are all too aware. There are quite a few such investors, including the major US funds of Amerra Capital Management, Oaktree, Fortress, KKR, York Capital, Rhone Capital, Harvard Investment Group and Lone Star.
Alpha, Eurobank, National and Piraeus control a total of 75.9 percent of Nireus and 82.1 percent of Selonda. They placed new managers in the fish farming companies and have achieved a rationalization of activities ahead of inviting investor interest soon.