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Economic Resilience in Greece: A Buzz Interview with Ioannis Charalampopoulos of Machas & Partners

Economic Resilience in Greece: A Buzz Interview with Ioannis Charalampopoulos of Machas & Partners

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Greece is doing a solid job of showcasing its economic resilience, according to Machas & Partners Partner Ioannis Charalampopoulos, who takes a closer look at its intricacies and spotlights the banking sector’s revival, booming real estate opportunities, and a promising horizon for mergers and acquisitions.

“Greece stands out for its selective growth potential amidst prevailing global economic pressures,” Charalampopoulos begins. “While many countries grapple with inflation and rising interest rates, certain sectors in Greece continue to thrive. This resilience is primarily due to the strategic focus on industries with high-performance potential,” he posits.

Zeroing in on specific drivers, it would appear that the Greek banking sector is of significant interest to international investors. “The banking sector in Greece is witnessing a significant turnaround,” Charalampopoulos continues. “Notable transactions include the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund’s formal private sale of its shareholding in Alpha Bank to Unicredit as well as the divestment from the National Bank of Greece and Piraeus Bank via private placement and public officering processes, indicating notable interest from international and strategic investors.” According to him, this resurgence positions Greek banks to finance the business community effectively, leveraging the capabilities of Greece’s economy.

Moreover, the real estate sector appears to be undergoing a transformative phase. “Real estate is indeed experiencing dynamic growth, driven by two main factors: the tourism sector and the strategic importance of Greece as a transport hub,” Charalampopoulos outlines. “Tourism, being the crown jewel of Greece’s economy, is fostering luxurious development projects, while Greece’s strategic positioning as a European transport hub is attracting significant investment in logistics infrastructure, diversifying the opportunities in real estate investment portfolios,” he explains. At the same time, “the landmark urban development project of Hellenikon continues to create positive externalities for the entire commercial and residential real estate market in the surrounding area, while high-net-worth individuals continue to look for high-end luxurious properties in unique locations.”

Looking ahead, with the global M&A sector facing challenges, Greece might have reasons for optimism. “Despite global setbacks, the M&A landscape in Greece is poised for a vibrant 2024. The hospitality industry, in particular, is expected to be a hotbed for transactions, alongside the food industry, energy sector, telecommunications, and education,” Charalampopoulos says. “Life sciences, though niche, are also seeing emerging project opportunities, while M&A transactions can be fueled by supportive acquisition financing mechanisms.”

Finally, Charalampopoulos adds that the Recovery and Resilience Fund is expected to further facilitate investments in Greece. “The RRF plays a pivotal role in facilitating financings and leveraged acquisitions, offering financing at exceptionally low interest rates,” he says in conclusion. “This has been a boon for the banking sector, allowing it to effectively hedge exposures and finance projects that drive Greece’s economic revitalization forward.”

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