ECONOMY

Viohalco moves to Belgium for credit purposes

The high cost of borrowing in Greece is forcing the country’s biggest metals-processing group, Viohalco, to transfer its headquarters to Brussels, making it the fourth major Greek firm to leave after Coca-Cola HBC, S&B Minerals and Fage.

Well-informed sources have told Kathimerini that the reason Viohalco is departing is to gain access to credit from foreign banks to secure future funds to finance its subsidiaries’ investments and to have additional liquidity. There are no tax motives behind the move, as the corporate tax in Belgium is at 34 percent against Greece’s 26 percent and dividends from subsidiaries will still be taxed in Greece. The production units of the dozens of subsidiaries will not be transferred.

Viohalco’s subsidiary in Belgium will absorb the parent company, whose stock will cease trading on the Greek bourse, which will lose one of its blue chips. Its stock gave up 7.62 percent on Monday.