ECONOMY

Bourse revisits days of 2019

bourse-revisits-days-of-2019

The prospect of the Greek economy’s rebound, which stalled at the outbreak of the pandemic just over a year ago, has returned stronger, as Greece increasingly attracts the interest of international investors.

The return of tourism to about two-thirds of the 2019 record levels and the major recovery of growth expected in 2022 are the key advantages Greece enjoys in the eyes of funds. This raises expectations of a significant rebound of the national economy from the second half of this year and mainly in 2022, with help from the anticipated acceleration of vaccinations, the agreement on the digital green certificate (for travel) and the resources originating from the Next Generation EU fund.

The majority of foreign firms and agencies estimate that, even if 2021 shows a lower rebound that originally projected, due to the tough first quarter, the peak of the third quarter will pave the way for a particularly impressive 2022. 

Estimates say that the gross domestic product will show one of the strongest growth rates internationally, with average projections putting it at around 6%. There are even some estimates (from Oxford Economics) pointing to a rebound rate in the double digits.

In this context there has been an inflow of fresh money in the Greek stock market since early March, with trading activity bolstered considerably to amount to around 100 million euros on a daily basis (against an average of €30-40 million last year), and the benchmark index setting course toward 1,000 points, a level unseen since 2014.

Market professionals point out that this development is strongly reminiscent of mid-2019, when investment interest in Athinon Avenue had culminated, especially after the July election, thanks to the estimates about a robust growth in 2020. At the time the General Index showed the highest returns in the world (up 50%).

A similar picture appears to be painted at the moment, with HSBC upgrading to positive its outlook on Greek stocks after 12 months. This is clearly based on the rebound of tourism, which is also the ground Jefferies cites for its own bullish take of the Greek economy.