Low-yield mar­ket spurs re­think on Greek bonds

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

LON­DON (Reuters) – Some hedge funds are re­turn­ing to the Greek gov­ern­ment bond mar­ket less than a year after the coun­try was bailed out for the third time, as the hunt for yield in­ten­si­fies in a low-rate environment. The debt-laden na­tion this week eased cap­i­tal con­trols as it con­tin­ues to make progress on bailout-man­dated re­forms. This steady progress has been high­lighted by some in­vestors as a buy­ing op­por­tu­nity, par­tic­u­larly against the back­drop of neg­a­tive yields in a large por­tion of the core eu­ro­zone sov­er­eign mar­ket. Even pe­riph­eral sov­er­eign bonds are trad­ing at record low yields. “Greece is on a slow path to re­cov­ery. They have un­der­taken a lot of re­forms, in­clud­ing on pen­sions, on tax col­lec­tion and the new am­bi­tious con­sti­tu­tional re­form,” said Al­berto Gallo, head of macro strate­gies at hedge fund Al­ge­bris, who recommends a Greece ver­sus Por­tu­gal trade. “They should also have pretty good tax rev­enues in the sum­mer and we are look­ing at an in­clu­sion in the ECB QE pro­gram by year-end,” he added. an im­proved set of re­sults in the first half of 2016, pri­mar­ily due to the in­creased con­tri­bu­tion from US op­er­a­tions as well as the im­proved re­sults gen­er­ated in Egypt. Con­sol­i­dated turnover reached 723.8 mil­lion eu­ros, post­ing a 7.6 per­cent in­crease com­pared to the first half of 2015. Earn­ings Be­fore In­ter­est, Tax, Depreciation and Amor­ti­za­tion (EBITDA) in­creased by 13.5 per­cent reach­ing 119.5 mil­lion. Net profit after mi­nor­ity in­ter­ests and the pro­vi­sion for taxes stood at 9.2 mil­lion, com­pared to 24.2 mil­lion eu­ros in the same pe­riod the pre­vi­ous year. Ti­tan com­mented that the bot­tom line re­sults were neg­a­tively im­pacted by for­eign ex­change trans­la­tion ef­fects, par­tic­u­larly

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