BUSINESS

Crucial week begins for stance of int’l investors toward Greece

ELEFTHERIA KOURTALI

TAGS: Finance

Two very important events this week are set to determine the course of Greek stock and bond markets, as well as the attitude of foreign investors toward Greek assets and securities in general.

They are this Thursday’s Eurogroup meeting, which will address the lightening of Greek debt and Greece’s status after August, and the annual road show by Hellenic Exchanges and the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce to be held in the US all of this week.

The road show opens today and will go on until Friday in New York, Washington and Chicago. Greek officials are prepared to answer all kinds of questions by investors, particularly concerning the impact of the Folli Follie case on the credibility of Greek enterprises.

Investors appear reserved when it comes to Greece, according to analysts who spoke to Kathimerini, both concerning the course of Greek securities and the climate of the recent Goldman Sachs conference in Frankfurt. Their concerns focus on the measures that Greece’s creditors will take to ease Greece’s debt, on the extent of a so-called “clean exit” from the bailout process and on Greek banks’ nonperforming exposures and loans reduction process.

Most of these questions will be answered by the eurozone ministers at Thursday’s Eurogroup. Domestic analysts say that if that meeting clears up the situation over the debt, the role of the International Monetary Fund and the post-bailout roadmap, it will restore buying interest in Greek stocks and bonds, which has been particularly subdued recently.

Mujtaba Rahman, chief analyst of the Eurasia Group for Europe, told Kathimerini that the June 21 Eurogroup will be the most important for Greece for quite some time. An agreement on the bailout exit and debt easing is possible, a development that would be a big win for the government. The only question left will concern the participation of the IMF, although that is not as significant as in the past, he said.

Another decisive factor will be developments abroad, particularly in Italy, according to Societe Generale’s European Rates Strategy head Ciaran O’Hagan. “For that link to be broken, as in the case of Portugal, it will take a significant sum of long-term policies,” he told Kathimerini.

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