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Newsletter May 2013


Investors Eye Greek Property

Chinese businesspeople have shown an interest in investing in Greek property, such as hotels and land on Greek islands.

The Mayor of Athens, Georgios Kaminis, noted the interest of Chinese investors during a business delegation to Beijing, where he signed an agreement with the Beijing municipal government to promote cooperation in a number of sectors, including real estate, agriculture and tourism.

Property, mainly residential apartments, accounts for about 80 percent of household wealth in Greece. Prices tumbled 28 percent from their peak in 2008, when the country’s economic contraction set in, according to data from the Greek central bank.

"Greek property prices are at the bottom of the economic cycle. Now will be a great time to invest," Mr. Kaminis said.

Mayor Kaminis also said agriculture is a key sector for bilateral trade, as exports of agricultural products from Greece to China have been growing steadily over the past few years, although the quantity is still relatively small.

"We are very optimistic about future increases," he said.

Some Chinese companies, on meeting their Greek counterparts on the tour, expressed an interest in buying Greek agricultural products. Beijing Grain Group Co Ltd said it is considering importing olive oil from Greece.

The company’s deputy general manager, Wang Zhigang, said: "We currently import olive oil mainly from countries such as Spain and Israel. This is our first contact with Greek companies and, given the right quality and price, we are considering further cooperation with them."

Greek companies are trying to tap into China’s market, as rising disposable income and a growing population has turned China into one of the largest food and beverage consumers in the world.

Themis Mavroeidis, brand ambassador of a Greek wine industry organisation, Coop Wines of Greece, who has lived in China for five years, said Chinese consumers are becoming familiar with Greek wine.

"Sales have been increasing steadily over the past few years, and we found the younger generation (those younger than 40) of Chinese drinkers are familiar with the wine culture. They are getting used to the distinctive flavour of Greek wines."

Mr. Kaminis said tourism is another sector where the two cities, as well as both countries, can strengthen cooperation.

According to industry data, 2.5 million Chinese tourists visit Europe every year, but the number of these visitors to Greece stands at 50,000.

"For us, this percentage is still too small, and we expect to see more Chinese tourists in Athens and in Greece as a whole," the Mayor said.

April 1, 2013

Gas System Projects: 1.6 Billion Euro
Greece’s Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) is considering a project for the development of the national gas system for 2013-2022, which will call for investments totaling 1.6 billion Euro.

The largest project, with a budget of 1.1 billion Euro, is the Komotini-Thesprotia conduit. This is the land component of the Greece-Italy pipeline project, which remains in the planning stages.

The plan also includes the following major projects:
• The project for the upgrading of the station in Revythoysas, with the construction of a third liquefied gas tank; the gasification plants have a budget of 159 million Euro and are to be completed in 2015.
• The construction of the Ag. Theodoroi-Megalopoli pipeline.
The project has been launched to feed the new PPC gas unit in Megalopoli, and will come into operation in September. However, there is provision for coverage of urban and industrial consumption along the diversion, as well as for future expansion of the pipeline in the Peloponnese region.
• PPC and private power plants projects in various areas.

April 1, 2013

The Agricultural Bank of Greece SA (under special liquidation) announced the completion of the tendering process for the transfer of 1,849,171 ordinary registered voting shares, representing 50.36% of the issued share capital of the Greek Tobacco Company SEKAP SA. DONSKOY TABAK JSC, a company with Russian interests, is the preferred candidate.

March 29, 2013
(Source: Reuters)

Italy’s Energy Resources Signs 50-million Euro RES Contract
Italy’s Energy Resources Ltd announced it has signed a €50 million contract to build a 32 MW photovoltaic park in Greece.

According to a statement released, the company is in talks with the China Development Bank to fund the project. Many foreign banks and other investors are also said to be interested.

The project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2013 and Energy Resources will seek cooperation with local Greek PV companies.

The Italian-Chinese deal indicates that despite the FIT (feed-in-tariff) cuts introduced last August, Greece continues to attract foreign investment in photovoltaic projects.

Emanuele Mainardi, Energy Resources' head of overseas development, congratulated Greece for investing in renewable energy systems to boost its economy at a time of strong economic crisis.

Energy Resources Ltd is in the process of signing a further 40 MW of new PV and wind energy contracts in Europe, which together with the PV park in Greece, will allow the company to reach a turnover of over €80 million.

March 20,2013