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

  • Greece's economy will grow only slightly in 2016, following a significant recession in 2015.

  • Although agreeing a third bailout has reduced uncertainty surrounding the country's eurozone membership, tough fiscal conditions attached to the deal will dampen growth over the coming years.

  • Greece's massive debt pile will remain unsustainable, unless the country is offered a formal debt haircut from its creditors. Eurozone opposition means this is unlikely to happen.

  • On the plus side, Greece's external position is now much improved, as the collapse of the current account deficit has reduced the country's annual financing requirement.

  • Deflation will persist for some time to come, as the country continues its painful internal...

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Greece Industry Coverage (16)

Agribusiness

Greece Agribusiness

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BMI View: Domestic demand weakness amid the ongoing economic turmoil will continue to weigh on the country's livestock sector. We are also bearish on the country's sugar production outlook over the coming years. The abolishment of the EU sugar quota in 2017 is likely to lead to further declines in sugar prices, weighing on producers' willingness to increase sugar output. Meanwhile, the removal of the EU's milk quota is unlikely to result in a significant increase in milk production in Greece, since the country has been producing less than what the quota has allowed.

Key Forecasts

  • Poultry consumption to 2019: up 17.2% to 201,500 tonnes. The cheaper price of poultry meat will see it continue to gain ground against the more traditionally favoured beef and pork.

  • ...

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Autos

Greece Autos

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The new passenger car market rose by 21.6% in May compared with the same period the year before. Since the beginning of 2015, 34,142 new passenger cars have been registered as compared with 29,505 the same period last year. The significant increase in passenger car sales is mainly due to the sharp rise for rental cars as the tourist season has just began.

In 2014, passenger car sales increased 21.3% to 71,218 units. BMI attributes this growth over the year to low base effects and pent-up demand in the market following years of sustained declines. The recovery of the country's autos market has continued despite sustained weakness in the country's economy.

The commercial vehicle (CV) market turned negative in May 2015 compared with the same month last year, declining 31.4%. Since January 2015, 147 units have been registered as compared with 124 the year before, suggesting an...

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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

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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...

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Food & Drink

Greece Food & Drink

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BMI View: We have revised down our real GDP growth forecast for Greece to a negative 0.3% outturn in 2015, from a 0.4% growth forecast previously. We have long warned of the risks posed to Greece's economic recovery by ongoing bailout negotiations, and have been below consensus on real GDP growth as a result. We now see little hope that Greece can avoid re-entering recession after a positive 0.8% growth outturn last year and a 'Grexit' would see an even more severe economic contraction in 2015.

Headline Industry Data (local currency)

  • 2015 per capita food consumption = 0.1%; forecast compound annual growth rate (CAGR) 2014-2019 = +0.8%.

  • 2015 alcoholic drink value sales = -1.3%; forecast CAGR 2014-2019 = +0.1%.

  • 2015 soft drink value sales = -0.3%;...

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Freight Transport

Greece Freight Transport

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Freight Demand Picking Up Pace In 2015

Looking at specific Greek transport modes, the main feature of 2015 will be faster growth compared to 2014. All modes will experience cargo volume expansion in a range of roughly 2.0% to 6.0%, ahead of the general rate of expansion experienced in the slowly recovering Greek economy. As in recent years, the best performer will be the Port of Piraeus, lifted by new investment and its role as a European gateway. Foreign trade growth will accelerate to 3.5%, giving a positive boost to freight demand after years of contraction.

The Greek economy is recovering, but the transition seems to be from deep recession to weak growth with continuing downside risks. We now expect GDP to gain 1.2% in 2015, up from an estimate of 0.2% positive growth in 2014, which itself came after six consecutive years of contraction (2008-2013). The problem is that the growth drivers are...

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Infrastructure

Greece Infrastructure

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BMI View: The outlook remains extremely poor for Greece's construction industry, despite the recent government agreement to a series of privatisations as part of the ongoing debt renegotiations. The far-left Syriza party remains largely opposed to privatisation and the recent concessions could result in greater fractions within the party, thereby increasing political uncertainty and further undermining investor confidence in an already weak market. Early indications for 2015 show the construction sector continues to contract and while we currently forecast an overall contraction of 17.4% for the year we caution this figure may be subject to downwards revision over the coming months, particularly in light of the collapse of the residential construction...

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Insurance

Greece Insurance

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BMI View: Greece's insurance sector is, and will remain, under-developed by many metrics. While premiums are no longer falling off a cliff as they have done in many segments in recent years, our outlook for both the life and non-life sectors is overwhelmingly bearish. A gradual acceleration in economic growth aside, the country's lingering debt crisis, coupled with the traditional aversion of Greek citizens to many forms of insurance products, will continue to act as significant barriers in terms of penetration and density growth over our forecast period through to end-2019.

