Greece Market Overview April 2018

Following our recent trip to Athens, we have summarized our core findings for your attention:

Overview

  • Following seven consecutive years of economic adjustment, fiscal performance has strengthened significantly leading to a state of economic recovery. Privatization projects including the Egnatia Odos Motorway and Public Power Corporation will significantly boost state coffers, attracting significant interest from bulge bracket banks. In response, they are adding new headcount to Greek coverage teams to originate and execute such transactions

  • Greece made a return to the international financial markets, issuing €3bn of 5-year bonds at a 4.625% interest rate in 2017, which has paved the way for further bond issues. International platforms such as JP Morgan, Citi, Barclays, BNP Paribas and Nomura have capitalized on the momentum, following the most recent sale of a seven-year bond which raised an additional €3bn

  • With the real estate market standing at its lowest point, almost 50% of where it was almost a decade ago, it has attracted significant interest from international and local investors. Last month Dromeus Capital Group announced that its Greco Fund, which invests in income-producing real estate properties, won an international tender for two properties. The fund plans to invest over €200 mln in prime office real estate properties as well as turn its attention to the hospitality industry

Hiring Trends

  • Bulge brackets, including JP Morgan and UBS have added headcount to boost their coverage capabilities, with other competitors currently in the process of strengthening their platforms as well. Notable hires, include JP Morgan’s new Head of Greece Investment Banking, Stelios PAPADOPOULOS, former head of Greece’s public debt management agency

  • Leading local boutique advisory firm AXIA Ventures Group has significantly expanded its franchise in Athens as well as South-East Europe in an attempt to gain market share. Last month, the firm hired Leandro ALMEIDA in the position of Managing Director of the investment banking division of the Lisbon branch. Prior to joining AXIA, Leandro led BNP Paribas´s investment banking franchise in Brazil, as Managing Director, Head of Corporate Finance

  • International blue-chip institutions like Brevan Howard have recently established operations in Athens hiring local talent such as, Eurobank’s Chief Economist Platon MONOKROUSSOS and ADMIE Holding’s Investor Relations Officer Nektarios PAPAGIANNAKOPOULOS in order to target investments in commercial real estate and listed equities via two new funds

  • With Greece being ranked at the top of the European investor agenda with regards to considering NPL transactions opportunities, given low valuations in the market, which is creating potential for professionals with local access and knowledge. International firms focusing on NPL management such as Pillarstone, Alvarez & Marsal and Resolute Asset Management already have an established presence in Greece

  • Traditionally, U/HNW individuals relied heavily on conventional government bonds or real estate, however the fragility of those markets has forced them to be more flexible on where they place their wealth leading to a demand of wealth managers with a cross-product knowledge

Competitive Landscape

  • Improvements in the market environment, such as implementing reforms that make it easier to obtain NPL management licenses and reducing the personal liability of banking executives over NPL disposals, has improved investor sentiment with regards to investing in Greece

  • Entrepreneurs with lack of financing means have resulted to selling non-core assets such as real estate at depressed prices. LBRI, a portfolio company of Oaktree Capital Management, has grasped the opportunity, currently owning and operating luxury hotels in Greece

For the Delta house view and related mandates please reach out to Greg Galanis

Best Regards,

Delta Executive Search Team

Posted by Gregory Galanis
Monday 23rd April, 2018

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