United Kingdom

George Georgiopoulos

Moody's ups Greek banks' deposit rating outlook to positive

16 Jul 2019

ATHENS, July 16 Moody's changed its deposit rating on Greek banks Alpha, Eurobank and National to positive from stable, citing expectations of further improvement in asset quality, the ratings agency said on Tuesday.

Think-tank trims Greek 2019 economic growth forecast to 1.8%

10 Jul 2019

ATHENS Greece's economy will continue to recover at a moderate clip of around 1.8% this year, the influential Greek think-tank IOBE predicted on Wednesday, trimming a previous forecast.

Conservative leader Mitsotakis becomes Greek PM, picks cabinet

08 Jul 2019

ATHENS Conservative politician Kyriakos Mitsotakis took office as Greece's new prime minister and named his cabinet on Monday, after storming to victory on a pledge to create jobs and lure investment to the economically stricken nation. | Video

Greece seizes record amount of amphetamine Captagon shipped from Syria

05 Jul 2019

ATHENS Greek authorities have seized what they described as the world's largest single haul of super-charged amphetamine Captagon pills from Syria worth more than half a billion euros.

Eurobank to sell sour mortgage loan notes to Pimco unit

27 Jun 2019

ATHENS, Greece's third-largest lender Eurobank agreed to sell mezzanine and junior notes of a 2.0 billion euro (1.79 billion pounds) securitised pool of non-performing mortgage loans to a unit of U.S. funds group Pimco as part of efforts to clean up its balance sheet.

IATA calls for Greek investment in air traffic control, airports

25 Jun 2019

ATHENS Greece needs to invest to ensure the viability of its air traffic management system and recruit more air traffic controllers to reduce delays during the summer period, executives from global airlines body IATA said on Tuesday.

Acropolis Museum opens ancient Athens neighbourhood site below its base

21 Jun 2019

ATHENS Greece's Acropolis Museum opened an excavation site underneath its modern building on Friday, allowing visitors for the first time to walk through an ancient Athenian neighbourhood that survived from the Classical era to Byzantine times.

Greek housing sector rebound gains pace as economy recovers

12 Jun 2019

* Residential property prices rise 4% y/y in Q1 * Economic recovery, foreign interest drive uptrend * Home prices had plunged 42% since 2008 peak By George Georgiopoulos ATHENS, June 12 The recovery in Greece's housing market gained speed in the first quarter, central bank data showed, with an expanding economy and growing foreign interest likely to keep the uptrend intact. Property accounts for a large chunk of household wealth in Greece, which has one of the highest home ownership rates in Europe at 80 percent, versus a European Union average of 70 percent, according to the European Mortgage Federation. Apartment prices rose 4.0% in the first quarter compared with the same period a year earlier, Bank of Greece data showed, accelerating from an upwardly revised 2.6% increase in the final quarter of 2018. More specifically, prices rose by 5.8% year-on-year in Athens, where home-sharing platforms like Airbnb and a "golden visa" programme - a renewable five-year resident's permit in return for a 250,000-euro ($285,000) investment in real estate - have grown very popular. Greek house prices fell 42% between 2008, when the country's protracted recession began, and the end of 2017. A similar trend is seen in Greek prime office prices, which rebounded 7.0% last year. "Real estate prices are tracking the positive path of economic activity, with Athens outperforming," National Bank economist Nikos Magginas said on Wednesday. The uptrend is also supported by a sharp decline in home building in previous years, which curbed the supply of new homes. "The stock of unsold properties is slowly being absorbed. The price recovery will likely continue as long as the economy stays on a recovery path and fire sales of repossessed homes by banks are avoided," he said. The Greek market has been dampened by property taxes imposed to plug budget deficits, tight bank lending and a jobless rate still around 18.1%, the highest in the 19-nation euro zone. But economic prospects have improved since 2015 when Greece signed up to a third bailout package worth up to 86 billion euros ($107 billion). The country emerged from its latest bailout in August last year and is now relying on markets to cover its financial needs. Greece's 180 billion euro economy expanded in January-to-March, but at a slower annual pace than the quarter before, mainly driven by consumer spending and a pick-up in investments. Following is a table on Greek apartment prices from the Central Bank of Greece: **************************************************************** 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Q1 Index 69.5 64.3 61.1 59.6 59.0 59.9 61.6 Change y/y % -10.9 -7.5 -5.1 -2.4 -1.0 1.6* 4.0 New (up to 5 years) 71.4 66.8 63.0 61.2 60.7* 61.8*63.6 Change % -10.9 -6.5 -5.6 -3.0 -0.8* 1.8* 4.0 Old (older than 5 years) 68.3 62.8 59.8 58.6 57.9 58.8*60.4 Change % -10.8 -8.1 -4.7 -2.0 -1.2 1.4* 3.9 ---------------------------------------------------------------- * revised source: Bank of Greece (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Susan Fenton)

Greek banks Alpha, Eurobank report fall in quarterly profit

30 May 2019

ATHENS Greek lenders Alpha and Eurobank reported a drop in profit in the first quarter on Thursday, hurt by lower trading gains and a fall in net interest income.

Greek PM comes unstuck over Macedonia, austerity in European vote

27 May 2019

ATHENS, May 27 Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was left struggling for his political survival on Monday after his Syriza party, stung by austerity and a bitter rift over an accord with North Macedonia, got hammered in European Parliament elections.

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