By Anestis Dokas
The political storm that has been raging in Turkey in recent days, which may well lead to a general election, has caused nervousness among the officials of the more than 500 Greek companies with subsidiaries in the neighboring country. However the latter believe that things are still under control as far as their investments are concerned.
The biggest worry for Greek firms is the continuing slide of the Turkish lira, which has lost over 25 percent of its value in the last six months compared with the euro. This negative development has pushed up the price of Greek products there, but at least no problems have been seen in interbank transactions, company representatives have told Kathimerini.
“There is no problem with our investment in Turkey, but certainly the crumbling of the Turkish lira has had an impact on Greek exports,” said Michalis Panagis, chief executive at Eurodrip, which has a subsidiary (Eurodrip Damla Sulama) in the neighboring country. Having experienced the Egyptian crisis, Panagis added that “banks [in Turkey] are operating normally, there is no problem with interbank transactions, but the question is when the crisis will be defused or whether the country will go to the polls.”
Constantinos Rozakeas, chief financial officer at listed firm Sarantis, noted that “apart from the issue of the lira slide, we have no problem with our exports in Turkey. The country is definitely going through turbulence from the torrential political developments and an election is the most likely scenario. The interbank market remains normal, as is the case with the operation of Greek bank subsidiaries.”
National Bank of Greece officials are not too concerned about the impact of the Turkish crisis on its subsidiary in the country.
They note that the sale of 20 percent of Finansbank has a long-term horizon – up to the end of 2017 – so the current political unrest should not affect its plans.
They explain that there is no pressure or commitment for the immediate completion of the transaction, which would have created problems due to the conjuncture.