At the exclusive New York “Harmonie Club” where the 3rd Greek Investment Forum, "GRforGRowth," contacts between investors and Greek firmsthat has exceeded all expectations.
Exactly two years later, and around a thousand stock index units after the almost disastrous June of 2012, when most foreign investors were seeking an escape from Greece, it is a Herculean labor for even the 25 most successful businesses that weathered the storm to draw the focus of elite American funds and to deal on other terms for investments in Greece.
At the exclusive New York “Harmonie Club” where the 3rd Greek Investment Forum, "GRforGRowth," is taking place, since Wednesday, hosted by the Athens Stock Exchange (ATHEX) and the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) there is a flood of contacts between investors and Greek firms that has exceeded all expectations.
More than six hundred meetings have been scheduled for today between US fund managers and the representatives of the 25 listed companies, about double the figure from last year's forum. Many of the one on one meetings have been turned into group meetings to accommodate demand.
The bulk of the meetings are with the four systemic banks and Attica Bank, and energy sector firms (Mytilinaios, METKA, Terna Energy), as well as Intralot, Titan cement, and gaming firm OPAP. Smaller firms that are at the focus of interest are Plaisio, Sarantis, Thraki Plastics, Lamda Development, and Korinthos Pipeworks.
Especially, as concerns banks interest is great because of the latest 8.3 billion euro recapitalization that opened the door for large investment funds, also fueled by optimistic projections for the Greek economy.
More than 150 fund managers, from Morgan Stanley, Black Rock, Templeton, Baupost, Lazard, Dupont, Highfieldw Capital, Ziff Brothers Investments. Columbia Wanger Asset Management, Contarian Capital Management, Discerene Value Advisors, Fintech Advisors, as well as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, among others investors seeking access to Greek investment opportunities.
As concerns Greek firms being presented represent the country's most promising companies representing key growth sectors, including real estate, energy, retail and technology and include National Bank, Piraeus Bank, Eurobank, Attica Bank, Marfin Investment Group, OPAP, Αegean Airlines, GEKTERNA, Ellaktor, Folli Follie, Sarantis, HELEX, Intralot, Motor Oil, ELPE, Mytilinaios Group and METKA, Terna Enrgy, Titan group, Plaisio, MLS, Thraki Plastics, Korinthos Pipeworks, and Lamda Development. A notable absence is the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund that owns all the state assets due for privatization.
Forum participants include key government officials and prominent US and Greek business leaders, such as Christos Staikouras, Deputy Minister of Finance; Notis Mitarakis, Deputy Minister of Development & Competitiveness; Yiannis Emiris, CEO of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund; and Stephanos Issaias, CEO, Enterprise Greece.
Four years after Greece received its first bailout package, the country is not only showing signs of an economic recovery, but undergoing what some consider an astonishing financial rebound. In recent weeks Greece returned to the markets with a $4.2 billion bond offering, at a yield of 4.95%, which drew orders exceeding $20 billion from private investors; the country recorded a primary surplus of €1.5 billion in 2013; and the Athens composite index is up more than 23% over the past 12 months.
"These latest developments mirror the remarkable progress Greece has made thus far, turning the country into a solid destination for foreign investors. I believe we now have a great opportunity to capitalize on positive market sentiment and give our economy the boost it deserves," said Socrates Lazaridis, Chairman of the Athens Exchange. "As part of our commitment to growth in the Greek markets, I am confident that both the Forum and the roadshow will serve to strengthen economic opportunities for Greek listed companies and entrepreneurs, as well as support the positive initiatives taken on a national level to attract foreign direct investment."