Greece

In-depth country-focused analysis on Greece's economic, political and operational risk environment, complemented by detailed sector insight

Greece

Our comprehensive assessment of Greece's operating environment and the outlook for its leading sectors are formed by bringing together a wealth of data on global markets that affect Greece, as well as the latest industry developments that could impact Greece's industries. This unique integrated approach has given us an impeccable track-record for predicting important shifts in the markets, ensuring you’re aware of the latest market opportunities and risks in Greece before your competitors.

Country Risk

Greece Country Risk

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Core Views

  • A return to marginal positive real GDP growth rates in 2016 will be followed by years of sluggish growth.

  • A slight improvement in 2016 will mainly be driven by the removal of capital controls and a slight uptick in consumer confidence.

  • These growth rates will be insufficient to help Greek households and firms recover from the huge destruction of wealth the country has endured during its depression.

  • One of the few bright spots for Greece is it current account, which is likely to remain in surplus over the coming years, having been at a deficit of over 10% of GDP only a few years ago.

  • Consumer price index (CPI) growth will remain in positive territory, due to a slight recovery in domestic demand, the ongoing impact of VAT hikes, and supply-side issues for the...

Greece Industry Coverage (15)

Agribusiness

Greece Agribusiness

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BMI View: Cheese production will see buoyant growth in the coming years due to strong export opportunities, while sugar will remain on a declining trend as the competition is set to increase in the EU market. Poultry consumption will outperform the livestock sector due to its lower cost, which will provide a modest push to corn production towards the end of our forecast period to 2020.

Key Forecasts

  • Poultry consumption from 2016 to 2020: up 13.9% to 208,180 tonnes. The cheaper price of poultry meat will see it continue to gain ground against beef and pork. In 2017 we are forecasting poultry consumption to outpace production for the first time.

  • Cheese production to 2020: up 13.0% to 253,640 tonnes. Solid exports...

Autos

Greece Autos

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BMI View: A weak domestic economic outlook associated with constricted consumer sentiment will drag significantly on total vehicle sales in Greece, with volumes of 89,670 units forecast in 2019 remaining well below pre-crisis levels of some 315,000 units.

Total Vehicle Sales Low Volume Growth
Total Vehicle Sales By Segment
e/f = BMI estimate/forecast. Source: AMVIR, BMI
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Key Views

Commercial Banking

Greece Commercial Banking

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Commercial Banking Sector Indicators
Date Total assets Client loans Bond portfolio Other Liabilities and capital Capital Client deposits

Defence & Security

Greece Defence & Security

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BMI View:  The report discusses Greece's strategic situation, including its fractious relationship with Turkey, its relations with NATO and other European nations, and its global relations and participation in military operations around the world. In terms of procurement, the report examines Greece's current defence programmes, planned acquisitions and future procurement aspirations in light of the country's economic crisis.

BMI expects Greece to spend USD6bn on defence in 2014. On average, between 2011 and 2013, Greece spent USD6.2bn annually on defence. Spending has progressively declined as the Greek economy has contracted and the government has sought to bring public spending under control. We expect Greece to spend less on defence between 2015 and 2019, spending an average of USD5.5bn. By 2019 we expect Greece to be spending USD5.6bn on...

Food & Drink

Greece Food & Drink

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BMI View: Our outlook for the Greek food and drink industry will improve throughout our forecast period to 2020, but this will reflect a stabilisation rather than a full-blown recovery. Households will remain highly price-conscious, which will favour beer in the alcoholic drinks sector and the development of the discount segment.

Food And Drink Spending
(2013-2020)
f = BMI forecast. Source: BMI, national statistics

Latest Updates & Industry Developments

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Freight Transport

Greece Freight Transport

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The implementation of a third bailout agreement between Greece and the troika of international lenders (the IMF, EU Commission, and ECB) has eased the immediate pressures on the Greek economy and its key sectors. Greece's current account will remain firmly in surplus over the short term, reducing the potential for funding strains to emerge in the financial account. This will mainly reflect capital controls restricting imports. The surplus is forecast to narrow gradually as capital controls are eventually lifted and as modest economic recovery gains traction. Nevertheless, the country's longer-term economic outlook remains poor, and the result of the September election is set to solidify this view.

Export growth will be one of the key drivers of a recovery in the Greek economy. We believe there will be moderate growth in trade over the medium term, with export outpacing import growth at 3.0% and 4.0%...

Infrastructure

Greece Infrastructure

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BMI View: Overall, the long-term outlook for Greece's struggling construction sector remains bleak. While the country has successfully agreed a third bailout deal, economic growth will remain subdued, and significant structural weaknesses persist, exacerbated by ongoing political uncertainty. There is therefore little scope for public spending, and we expect private investment to be the sole source of growth throughout much of the forecast period. Key to this is the progression of highly unpopular privatisations of major state-owned assets, including transport infrastructure and key utilities. Although we expect some growth in...

