Foreign funds flocking to stock market

The overheating of the Greek stock market is becoming increasingly obvious with the arrival of hedge funds that target profits in emerging markets around the world. In the first six bourse sessions of this month the capitalization of the Athens Exchange (ATHEX) grew by 7 billion euros, while the benchmark index soared by 10 percent.

In the first nine months of the year alone, foreign investors channeled 996.23 million euros into the Greek market. Hedge funds, vulture funds and private equity funds foresee developments in the local economy that others will not realize until later, with a key factor being government plans for privatizations.

The administrators of the foreign funds expect Greece’s privatization authority (TAIPED) to speed up the process for six listed companies aiming at drawing as much as 4 billion euros, so the hedge funds are flocking in to secure a good position ahead of the sell-offs.

Other targets include the eight blue chips that from November 26 will form part of the MSCI Emerging Markets index. They are National Bank, OTE telecom, OPAP gaming company, Alpha Bank, Public Power Corporation, Jumbo, Hellenic Petroleum and Folli Follie Group.