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Why Greece – The domestic institutional investor viewpoint | 23rd Annual Capital Link Invest in Greece, New York Forum

Featured Why Greece – The domestic institutional investor viewpoint | 23rd Annual Capital Link Invest in Greece, New York Forum

The highly interesting Panel Discussion, entitled «WHY GREECE - THE INTERNATIONAL INVESTOR PERSPECTIVE», was part of the agenda of the 25th Annual Capital Link Invest in Greece Forum, entitled, «Accelerating Investments for Sustainable Growth», that was held with great success and participation, on Monday, December 11, 2023, in New York, in cooperation with the New York Stock Exchange, the Athens Exchange Group (ATHEX Group), and major Global Investment Banks & Organizations, and under the Auspices of the Consulate General of Greece in New York. The event was sponsored by top companies, and Goldman Sachs and TEN Ltd (Tsakos Energy Navigation) were the Lead Sponsors.



Moderator: Mr. Panos Katsambas, Global Co- Lead Financial Industry Group, Partner - Reed Smith LLP


  • Mr. Dimitrios Athanasopoulos, Founding Partner & Group Managing Director – AXIA Ventures Group Ltd
  • Mr. Nikos Stathopoulos, Chairman of Europe & Member of the Management Committee – BC Partners
  • Mr. Alex Fotakidis, Partner & Head of CVC Greece – CVC
  • Mr. Costas Papamantellos, Chairman & CEO - RWE Renewables Hellas / Managing Director & Head of RWE Energy Transition Investments - RWE
  • Mr. Alexandros Exarchou, Director – Thrivest Holding; Vice Chairman & CEO – Intrakat Group

 Mr. Katsambas stated: « We are very excited to welcome such a distinguished panel to discuss the international investor perspective relating to Greece – a country that has recovered tremendously and seen foreign direct investment grow year after year across several sectors.  Indeed, Greece is no longer a destination for non-performing loans or distressed investments, but in in the last few years we have seen investment in energy (including renewables), infrastructure, real estate, hospitality, pharma & health, technology, fintech, logistics and financial services. More importantly, Greece is attracting international investors with different profiles – private equity, corporate powerhouses (like Amazon, Google and Microsoft), sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and entrepreneurs, across several sectors, asset classes and strategies. The panel examined the scope and breadth of what made Greece so attractive in recent years, specific transactions and investments, examples of successful investor exit, the support of Greek financial institutions to the transacting environment, where future opportunities are, and the overall outlook for Greece given recent current events. While the global macro environment remains uncertain in a world affected even more from geopolitical changes, Greece appears to be in a position to navigate the challenges ahead and maintain the positive momentum. »

Mr. Dimitrios Athanasopoulos stated: «In 2024, Greece emerges as a beacon for investor interest, showcasing a transformative economic landscape primed for investment opportunities. The projected substantial reduction in public debt from the current year to 2024, as outlined in the parliamentary budget, becomes a pivotal attractor for investors seeking stable and financially robust markets. The recent attainment of investment-grade status for Greek debt stands as a testament to Greece's resurging economy post a decade-long crisis, significantly elevating investor confidence and drawing heightened interest. Notably, recent strategic moves, including divestment in major banks, have further enhanced Greece's appeal, propelling increased investor trust and substantial inflow of investments.

This commendable surge in investments, notably witnessed in lower cost capital providers such as Sovereign funds, Infrastructure funds, and pension funds, coupled with a healthy rotation of earlier investors from credit, distress, and event-driven sectors, as well as Private Equity, exiting after a 5-7 year investment period, has catalyzed an increase in both volume and size of transactions. The return of ECM transactions in Q3 of 2023 and the full calendar of increased activity in subsequent quarters, including Q4 and anticipated activity in Q1 and Q2 of 2024, further solidify Greece's investment momentum.

Greece's prospective outperformance within European markets is underscored by its resilience, robust growth forecasts exceeding EU averages, and the infusion of substantial Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) funds totalling EUR 31.16 billion. With a pro-investment government and political stability, Greece leverages its regained investment-grade status after 13 years to invite investors seeking growth opportunities, promising not just economic revival but also enduring financial stability and prosperity.

AXIA's perspective aligns with this continued momentum, propelled by the countercyclical aspect and lower asset pricing in Greece, which promises sustained growth, despite the possibility of a global slowdown. Furthermore, AXIA has witnessed significant growth in Italy through its Milan office, alongside increased cross-border activity between Greece and Italy, further amplifying investment prospects and synergies between the two nations. We remain committed to nurturing global partnerships and inviting investors to explore Greece's promising market amidst this transformative resurgence. »

