BUSINESS

$6.16 bln has taken flight since 2011

DIMITRA MANIFAVA

TAGS: Economy

Divestment from Greece has amounted to $6.16 billion in the last six years, with the worst period being that from 2014 to 2015, when the Greek economy lost more than $5 billion, according to an annual report on investments published on Wednesday by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Last year may have seen a small return of investment funds, to the tune of $638 million, but the exit of almost $3 billion in 2014 and $2.13 billion in 2015 has had a huge impact on the country’s gross domestic product, as well as its unemployment indices in the period from 2011 to 2016.

On the other hand, many Greek enterprises divested from abroad last year, selling their holdings in other countries. Those transactions amounted to a net value of 3.46 billion euros. That is the highest figure recorded in the period from 2011 to 2016 and is attributed to a large extent to the divestment of the Greek systemic banks from their activities abroad. One such example was the sale of Turkey’s Finansbank by its parent company, the National Bank of Greece group.

Meanwhile foreign direct investment almost trebled last year compared to 2015, but that was due to the crumbling of FDI projects in 2015 (with the three-week “bank holiday” and the imposition of capital controls) and the various privatization projects implemented last year. The UNCTAD report showed an FDI inflow of $3.12 billion last year against $1.14 billion in 2015. That 173 percent FDI growth rate is even greater than the 123 percent rate reported by Ernst & Young two weeks ago.

UNCTAD attributes that rise to privatizations such as the Cassiopi plot on Corfu, Cosco’s takeover of Piraeus Port Authority and Astir Palace Resort’s sale to Apollon Investments, among others.

In total, FDI in 2011-16 amounted to $12.6 billion, while in Portugal, which also entered the bailout process, it came to $34.96 billion.

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