ECONOMY

NY forum illustrates confidence in Greek prospects

The annual investment forum of Capital Link held last week in New York sent a positive message about investment prospects in Greece. The newly found confidence is based on improvements in the competitiveness of the Greek economy, the reduction of the investment risk and the progress in the recapitalization of local banks, which participants hope will render the Greek credit sector one of the healthiest in Europe.

“The improvement in confidence has been evident both from the quantity and the quality of participants, as well as from the positive note struck by the speakers,” Nicolas Bornozis, the president of Capital Link told Kathimerini.

He said that over 1,000 people registered to participate in the forum, adding that for the first time there was a special panel with foreign investors from hedge funds and private equity funds that have been positioned in the Greek market and continue to seek opportunities in the country.

One new opportunity for medium-sized Greek companies to attract funds is expected to be the issuing of corporate bonds, which until now had been limited to the country’s major firms. The forum forecast that next year smaller companies will also be able to issue bonds thereby securing precious capital and attracting new investors beyond those investing in state bonds and stocks.

Over 150 face-to-face meetings were conducted on the sidelines of the forum between investors and Greek enterprises, with the interest focusing on banks, the real estate market and the energy sector. Top managers attending the event included representatives for National Bank, Eurobank, Public Power Corporation, Eurobank Properties, NBG Pangaea and Lamda Development. There was also a special section promoting the Astir Palace Hotel in Vouliagmeni, southern Athens, which is up for privatization, while Lamda placed particular emphasis on the tender for the development and utilization of the old airport at Elliniko. Foreign funds also said that they are looking for investment opportunities in the prospering sectors of shipping and tourism in Greece.