Leaving behind the recession caused by the pandemic, the Greek economy is entering a multi-year upward cycle of strong growth, as the flows from the Recovery Fund and the Multiannual Financial Framework, which will reach a total of 101 billion euros by 2026, provide an unprecedented combined support, at a time when business deals are booming across the spectrum of the real economy, as values ​​collapsed during the 10-year debt crisis, also indicating that the reorganization of the country’s business map is in full swing.

Banks

The banking system also looks ready for a multidimensional role, as the non-performing exposures of the four systemic banks, according to JP Morgan, will be in single digits for Eurobank and NBG by the end of this year, with Alpha Bank and Bank Piraeus to follow in the first half of 2022.

Thus, lending to the private sector is expected to increase significantly in the coming years, financing the economy more effectively. Already this year, the Greek business sector is moving dynamically, while it is estimated that within the year it will largely cover the sales losses of the pandemic (amounting to approximately € 40 billion).

In this context, there is a reasonable explosion of business deals in the whole spectrum of the real economy, with the sale of 49% of HEDNO (of the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator) by PPC going to Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Group (MIRA) , against 2.11 billion euros, with a valuation 30% higher than the average market estimate, showing on the one hand the confidence of private equity funds and other investors in the Greek economy, but mainly made it clear that in Greek assets there is value.

The dominant role is played by CVC Capital Partners, which has acquired a number of companies from various sectors, including the largest Greek insurance companies (National Insurance) and food companies (Vivartia group), while after the acquisition of 10% of PPC, it is said that acquisition of a new company.

Health services

CVC also now has a dominant position in the field of health services, with 6 hospitals (Health, Metropolitan Hospital, Mitera, Metropolitan General, Leto and Creta InterClinic), 3 companies of medical devices, genetics and health services, Innovative digital remote medicine service and advanced diagnostic centers. It also has a minority stake (26%) in skroutz.gr, which dominates the Greek e-commerce market, while it also participates in D Marinas Hellas, which has three of the most important marinas in Greece (Gouves Corfu, Lefkada and Zea in Piraeus). The American fund, together with Fairfax, PSP and Fraport, is now one of the largest foreign investors in Greece, having so far invested over 1.5 billion euros.

The privatization of DEPA Infrastructure, the acquisition of Scaramanga Shipyards by the Prokopiou Group, Wind by BC Partners, Pharmathen by Partners Group, Chipita by the American snack giant Mondelez International, at a cost of about $ 2 billion , also show that the redistribution of the business map of the country is in progress.

Food

The new food group Theodoropoulos, after its re-investment by Chipita, apart from the meat industry Nikas and MEVGAL, is said to be in negotiations with another company from the wider food sector. The restructuring in the IT sector is indicative of the effort of companies to gain the critical mass to claim digital projects of 7 billion euros of the Recovery Fund, as companies such as e.g. Singularlogic, Data Communication, Lamda Hellix, Retail link, Wedia, Cloudfin, Computer Life, Team Candi, Inteli, Optimum, Technolife, Intrasoft International changed hands in the last 12 months. We also recall the acquisition of Lamda Helix by Digital Realty, while Microsoft is developing data centers in Greece, with the total benefit for the country being estimated at 1 billion euros.

We also had the acquisition of 48% of the Ideal group by Virtus International Partners and the acquisition of Cretan Bread by Switzgroup which was accompanied by the acquisition of the majority stake in the “Koulourades” chain. At the same time, the acquisition of kiosky’s, Alfa distributions, delivery.gr and e-table by the German multinational online food delivery company Delivery Hero, which is already active in our country through e-food, clickdelivery.gr and deliveras .gr, while proceeding with the acquisition of Pet City by BC Partners.

Hotels

Significant investments continue in the hotel and shopping centers from Blackstone, Hines, Henderson Park, Sterner Stenhus, Varde Partners, Brook Lane Capital etc. The official proposal of the giant of the European shipbuilding industry Fincantieri Spa to ally with Onex Shipyards for the consolidation of the Elefsina Shipyards, financed by the American investment bank DFC, has all the prerequisites to develop into one of the largest financial deals in the country.

At the same time, the picture of corporate profits of companies listed on the Athens Stock Exchange during the 9 months of the current year is considered satisfactory, with the recovery becoming more intense in companies with exposure to tourism but also in industries that had lagged behind such as refineries, while overall, a 6 month trend prevails, where the results were better than in the pre-pandemic era. Excluding the five banks, whose securitizations burdened the period with losses of 4.03 billion euros, the 116 companies of the ATHEX Main Market recorded e.g. 82.2% increase in operating profitability (EBITDA-earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) in the first half of 2021 compared to the first half of 2020, but also a corresponding increase of 19.4% compared to the first half of 2019. Total turnover appears to have increased by 17.86% compared to last year, while net profits after taxes jumped by 1,712.75% compared to 2020 and show an increase of 72.81% compared to the pre-pandemic first half of 2019.

Funding

As in total in Greece the financing and the final expenditure in the period 2021-2026 from the Recovery Fund will reach up to 60 billion euros (18 billion euros in grants and 13 billion euros in loans, while up to 29 billion euros concern private funds and Bank loans), while an additional € 41 billion is expected through the Multiannual Financial Framework, the annual financial flows for the country will be three times higher than in the previous 20 years, with these funds even covering the investment gap created in years of the 10-year debt crisis that reached 97 billion euros.

The investment interest of the sectors that will benefit from the Recovery Fund (telecommunications, information technology, renewable energy sources, medical services, utilities, banks, sustainable development and the overall “green economy” etc.) is increasing, while the upward cycle and the real estate market is accelerating.

Opportunities

The new production model highlights opportunities for Greek companies in sectors such as energy, where investments of 40-50 billion euros are expected in the next 10 years, while in IT alone the recovery projects of the Recovery Fund reach 7 billion euros. Industry and tourism as extroverted industries can attract revenue, gaining shares in foreign markets.

Industrial exports are estimated to increase by 13 billion euros, by 2026, while tourism revenues from 19 billion euros in 2019 and about 12 billion euros this year are expected to increase by an additional 12 billion euros by 2026, exceeding 30 billion euros. Interest in construction will increase, as investments in infrastructure and facilities are the stage that will precede the productive expansion of other sectors.

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