Newsletter March,2024,03

MARCH

Also in this issue:

News in Brief – March 2024


  • Greek Economy – Greece’s economy grew 2% in 2023, marking one of the fastest growth rates in the Eurozone. According to provisional data by the Hellenic Statistical Authority, the economy expanded at a 1.2% year-on-year rate in the fourth quarter. For this year, the Greek economy is forecast to grow between 2.3% and 2.9%.

  • Bank Privatization – Greece’sbank stability fund successfully concluded the sale of its entire 27% stake in Piraeus Bank raising €1.35 billion. The offering was 8 times oversubscribed and with a final price of €4.0 per share representing the top end of the indicative price range. The strong demand, both domestically and from abroad, prompted the fund to increase the size of the offering and signaled the renewed interest by investors in Greek banks.

  • Tech Acquisition – U.S.-based Cadence Design Systems, a leader in electronic systems design, will acquire Greek-owned BETA CAE Systems International AG for $1.24 billion. The Greek company, which is headquartered in Lucerne, Switzerland but has its primary R&D center in Thessaloniki, is a world leading platform for providing complex engineering simulation solutions. Its marquee customers include major automotive groups such as Honda, General Motors, Renault and Volvo.

  • Mergers & Acquisitions – The number of mergers and acquisitions in Greece jumped by a fifth last year, signifying the growing stability and transformation of the Greek economy. According to the latest annual report by consultancy PwC Greece, a total of 116 M&A deals were completed in 2023 compared with 94 a year earlier and 76 in 2021. Almost a quarter of all deals – 28 in total – were in the technology, media, and telecom (TMT) sector, the report said.

  • LNG Facility – The new liquefied natural gas terminal in Alexandroupolis has received its first commissioning cargo and the facility has been linked to Greece’s national gas grid. According to officials of the Gastrade consortium that owns the terminal in northern Greece, the facility should begin full commercial operations by April 30.

  • Greek Fashion – Greek fashion and jewelry companies participated in record numbers at last month’s Milano Fashion & Jewels and MICAM Milano exhibitions with 62 companies taking part. Enterprise Greece organized the Greek national delegation to the joint exhibitions, among the most important in Europe.

  • Record Tourism – Bank of Greece data have confirmed that 2023 was a record year for Greek tourism, surpassing previous records for visitor arrivals and revenue set in 2019 − the year prior to the pandemic. According to the central bank data, Greece welcomed 32.7 million visitors last year versus 31.3 million in 2019. Travel receipts amounted to €20.45 billion in 2023, up from €18.15 billion in 2019.

  • Greek Shipping – Greece remains one of the world top shipowning nations – and the world leader in tankers – according to the latest annual report by market analysis firm VesselsValue. The report notes that Greece has maintained its position as the third-ranked country by both total number of vessels in its fleet and with a fleet worth $169 billion overall. By category, the Greek tanker fleet is valued at $69.5 billion, the highest in the world, while Greek-controlled LNG carriers is the second largest fleet in the world with 143 vessels and a fleet value of $31.1 billion.

  • Ocean Conference − Greece will host the 2024 Our Ocean Conference April 16-17 at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center underscoring the country’s commitment to the Blue Economy. First launched under the initiative of the U.S. Department of State in 2014, the global conference has become a major international forum and has raised almost US$ 130 billion for the protection of the oceans.

  • Maritime Security − Greece will lead the European Union maritime security operation in the Red Sea aimed at protecting commercial shipping from attacks by Houthi militants in Yemen. The Greek frigate Hydra has been assigned to participate in the operation, which also includes warships from Germany, Italy and France. Overall strategic command will be run from a military base in Larissa, central Greece, while Italy will assume the tactical command of the operation.