ATHENS, Sept 18 Greece expects a green light
from European Union authorities shortly to put in place an asset
protection scheme that will help its banks offload up to 30
billion euros of sour loans, bankers close to the process told
Reuters on Wednesday.
ATHENS, Sept 18 National Bank (NBG)
plans to sell four portfolios of non-performing loans this year,
bankers close to the process said, as Greece's recovering
economy allows its major banks to focus on balance sheet repair
after a 10-year debt crisis.
* Athens wants lenders to reduce primary surplus target in
ATHENS Greece's economy remained on the path of recovery in April-to-June, with its pace of expansion picking up from the first quarter thanks to a boost from net exports and government spending.
* GDP expands 0.8% in second quarter
* Annual growth pace quickens to 1.9%
* Net exports, government spending main drivers
(Adds economist comment, details)
By George Georgiopoulos
ATHENS, Sept 4 Greece's economy remained on the
path of recovery in April-to-June, with its pace of expansion
picking up from the first quarter thanks to a boost from net
exports and government spending.
Gross domestic product expanded by 0.8% in the second
quarter compared with a 0.2% growth rate in the first three
months of the year, according to seasonally adjusted data
released on Wednesday by the statistics service ELSTAT.
On an annual basis, economic growth accelerated to 1.9% from
a downwardly revised 1.1% clip in the previous quarter.
"Second quarter GDP growth was broadly in line with market
consensus and in line with projections for a growth rate of 2.0%
or slightly higher for the year as a whole," said National bank
economist Nikos Magginas.
Data showed that exports of goods and services, up 3.3%
compared to the first quarter, outpaced imports which fell 0.8%,
producing a positive contribution to domestic economic output.
While government spending also boosted GDP in the second
quarter, household spending shrank 0.7% on an annual basis and
by 0.4% quarter-on-quarter.
Weaker consumer spending was likely due to households
putting off planned expenditures until after the national
election that took place in July.
"We will likely see a sharp rebound in consumer spending in
the third quarter, given that consumer confidence hit a 19-year
high in August," Magginas said.
Greece's 180 billion euro economy grew 1.9% last year,
driven mainly by net exports, with private consumption also
providing a boost.
Greece emerged from a decade of bailouts in August last year
and is now relying on financial markets to cover borrowing
needs. The government fully lifted remaining capital controls
earlier this month.
Its economy remains way below the size it reached before the
crisis, when national economic output was around 242 billion
The newly elected conservative government is keen on
accelerating the country's economic recovery through promised
tax relief and investment friendly policies.
In its spring forecasts, the EU Commission projected the
economy would remain resilient and expand by an annual 2.2% this
year. The country's central bank sees growth remaining at last
year's pace, around 1.9%.
KEY FIGURES Q2 2019 Q1 2019 Q4 2018 Q3 2018 Q2 2018
GDP (q/q, pct) 0.8 0.2 -0.1 1.0* 0.0*
GDP (y/y, pct) 1.9 1.1* 1.5 2.0* 1.5*
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos and Angeliki Koutantou;
Editing by Alison Williams)
ATHENS The recovery in Greece's housing market gained speed in the second quarter with prices increasing at the strongest pace in more than 12 years, helped by an expanding economy and growing foreign interest, central bank data showed on Monday.
* Residential property prices rise 7.7% y/y in Q2
* Home prices had plunged 42% since 2008 peak
* Prices in Athens outperform, up 11.1% y/y
By George Georgiopoulos
ATHENS, Sept 2 The recovery in Greece's housing
market gained speed in the second quarter with prices increasing
at the strongest pace in more than 12 years, helped by an
expanding economy and growing foreign interest, central bank
data showed on Monday.
Property accounts for a large chunk of household wealth in
Greece, where the home ownership rate is 80%, above the EU
average of 70%.
Apartment prices rose 7.7% in the second quarter compared
with the same period a year earlier, Bank of Greece data showed,
accelerating from a 1.3% increase in the first quarter of 2018.
More specifically, prices rose by 11.1% year-on-year in
Athens, where home-sharing platforms such as 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 unfolding in Greek prime office prices,
which rebounded 7.0% last year.
"Housing prices rose 3.5% quarter-on-quarter, a seventh
consecutive quarter of growth. Year-on-year it was the strongest
pace in 12 and a half years," said National Bank economist Nikos
The uptrend was seen in all market segments - including old
and newly built apartments - and in all regions, though prices
in the capital led the way.
"Increasing demand from residents and non-residents, buoyed
by positive macroeconomic trends and the first reduction in real
estate taxation in a decade, supports the uptrend," he said.
The Greek market had been hurt by property taxes imposed to
plug budget deficits, tight bank lending and a jobless rate
still around 17.2%, 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
Following is a table on Greek apartment prices from Greece's
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Q2
Index 69.5 64.3 61.1 59.6 59.0 60.0*64.4
Change y/y % -10.9 -7.5 -5.1 -2.4 -1.0 1.7* 7.7
New (up to 5 years) 71.4 66.8 63.0 61.2 60.7 61.9*66.3
Change % -10.9 -6.5 -5.6 -3.0 -0.8 1.9* 7.7
Old (older than 5 years) 68.3 62.8 59.8 58.6 57.9 58.9*63.2
Change % -10.8 -8.1 -4.7 -2.0 -1.2 1.6* 7.6
source: Bank of Greece
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos
Editing by Andrew Heavens)
ATHENS Greek lenders National Bank and Alpha pressed ahead with their balance sheet repair in the second quarter, reducing their sour loans as the country's economy recovers from a 10-year debt crisis.
* NBG Q2 profit drops to 122 mln euros on weak trading gains
(Adds National Bank results, background)
ATHENS Greece is fully lifting its remaining capital controls, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Monday, in a move signaling the economy's continuing return to stability after the tumult of three international bailouts since 2010.