US, UK investors explore opportunities in Greece

UK and US funds controlling assets of some €15bn have been visiting Greece to meet leading corporates and policymakers in a roadshow organised by broker and investment bank Exotix.

The 10 funds discussed the evolving economic outlook and opportunities for foreign investment. They were briefed by the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund and the Ministry of Development & Infrastructure.

Exotix said it was the fourth such event organised in 15 months, signalling growing investor interest. Four US funds, three from the UK, one from Brazil and two domestic managers attended.

“The domestic market is in a relatively better state of affairs than it was a year ago, with coalition political stability, the risk of a sovereign default and systemic banking collapse significantly diminished and a much improved fiscal and balance of payments position,” Exotix noted.

George Zois, Head of Greek Equities & Capital Markets, said quality Greek corporates were struggling to access much needed capital because of the problems among local banks, and the meetings had already resulted in some “positive investment relationships”, including Baupost taking a 5% stake in OPAP. Other companies involved were named as Motor Oil, Hellenic Bottling, OPAP, Hellenic Telecom, Alpha Bank and Ellaktor.

Greek equity and fixed income prices have appreciated after “a relatively bullish” six months, Exotix said. But uncertainty has returned largely as a result of the crisis in Cyprus, and fears of a more wide-spread Eurozone decline.

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