Athens Digest 13.06.2019

• Greece off Eurogroup agenda, early IMF repayment request still pending

• T-Bill yields plummet as borrowing rates show continued improvement

• Reports: Power utility rejects settlement offer from troubled Larco

• CEOs see brighter future

# Greece will not be on the agenda at today’s Eurogroup meeting and is not expected to be raised as a topic of debate, a senior EU official said ahead of the Luxembourg talks. The latest enhanced surveillance report for Greece is due to be considered next month at a Euro-working group session, but not discussed at the July 8 Eurogroup, which will be held just one day after the Greek general election, the official said. Lenders have grown increasingly concerned over warnings that Greece may miss its primary surplus target in 2019 due to newly announced social spending. The European official also noted that Greece has not yet made a formal request for the early repayment of IMF loans and the issue is still considered to be pending.

# Interest on a 12-month treasury bill has fallen by half over the past three months amid the wider improvement in Greek yields. The Public Debt Management Agency said the yield at the latest auction of 52-week T-Bills plummeted to 0.47 percent from 0.95 percent at the previous auction on March 13 and raised a total of EUR 812.5 million. Yields on 10-year government bonds, meanwhile, continued to ease downwards to 2.742 percent. Last week, Capital Economics said Greek debt yields were likely to fall below those of Italy by the end of the year, according to Bloomberg.

# The Public Power Corporation has reportedly rejected an offer by troubled nickel producer Larco to extend the repayment of debts for March and April through the end of June, and is demanding the immediate settlement of EUR 2.5 million in unpaid bills. The utility has held on-and-off talks over several months with Larco, with is majority state-owned, to avoid suspending the electricity supply and prevent the company’s closure. Previous agreements were reached under the condition that Larco would not accumulate any additional debt. Larco’s debts to PPC had topped EUR 300 million last by the end of last year.

On our Radar: CEOs see brighter future
Foreign company directors in Greece expect the business climate to improve in the near future, according to a new survey. The Metron Analysis and Public Affairs & Networks study was presented on Tuesday at the InvestGR conference in Athens, based on interviews with 35 executives of overseas firms in Greece. It found that 86 percent said they are optimistic about the growth of the Greek economy over the next five years. Additionally, eight out of 10 say they expect their company to make investments  in Greece in the near future. Key items of concern remain: The administrative environment, the tax framework, perception of corruption, court delays, and the limited level of research and innovation.