Athens Digest 28.05.2019

• Markets welcome snap poll

• Vote count drags into third day

• PPC tender deadline for lignite-fired units moved to July 15

# Investors have welcomed the government’s decision to call a snap general election that ended months of uncertainty amid warnings from creditors of fiscal drift. Shares on the Athens Stock Exchange rose more than 6 percent, while borrowing rates dropped sharply, the yield on the 10-year bond dipping to 3.159 percent from 3.375, and falling to as low as 3.000 during trading hours yesterday. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called the election after his left-wing Syriza party suffered heavy defeats in European and local government polls. June 30 seen as a likely general election date. July 7 is also an option. “Opinion polls suggest that New Democracy, which is more business-friendly and pro-European than Syriza, will win,” the Financial Times quoted Andrew Kenningham, chief Europe economist at Capital Economics, as saying.

# Ballot counting for European and local government elections dragged into a third day, with former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis’ party MeRA25 hovering at the 3 percent election threshold. With the final 10 percent of the EU election votes still to be tallied, the results were New: Democracy 33.18 percent and 7 seats, Syriza 23.8 percent and 6 seats, Movement for Change at 7.69 percent and 2 seats, KKE at 5.41 percent and 2 seats, Golden Dawn at 4.85 percent and 2 seats, the ultra-nationalist Greek Solution at 4.13 percent and 1 seats, and MeRA25 with 3.01 percent and one seat.

# The Public Power Corporation has announced a new, July 15 deadline for interested parties to submit bids for lignite-fired power units, citing political developments. A statement from the company was released a day after a snap general election was called by the government. It said: “PPC SA announces that following consultation with the competent Ministry, the date of submission of tenders for the sale of lignite-fired generation units has been transferred to July 15, 2019, due to political developments.” Greece’s creditors have cited the troubled sale of PPC’s coal-fired power plants as one of the country’s major delays in agreed reforms.

On our Radar: Landmark Real Estate Deal  
Invel Real Estate’s billion-euro acquisition drive in real estate investment company NBG Pangaea has been hailed as a boost for the Greek economy.
“The transaction is a vote of confidence in the Greek real estate market and therefore in the long-term investment prospects of the country,” said Elena Vrettou, executive general manager corporate & investment banking at Piraeus Bank. Piraeus Bank acted as global coordinator and mandated lead arranger in financing Invel’s acquisition _ made partly funded through a EUR 159.72 million syndicated term loan facility underwritten by Piraeus Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Astro Bank and Hellenic Bank. “Piraeus Bank, the largest bank in the country, continues to actively support the Greek economy by exploiting the high levels of liquidity and the deep expertise of its human resources in complex domestic and international transactions,” Vrettou said.