Newsletter May,2022,05


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News in brief – May 2022

  • Greece-U.S. Relations – Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis became the first Greek prime minister to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress, underscoring the increasingly strategic ties between the two countries. In remarks with President Joseph Biden at the White House, Mr. Mitsotakis noted that “the relationship between Greece and the United States is today at an all-time high.” The visit to Washington followed the ratification of a new Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement with the U.S. by Parliament. Greece also expressed interest in acquiring fifth generation F-35 warplanes from the U.S. and partnering in the program.

  • Greece-UAE Agreements – Greece and the UAE have agreed to jointly fund investments worth €4 billion in Greece, with particular focus on renewable energy, infrastructure, agriculture, technology, and the healthcare and life sciences sectors. The agreement was signed during a state visit by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Abu Dhabi during which several other joint development initiatives were signed between representatives of the two countries.

  • Credit Upgrade – International ratings agency Standard & Poor’s raised its credit rating for Greece one notch to BB+ from BB, with a positive outlook, putting the country one notch away from returning to investment grade status. The upgrade is the ninth in a row over the last two and-a-half years. Separately, Greece raised €1.5 billion in a 7-year bond reissue, tapping markets days after the rating upgrade. The reissue carried a yield of 2.4%.

  • Greek Economy –The European Commission expects Greece’s economy to grow at a 3.5% rate this year and at a 3.1% rate in 2023, according to its recent spring economic forecast. International credit ratings agency Fitch, in a separate forecast, sees Greek GDP expanding at a 3.5% rate in 2022, while the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development sees growth of 2.9% this year.

  • Natural Gas Facility – Greece has inaugurated work on a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) in Alexandroupolis, part of a landmark €363 million project that will transform the port into a new energy gateway to Europe and the Balkans. The new FSRU, which will be anchored 18 km southwest of the port and carry gas to the shore via a 28 km long pipeline, is expected to begin operations at the end of 2023.

  • Greek Shipping – Greek shipping interests control 5,514 ships, representing about 21% of the world’s commercial fleet in deadweight tonnes, and confirming Greece as the leading shipowning nation in the world. According to the latest annual report by the Union of Greek Shipowners, the total capacity of the Greek-owned fleet has increased by 45.8% compared to 2014, and by 7.4% since 2019.

  • Yachting Tourism — Greece’s Parliament has approved a new regulatory framework for the yachting sector to spur development of the industry and make the country more competitive with rival yachting destinations in the Mediterranean. The new framework will update and codify existing regulations, provide for more innovation and the adoption of international practices, and create a new digital registry for the yachting industry.