NEW YORK and ATHENS, Greece, May 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) and the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) are holding the 2nd Greek Investment Forum, "Greece: Seizing the Opportunities," followed by a roadshow on June 5-6 at the Plaza Hotel in New York. To register and view the list of participating companies and speakers, please visit www.amcham.gr or www.helex.gr.
The forum seeks to inform the US business community of the wealth of new investment opportunities in Greece and provide insights into the types of enacted legislative, economic and structural reforms employed to foster growth and create a positive investment climate.
The event will feature key government officials and prominent US and Greek business leaders such as Christos Staikouras, Alternate Minister of Economy, Yiannis Emiris, Managing Director of the Privatization Development Fund, Stephanos Issaias, CEO, Invest-In-Greece Agency and Daniele Antonucci, Senior Economist, Morgan Stanley. Greece's most promising companies representing a large number of growth sectors including energy, food and beverage, agriculture and technology, will also be participating in the roadshow.
"This is the right time to invest in Greece. Favorable pricing and financial incentives have created unique investment opportunities in both the private and public sectors," said Yanos Gramatidis, President of AmCham. We hope this forum will serve as a platform to showcase these valuable opportunities and provide an avenue for leading investment houses to form strategic and sustainable partnerships with some of Greece's leading companies."
In recent years, Greece has made extensive progress towards adopting reforms and regulations aimed at creating growth, improving competitiveness and attracting foreign investments. To help restructure the economy the Greek government has also identified an extensive portfolio of assets for potential privatization, including listed and non-listed companies and commercial real estate. Greece's privatization program of state-owned assets is the world's largest since WWII.
"Although the sovereign debt crisis is not over, we are confident that Greece will not only survive but ultimately flourish within the Eurozone. Investor confidence is improving; recapitalization of the banking sector is underway; and Greece's stock market has proven to be resilient," said Socrates Lazarides, Chairman of the Athens Exchange. "In terms of liquidity and market cap to GDP we are an attractive market, and investors are starting to realize these opportunities. Foreign investor participation, which remained at above 50% throughout the crisis, increased to record levels in 2013. Given the dismal conditions that have been prevalent in Greece over the past few years, this is a positive turnaround. "
Recently FITCH Ratings raised Greece's long-term credit rating to B-, citing the country has recovered about 80% of its lost competitiveness and its economic program was on track.
About the Athens Exchange
The Hellenic Exchanges (HELEX) Group operates the Greek cash and derivatives markets. The Group offers trading in stocks and derivatives through its subsidiary Athens Exchange (ATHEX), clearing through its subsidiary ATHEXClear; settlement and registry services are provided by the parent company, HELEX.
As of May 2013, the exchange had 265 listed companies, a market capitalization of €50bn, an average daily turnover of €76m, and an average daily volume of 56m shares. The exchange has attracted significant capital flows from abroad – more than 50% of the total market capitalization is in the hands of international investors (for the large cap stocks the figure is more than 60%), who on average do approximately 35% of the trading activity by value.
HELEX was listed on Athens Exchange in August 2000; it was fully privatized in 2003. Today HELEX has more than 10,000 shareholders, and a market capitalization of €400m.
About The American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce
The American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest and most active American chambers in Europe. It was established in 1932 to promote economic and business relations between the United States and Greece. It is a wholly autonomous, not-for-profit organization and receives no subsidy from any government body. With a corporate membership today of some 1.000 companies operating in Greece, that include American companies doing business in Greece and major Greek enterprises doing business in or with the U.S., the Chamber continues to encourage and facilitate trade, investment and professional partnerships from both sides of the Atlantic. The Chamber is a fully accredited member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington D.C., and affiliated with the European Council of American Chambers of Commerce (ECACC).
SOURCE Athens Exchange; American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce