Success marked the completion of the 7th Greek Investment Forum in New York, held on the 19th and 20th of June 2018 in the framework of the Greek Investment Roadshow in the USA. The event is organised by the Athens Stock Exchange and the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with Enterprise Greece, and this year, in addition to the 7th Greek Investment Forum in New York, it was combined with visits to Washington and Chicago on June 20-22, for meetings with business and state agencies and lobbies.
The Greek Investment Roadshow in the USA is an initiative of the above agencies, which have joined forces to promote in the best way possible our country’s business and investment opportunities in the USA and the prospects of a wider Greek-American partnership in economy and trade.
The delegation included the Alternate Minister of Economy and Development Mr. Alexis Charitsis and the USA Ambassador to Greece, Mr. Geoffrey Pyatt.
The listed companies that took part, in alphabetical order, represented at management level, are:
Management representatives and investment relations managers from these companies had B2B meetings with fund managers and investment firms. There was a total participation of 60 investment funds, 90 portfolio managers and 400 one-on-one meetings were held with the listed companies.
A briefing session was held in the framework of the 7th Greek Investment Forum, titled: “Greece: Back on the Path to Growth”.
The briefing was opened with welcoming addresses by the CEO of the Athens Exchange Group, Sokrates Lazaridis, the President of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, Simos Anastasopoulos and the Chairman of the Hellenic Capital Market Commission, Professor Charalampos Gotsis.
The CEO of the Athens Exchange Group, Mr. Sokrates Lazaridis, among other things, noted: “From the previous investment forum until today, total liquidity has improved by some 20% with a big participation from the non banking sector that saw an increase of 40%. Our mid cap companies saw a rise in terms of prices and trading activity. Net profits of listed companies rose to the order of 33% while the participation of foreign institutional investors remained high at 65%. The corporate bond market was enhanced with new issues. Finally, significant improvements were made to the laws for companies, with the incorporation of provisions that reinforce corporate governance and offer the possibility for the issue of new securities and fund raising instruments”.
The President of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Simos Anastasopoulos remarked: “After 8 years in crisis, this August Greece is leaving behind the Adjustment Programme, having achieved fiscal balance, financial stability and a return to growth. As a result, the interest of international investors has increased, as seen by the large number of investment firms that took part in the 7th Investment Forum of New York. Greece is presenting with numerous investment opportunities today, and it is able to win the trust of the markets with its persistence in the implementation of the structural reforms that confirm its will to recover its competitiveness and a business-friendly environment”.
The Chairman of the Hellenic Capital Market Commission, Professor Charalampos Gotsis, focused on the particularly favourable circumstance, since over the next days and months important decisions are anticipated that will shape an investment environment which will be decisive for the choices of both foreign and Greek investors.
“Greece has come on the radar of investors with new data in terms of opportunities and prospects, which justify a reformulation of their investment strategies. At this point we are hoping to attract the participation of funds not only making portfolio investments but also direct foreign investments, participating in the capital support of sustainable businesses that require restructuring. It goes without saying that the New York capital market will play a leading role in this effort”.
During his presentation, Mr. Alexis Charitsis, noted that Greece will be successfully exiting the adjustment programmes in a few weeks. He stressed that the Greek economy is now on a steady course of growth, with significant improvement of quality indicators, such as the increase in exports and investments. He underlined that the Greek government is supporting Greece’s international presence, improving relations with neighbouring countries, resolving diplomatic problems and undertaking initiatives at regional level that solidify its leading role in the Balkans.
Geoffrey Pyatt, US Ambassador to Greece, noted the importance of Greece for the USA, and the role it can play in the wider region of Southeast Europe. He highlighted the great progress made so far in the area of reforms, stressing the need for their continuation, especially as regards public administration due to the role it can play in improving the investment and business climate. Finally, in closing, he referred to Greece’s great investment and business cooperation opportunities for tapping into the country’s potential in a number of areas, making more specific references to energy, tourism, shipping, transit and primary production.
The first part of the briefing session was coordinated by Ms. Penny Manis, director of CNN’s business programming in New York.
Mr. Ebrahim Rahbari, Managing Director, Global Economics Team of Citi Research in New York, then took the floor to elaborate on the subject: “Current situation and prospects of the Greek and European economy”
Mr. Athanasiou, from Enterprise Greece stated: “In today’s Forum, all speakers agreed that there is no doubt that Greece is on positive ground as regards its development and prospects. The multitude of attractive investment opportunities offered by the country, in combination with an investor-friendly environment, are expected to fuel the new economic model of Greece towards its long-term and sustainable growth”.
Presentations and discussions were held on the subject of “Investment opportunities in Greece”, with the participation of Emilios Kyriakou, Managing Director of Citi, Christos Megalou, CEO of Piraeus Bank, Michael Tsamaz, CEO of ΟΤΕ, Giorgos Chrysikos, CEO of Grivalia Properties, Lois Lambrianidis, Secretary General for Strategic and Private Investments, Ministry of Economy and Development, Aris Xenofos, Chairman of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, Romualdo Massa Bernucci, Director of the European Investment Bank at the Washington office, Apostolos Goutzinis, of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP. Coordinators were Dimitris Koutsopoulos, CEO of Deloitte Greece and William Watts, Deputy Markets Editor of MarketWatch.
At the closing of the briefing session, the Chairman of the Athens Exchange Group, Georgios Hantzinikolaou, stated: “The 7th Annual Greek Investment Forum offered us the opportunity to convey to the American investors the positive developments in the Greek economy and the investment opportunities which the country presents. These optimistic prospects were reinforced by the opinions and estimates expressed by the companies that participated in the Forum, as well as the decisiveness displayed by the minister, Mr. Alexis Charitsis for the implementation of the reforms. I am convinced that if the reform effort continues and intensifies, the image of Greece will finally change to the better, creating enormous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign investors, substantially contributing to the recovery of the economy, the society and the country”.
Finally, once again this year, the Forum was sponsored by a host of Greek and foreign market actors of international repute, such as investment banks, investment companies, auditing firms and law firms. Specifically, Gold Sponsors were: Alpha Finance, Axia Ventures, Citi, Eurobank Equities/Auerbach Grayson, Euroxx Securities, Investment Βank of Greece, LXM, Marco Polo Securities, Morgan Stanley, ΝΒG Securities abd Piraeus Securities, and Silver Sponsors were Deloitte and law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP. Public Relations Sponsor was the American company Public Worldwide.