BUSINESS

US roadshow lags in interest

ELEFTHERIA KOURTALI

TAGS: Markets, Economy

Far from enthusiastic, investment funds have been reserved about the prospects of Greek stocks and the country’s post-bailout period at the annual Greek Investment Roadshow, which ends on Friday in the US. The tone had already been set by Tuesday and Wednesday, both important days for the seventh installment of the event.

The main conclusion that can be drawn from this year’s roadshow is that investor participation and interest was well below that of last year, which saw a record number of one-to-one meetings taking place thanks to the advent of new funds and increased interest in Greek banks.

The meetings held between international fund managers and representatives of Greek companies this year further revealed that the former are choosing to follow a “wait-and-see” strategy and have no intention of increasing the exposure of foreign portfolios in the Greek sock market, which is considered shallow. Among the funds present at the roadshow were Soros, Blackstone, TIAA, Epoch and several smaller ones.

Notably, the story of troubled jewelry company Folli Follie did not figure high on the agenda of investors, as they appeared unconcerned about the credibility of Athens-listed companies. Most questions by investors focused instead on the prospects of the Greek economy in the post-bailout era, ahead of the increased surveillance status Greece is about to enter.

There was also significant interest in the real estate sector, as funds asked about its course and prospects, whether prices are recovering and in which regions, etc. Greek listed company officials participating in the roadshow noted that investment interest in real estate is strong, as the funds consider that growing property prices are a positive indication that the economy is getting stronger.

As for banks, investor interest focused on nonperforming exposures (NPEs), especially on online auctions, the properties lenders have in their portfolios and NPE targets after 2019.

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