 Mr. Alex Fotakidis, stated: «To date, our experience of investing in Greece has been a very positive one. We have targeted growing sectors of the economy, partnering with outstanding management teams helping them build better businesses, sustainably and for all stakeholders: customers, suppliers, employees, and local communities. We continue to see a tremendous amount of potential for sustainable growth in the country. We are pleased to see that over the last years Greece has implemented a whole host of structural reforms geared towards creating a more versatile and diversified economy and enhancing our global competitiveness paving the way for sustainable growth in the future. Indeed, this is getting recognised by the broader investment community, as evidenced by recent ratings’ upgrades, tangible proof of restored confidence in the economy. We firmly believe that long-term institutional investors have an increasingly important role to play in the country’s growth journey, not only by bringing fresh capital (FDI) to the economy but also international experience and best-practice sharing from other markets worldwide. The current environment presents a number of challenges, with a number of macroeconomic and geopolitical shocks in the region and globally. We take comfort from the fact that Greece has emerged stronger from the crisis and is playing an increasingly important role as a pillar of stability and safety in the region. Undoubtedly, it will take time for the global economy to normalise from these shocks and adapt to these crises, however they are often also great opportunities to accelerate investments to take advantage of emerging opportunities and differentiate further versus the competition. The whole Greek economy has this opportunity right now and we hope to contribute as well across our existing portfolio companies and new investments. To summarise, we have a long-term commitment to invest in Greece and we will continue to support leading companies and their management teams to deliver their ambitious plans with investments and all the resources we can bring to the table. »

Mr. Costas Papamantellos, stated: «We see Greece as a promising market for further renewables, and since 2021 we have a local subsidiary and an office in Athens. As one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, and through our strong partnerships with PPC Renewables for solar pv and HELLENiQ for offshore wind, and as well as with our experience and knowledge, we are committed to keep playing an important role in the Greek Energy Transition.

With PPC Renewables we formed in 2021 a joint venture company through which we will realize up to 2,000 MW of solar pv projects. It´s a collaboration on equal terms, where complementary strengths become a factor for success. PPC Renewables has contributed solar projects of 940 MW which are located within the boundaries of the former Amynteo open pit lignite mine in Western Macedonia, and RWE contributed to the joint venture solar pv projects in Greece of similar size. The projects of the joint venture are in various stages of development and construction – we expect the first 210 MW to be fully operational by the end of Q1/2024.

With the partnership we announced with HELLENiQ Energy in July 2022, we are expanding our solar footprint to offshore wind. Together with HELLENiQ Energy we aim to collaborate on the development, construction and operation of wind farms off the Greek coast. Our partner adds its extensive experience within the Greek energy sector and its commitment to expand its renewable portfolio. We as RWE contributes our extensive technical and commercial expertise from a track record of more than 20 years in offshore wind. This partnership gains additional significance in light of Greece’s current target of 2.5 GW of offshore wind capacity in operation by 2030 for both fixed-bottom and floating projects»

Mr. Alexandros Exarchou, pointed out that Greece has defied expectations and returned to a trajectory of robust growth. Mr. Exarchou analyzed the strategy of Thrivest Holding and Winex Investments, two investment vehicles that have engaged in the banking and construction industries of Greece, respectively, stating that «through these strategic investments we aspire to play a pivotal role in Greece's transition into a high-quality, modern economy—one that is more outward-looking, dynamic, and competitive, potentially evolving into the Eastern Mediterranean's most attractive business hub. History attests that when Greece sets lofty aspirations, success invariably follows. »


 IN COOPERATION WITH: New York Stock Exchange – NYSE & Athens Exchange Group (ATHEX Group)

UNDER THE AUSPICES: of the Consulate General of Greece in New York, which hosted a welcome reception for all Speakers.

Τhe Forum, through its 25 years record of success, has been engaged in a systematic effort to highlight Greece’s profile to a global business and investment audience. This year's forum was particularly significant as Greece is heralding a new dawn of investments and entrepreneurship, despite global challenges.  The county’s political stability, strong economic dynamics, and attractive valuations have boosted investor confidence in the Greek market. The upgrade of the Greek economy by Fitch formalizes the emergence of Greece in the investment category in terms of credit rating. Fitch is the third - out of four recognized by the ECB - rating agency to award our country investment grade status in recent months. This certifies the progress of the Greek economy and the even more positive prospects opened up by the implementation of the country’s policy. At the same time, it creates the conditions for further strengthening investment inflows, better financing conditions for the economy, growth and increased employment.

The Prime Minister of Greece, H.E. Kyriakos Mitsotakis, addressed international investors via written message.

Keynote Remarks by Greek Ministers: Minister of Economy & Finance, H.E. Kostis Hatzidakis, Minister of Infrastructure & Transport, H.E. Christos Staikouras, Minister of Environment & Energy, H.E. Theodore Skylakakis, Alternate Minister of Economy & Finance, H.E. Nikolaos Papathanasis.

Greek Government Officials: Ms. Maria (Maira) Myrogianni, Secretary General for International Economic Affairs - Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Orestis Kavalakis, Governor of Recovery and Resilience Facility Coordination Agency - Ministry of Economy and Finance, Mr. Dimitrios Tsakonas, Director General - Public Debt Management Agency, Mr. Michael Arghyrou, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, Mr. George Pitsilis, Governor – Independent Authority for Public Revenue, Mr. Vassilis Kontozamanis, Former Alternate Minister of Health, Mr. Gregory D. Dimitriadis, CEO & Executive Member of the BoD - Growthfund, the National Fund of Greece, Dr. Marinos Giannopoulos, CEO - ENTERPRISE GREECE.

US Government (US Department of State) Representatives: Mr. Geoffrey R. Pyatt, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Energy Resources, and Mr. Joshua Huck, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Southern Europe and the Caucasus.

European Central Bank was represented by Ms. Elizabeth McCaul, Member of the Supervisory Board.

The Athens Exchange Group was represented by Mr. Yianos Kontopoulos, CE