Athens exchange leads peers

The 2.07 billion euros placed by foreign investors on the Athens stock exchange in the first nine months of the year has helped make the Greek market among the best performing in Europe, and the world, in terms of gains. At the same time, the Athens bourse remains one of the most attractive markets in terms of price-to-earnings ratio (P/E). The outperformance of shares in the last seven months of the year (during which the benchmark general index has added 97 percent) has resulted in higher valuations, although the expensive euro has eaten into gains for investors from the US and other countries not in the eurozone. The price to earnings ratio (net of tax) of Greek stocks as of March 9, 2009 was 7.39, followed by Paris where it stood at 8.22. Today the P/E ratio of Greek stocks, taking into account the 60 firms listed in the bourse’s general index, has doubled but still remains lower than that seen in other international markets.