Athens, January 29, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Olga Mavrou
Top investors are visiting Greece to meet Prime Minister and important entrepreneurs and politicians in order to have a first hand knowledge of the perspectives of the Greek market and its future.
The investors, led by the Canadian Prem Watsa of Fairfax Financial Holdings, are John Paulson, Paulson & Co. and executives of WL Ross & Co, Principal, Capital Group, Fidelity Funds, Wellington, Brookfield Asset Management, Highfields and Mackenzie Funds. They will hold separate meetings with top government officials, politicians from the main opposition party, bankers and businessmen. Already Prem Watsa met with the director of TAIPED (HRADF, Hellenic Republic Assets Development Fund) and it was arranged to meet also at noon Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
Given the size of the funds this small group of visitors represent (more than 100 billion dollars) one can easily understand the importance of their conclusions.
Their crucial visit is nevertheless (or perhaps exacly because of it) taking place at an extremely difficult juncture for the country and the government (its not only the issue of the first assessment of the agreement with creditors, or the refugee crisis and the threat of a more than 2 years “expulsion” from the Schengen zone, but also the inner tension about the social security bill and the taxation of farmers). Foreign investors wish to determine the exact situation of the companies that have invested in and ascertain their perspectives. They are interested on what the government plans for “red loans” , also on who is put on charge of strategic positions in the domestic banking system (Eurobank, Alpha, Piraeus), they are interested also in companies of Mytilineos, of Grivalia, of the water company EYDAP, also about Eurolife and Praktiker –they have invested in all of them already. They are said to be interested also on what is exactly going on with (the Canadian) Eldorado Gold, the reasons for the delay in Greek waterways for seaplanes, and generally to ensure that it is in the government’s intentions to improve the investment climate and boost growth.
It is also certain that due to last month’s polls (who show a rise of the popularity of main opposition right wing party New Democracy) they will meet with Kyriakos Mitsotakis and see where he stands concerning the same issues.