ECONOMY

Investment outpour continued

Direct investments in the three-month period from January-March 2007 posted net outflows of -2,052 million, according to data announced by the Bank of Greece. Net inflows of foreign capital for direct investments in Greece amounted to -138 million, while the net outflows of domestic capital for direct placements abroad amounted to -2,190 million. With regard to portfolio investments, the net inflows during the same period rose to just over -11 billion. The influx of foreign capital for investments in Greece, primarily in government bonds and listed companies’ stocks, amounting to -10.8 billion and -4 billion, respectively, was considerably higher than the outflows of domestic capital for placements in foreign bonds, which stood at -3.6 billion. Miscellaneous investments absorbed an outflow of -2,049 million, reflecting the fact that the outflows of Greek funds for investment in deposits and repos (-10 billion), and to a lesser degree for general government loan repayments (-1.2 billion), was offset to a large extent by the placement of foreign capital in domestic deposits and repos, amounting to -8.8 billion. In March 2007, in particular, direct investments recorded a net outflow of -151 million. Domestic investments abroad amounted to -346 million, resulting primarily from a -100 million export-finance by EFG Eurobank-Ergasias bank to its branch in Poland, and to an increase from 30 to 70 percent in Eurobank’s holding in the share capital of Turkey’s Tekfenbank AS. Foreign investments in Greece in the first quarter of the year stood at -195 million. The trade balance deficit in the first quarter of the year rose by 13.1 percent year-on-year, according to the National Statistics Service, at -8,865.1 million, from -7,837.7 million a year earlier. In March the trade balance deficit swelled by 1.4 percent, from -3,019.2 million in March 2006, to -3.060.9 million.