Bourse eyes boost from assets sale

Greece’s privatization program could help provide a liquidity boost for the Athens bourse, according to the CEO of Hellenic Exchanges, Socrates Lazaridis. The entry of businesses in strategic fields that are not listed on the Athens Exchange (ATHEX) could help draw large-scale investment capital from both within Greece and abroad, he told reporters yesterday. The government plans to raise 7 billion euros by selling off state assets over the 2011-13 period. Lazaridis also said that Greece’s debt crisis is not deterring foreign institutional investors from showing interest in the country’s equity market. «Foreign investors are still showing interest in investing in Greece and valuations are low and cheap,» he said. Foreign investors held 50.4 percent of the total market value of ATHEX-listed stocks in November, up from 48.6 percent in October and 49.3 percent in November last year, according to bourse data. The market value of the exchange fell to 54.7 billion euros last month, from 59.4 billion in October. It stood at 83.9 billion euros in November 2009. The Athens Exchange also is confident it will be able to keep its developed market status at FTSE Group, Lazaridis said.

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