Insurance

Greece Insurance

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BMI View: As with the remainder of the Greek economy, the country's insurance sector has suffered extensive losses in recent years and, despite some growth expected over the forecast period, will remain under-developed by most metrics. The lingering debt crisis in Greek which has severely undermined confidence in formal banking institutions, combined with the general lack of awareness and uptake of many insurance products will continue to hamper the development of both life and non-life insurance moving forward.

In US dollar terms, we expect to see sharp decreases in insurance premiums written in the Greek market over 2015 and potentially into 2016, due in large part to the strength of the US dollar against an increasingly weak Euro, as well as due to the poor prospects for growth in the market. In local currency terms, Greece's life insurance segment is...

Medical Devices

Greece Medical Devices

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BMI View: Following a contraction in 2015, the market will return to growth from 2016 but will struggle to attain its former level before 2019. The market will remain heavily reliant on imports, as domestic manufacturers are mainly small scale operations focusing on low value, high volume disposables. The economic crisis, ongoing austerity measures and a weak euro have contributed to a downward trend in imports since 2009 and there is little sign of improvement in the near future.

Projected Medical Device Market, 2014-2019
Total (USDmn) Per Capita (USD) ...

Oil & Gas

Greece Oil & Gas

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BMI View: We have upgraded our crude oil production forecasts as Energean has begun production in the Prinos field and the investment-expansion programme will yield results on schedule, significantly ramping up Greek oil production before 2020. On the downside, we downgraded our domestic fuels consumption outlook again as new numbers reveal very weak demand for diesel, gasoline and heating oil in the first quarter of 2016. We reiterate our view that natural gas, especially midstream, will be the largest growth opportunity in the Greek energy space with TAP beginning construction in June and DEPA focusing on growing the domestic gas market infrastructure.

Headline Forecasts (Greece 2014-2020)
2014 ...

Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

Greece Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

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BMI View: A poor record of implementing new legislation and the enduring public scepticism of generic medicines indicate that the country's push to increase the prescription of generic medicines to 60% by December 2016 will fail to produce the desired generic medicine uptake in the face of austerity. The government's focus on increasing the consumption of generic medicines alongside persistent debt problems within the health system highlights Greece as a challenging market for innovative drugmakers.

Headline Expenditure Projections

  • Pharmaceuticals: EUR4.95bn (USD5.44bn) in 2015 to EUR4.67bn (USD5.00bn) in 2015, -5.5% in local currency terms and -8.1% in US dollar terms. Forecast revised upwards from Q415 due to improved macroeconomic...

Real Estate

Greece Real Estate

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BMI View: The Greek economy has suffered greatly from the sovereign debt crisis in 2015. Investor confidence has been damaged, while the high risks of investing have seen demand dwindle and rental rates fall. Although rates could rise in the long term, the industry, and the Greek economy in general, continues to be plagued by uncertainty.

The left-wing Syriza-led government was initially opposed to austerity measures, but eventually agreed to EU bailout conditions that imposed harsh economic reforms on the country. These seek to streamline the pension system and boost tax revenues, particularly from VAT. The agreement led to the resignation of the prime minister, Alex Tsipras, and a general election that resulted in a second Syriza-led coalition. The volatile political and fiscal situation has resulted in negative business sentiment across the commercial real estate sector. Falling rental rates...

Renewables

Greece Renewables

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BMI View: After a decade of impressive growth, the Greek non-hydro renewables industry came nearly to a standstill in 2014 and 2015, largely on account of regulatory changes introduced under the New Deal in mid-2014 as well as persisting economic and political challenges. While several recent project announcements highlight the industry's potential, we believe Greece's non-hydro renewables expansion will remain anaemic over the coming decade.

Renewables Headline Forecasts (Greece 2014-2024)
2014e 2015f ...

Telecommunications

Greece Telecommunications

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BMI View: We retain our core outlook for the Greek telecommunications market in our Q3 2016 report update. Our outlook is based on the stronger performance of the market in 2015, as the mobile market added over 685,000 new subscribers in 2015, a healthy number when compared to the 2014 losses. Meanwhile, fixed-line connections contracted at a slower rate than we had previously predicted. We remain cautiously optimistic about the Greek market in general. The mobile market is highly saturated and other concerning trends point towards a shift in low-cost prepaid services, meaning consumers are spending less. The three major carriers had launched 4G services by the start of 2015. Operators are expected to put a growing emphasis on the promotion of 3G and 4G subscriptions and services over the next five years as a way of winning and retaining customers and boosting revenue.

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Tourism

Greece Tourism

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BMI View: For many tourists, especially Europeans, Greece has become a popular destination for a holiday. The warm climate and stunning beaches have always drawn good numbers of visitors. In recent years, due to economic instability and political uncertainty, there has been some fluctuation in the numbers of inbound arrivals. However, over the short- and mid-term we forecast steady growth, as tourists look to make the most of Greece's current economic slump and the favourable exchange rates this has lead to.

The traditionally high number of arrivals means Greece has a fairly well developed accommodation sector, with a mix of major international hotel groups and smaller, independent establishments. In the short term this could limit the opportunities for investment in accommodation however over the longer term, as Greece recovers economically,...

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