ECONOMY

Bourse sharks smelled blood, taking a bite

While the ratio between foreign sellers and buyers of Greek stocks has reached two-to-one in recent weeks, according major local stock brokers, buyers have recently included a new generation of investment groups aiming to benefit from the very low prices, mostly of Greek banks but also of other large groups.

Sources from London say that these funds, which specialize in distressed equities, include Greek capital as well, along with anchor investors originating from major mutual fund management firms in the United States.

The same sources add that these distressed equity funds have gathered soft commitments (i.e. statements of intent) for up to $500 million. Of this amount, some $100 million has already been paid and invested in the Greek stock market.

The process of their establishment appears to have started in the last quarter of 2014 and has picked up pace since snap elections were called for January 25. These funds are said to have launched the bulk of their purchases in the second week after the elections, when the benchmark of the bourse dropped to almost 700 points, resulting in a rebound to 850 points by February 4, which fetched players short-term profits of 20 percent, according to local stock market observers.