ATH.SE: In the Spotlight [by Manos Chatzidakis]

05.03.2015 09:22

          Greece:  Eurozone finance ministers have no plans to discuss a possible third rescue package for Greece when they meet on Monday, a German finance ministry spokesman said on Wednesday after a Spanish minister revived the possibility of more aid for Athens. “A discussion about a third bailout package for Greece is not on the agenda for the Eurogroup meeting on Monday,” said a German finance ministry spokesman, adding so far the Greek government had said it did not want a third programme.

Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said earlier that Greece was unlikely to be able to return to capital markets by June, when an extension of its bailout expires, so it would probably need further support from European partners. He also reiterated that preliminary estimates pointed to an aid package of between 30 billion euros and 50 billion euros.


Greece/Tourism:  Vacation bookings for Greece among Germans have increased by 12.8 percent compared to last year, according to data presented by the country’s tourism chief Andreas Andreadis in Berlin on Tuesday. The data was presented during a joint press conference by Marketing Greece and the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) ahead of the 49th International Tourism Bourse (ITB Berlin) which opens Wednesday in the German capital. The news came in the wake of reports of a slowdown in overall bookings in January, which rose by a 3 percent rate. The Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises expects 1 million more arrivals this year, bringing the total to 25 million, while TUI, one of the world’s biggest travel companies, with extensive operations in Germany and the UK, has reported strong growth in bookings.


Greece/Energy Sector:  Reportedly the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) intends to restore subsidies to private-owned natural gas-operated electricity production units amounting to 500 million euros per year, citing arguments that appear outrageous given its role and the financial state of the country. RAE is planing to reinstate the Variable Cost Retrieval Mechanism introduced in May 2008, which effectively offered a safety net for private natural gas-powered electricity units, as it secured payments for them that were higher than the prices on the regular electricity market. The above proposal is to be put up for public consultation by March 16, which also reveals a sense of urgency.


Greece/Banking Sector: According to official figures from the Bank of Greece interest rate spread between loan and deposit rates increased by 6 basis points in January from the previous month to 3.94 percentage points. Weighted average interest rate on all new deposits decreased by 3 bp to 1.12%. Weighted average interest rate on all new loans to households and corporations increased by 3 bp to 5.06%


Greece/Airports: According to German press reports, airport operator Fraport expects to complete acquisition of 14 (mostly tourist) Greek airports (40-year operating concession) by year-end, beginning 2016.


NBG: HFSF will reportedly review for final approval an offer of up to 26.9% of Finansbank through the issue of new shares (share capital increase of c €800 mn and the sale of existing shares by NBG. Such review will take place after NBG decides to submit a relevant request. Press reports indicate that HFSF may review the offer today. According to NBG’s existing restructuring plan that has been approved by DGComp, NBG should reduce its almost 100% stake in Finansbank by 40% until the end of 2015.


Bank of Greece: As of today the shares of the bank are traded on the Athens Exchange ex-dividend for the fiscal year 2014, amounting to € 0.6720 per share. The above dividend amount is subject to the tax imposed on dividends pursuant to the current legislation (net amount: € 0.447552 per share).


PDMA:   PDMA sold yesterday €1,400mn 26W T-Bill at 2.97% uniform yield. Previous tender generated a yield of 2.75%.The last time six-month treasury bills carried such a high interest rate was in April 2014, when it stood at 3.01 percent.


Bank of Cyprus: The bank is putting up for sale a total of 41 properties across Greece which in most cases are leased out to third parties and belong to the group’s subsidiary firm, Cyprus Leasing SA. Nonbinding offers are expected next week, while the final, binding bids will be submitted in May.


PPC: The chairman and chief executive officer of Public Power Corporation, Arthouros Zervos, tendered his resignation on Wednesday after the Council of Appeals Court Judges in Athens decided to send him to trial in connection with excessive pay rises granted to 19 senior PPC officials in 2010-12 which cost the company more than 150,000 euros.


Titan (4Q/12M Results): The company reports Q4 results today after the close.  We expect improved performance in the quarter as Greek infrastructure projects and Exports along with strong US market offset Egypt weakness due to fuel shortages. Having said that group sales are expected almost flat in the quarter. Market consensus calls for adjusted net profit of €-4.7mn vs €-21.5mn last year, whereas EBITDA is seen at €47.6mn vs €49.5mn last year. Management will host a conference call the at 18:00 Greek time. Focus on FCF generation, and outlook for 2015 in US and Egypt. CC details:

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