Barring a small number of exceptions, we believe that insurance premiums will largely stagnate over the next few years. In the very recent past, the...

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Medical Devices

Greece Medical Devices

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BMI Industry View: Greece has the fifth largest medical device market in Central and Eastern Europe but growth has been constrained by the economic crisis. The market is heavily reliant on imports, which contracted considerably between 2009 and 2012. The current heightened economic and political uncertainty is unlikely to improve investment in healthcare in the short term. Domestic manufacturers are mainly small scale operations focusing on low value, high volume...

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Oil & Gas

Greece Oil & Gas

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BMI View: We reiterate our negative outlook for the Greek upstream sector as the nebulous fiscal and regulatory environment at a time of low oil prices will dent industry interest in the licensing round due in July 2015. Greece's importance in the regional oil and gas sector lies in the scale of its downstream and we forecast exports of fuels to grow in 2015 as the domestic market contracts for another year. Domestically, jet fuels consumption will experience the strongest growth according to our forecasts as a result of a booming tourism sector.

Headline Forecasts (Greece 2013-2019)
...

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Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

Greece Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

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BMI View: While Greece will, despite significant political brinksmanship linked to members of the ruling party Syriza, reach a deal with its creditors and avoid a Eurozone exit, the political and economic uncertainty of the interim will continue to hamper the modernisation of the health sector and the expansion of pharmaceutical spending and public access to health services. Greece will continue to lose attractiveness as a market for drugmakers as already high and rising operating costs are exacerbated by repayment issues that have led many firms to threatening to cut off the supply of treatments.

Headline Expenditure Projections

  • Pharmaceuticals: EUR4.96bn (USD6.64bn) in 2014 to EUR4.85bn (USD5.34bn) in 2015 -2.1% in local...

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Real Estate

Greece Real Estate

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BMI View: With the Greek economy making a slight turnaround, we expect an improvement of the wider macroeconomic situation to also support a recovery of the commercial real estate market in the long term. However, in the short term, rental rates are expected to decline almost across the board, with the only exception in the Thessaloniki retail market with stability expected into 2016. Although there are several positive indicators, the economic recovery remains highly fragile and uncertainty continues to dominate the market atmosphere.

The commercial real estate sector closely mirrors the general economic trends of the country and as such has suffered significantly in the Greek economic crisis over the past six years. Over the past two years indicators have...

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Renewables

Greece Renewables

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

Measures to address power regulator LAGIE's deficit (which funds renewable energy) include the New Deal, introduced in April 2014. The measures substantially reduced feed-in tariffs, most steeply for solar photovoltaic (PV) plants; increased the renewables levy charged to all consumers (residential, commercial and industrial); and capped annual installations of new renewables capacity. This is the largest shake-up and restructuring of the Greek renewables sector to date.

In light of these...

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Shipping

Greece Shipping

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BMI View: The outlook for Greek ports and shipping has deteriorated since our last quarterly report, as the government engages in brinkmanship over its debt negotiations and sends confusing signals over the fate of the port privatisation programme. That said, Greek seaports and Piraeus in particular, are to some extent protected by their role as regional gateways, linked to European transit trade demand. We have become more pessimistic over throughput at Piraeus, but we still see positive growth both there and at Thessaloniki.

Since our last quarterly report the economic outlook for Greece has darkened. We have lowered our prediction for GDP growth in 2015 to 0.5% (down from 1.2% previously), which implies that the country's recovery (0.8% growth in 2014 after six years of recession) is beginning to waver. The problem, we believe, is that the new left-wing Syriza...

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Telecommunications

Greece Telecommunications

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BMI View : We continue to hold a largely bearish view towards the Greek telecoms sector as a whole, with healthy returns on investment precluded by its challenging economic climate. While the mobile market showed growth, we believe that there remain siginificant numbers of inactive subscriptions. Other concerning trends point to the shift away from postpaid to lower value prepaid subscriptions, meaning consumers are spending less. The three major operators have all launched 4G services as of March 2015, but in this environment the outlook is less than optimal. In this environment, the Greek telecoms regulator is starting to prepare an auction for spectrum in the 1,800Mhz band expected for next...

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Tourism

Greece Tourism

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BMI View: Greece's tourism market is very well established, with an excellent range of accommodation options and strong transport links. This has helped the industry to weather the storm created by Greece's ongoing bailout negotiations and persistent economic and political uncertainty. Visitor numbers are set to increase over the forecast period, boosting vital tourism-related expenditure; however, the outlook is less positive for the largely stagnant outbound travel market. Any failure to complete a deal with creditors could see Greece's tourism industry, and wider economy, facing enormous challenges.

The tourism market in Greece is well developed, and the country has long been one of the...

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