It’s not just Greek bonds that are in favor — the country’s equities will continue to outperform as the economy recovers and benefits from debt relief.
The Athens Stock Exchange has soared about 23% this year, outperforming the Stoxx 600 and even surpassing peripheral peer Italy. Part of the gains are due to the global risk rally as well as Greece’s economic recovery, with GDP forecast to grow 1.9% this year, versus 0.1% for Italy and 1.2% for the euro zone.
Financials make up almost one-quarter of the ASE and comprise some of the best year-to-date performers. The FTSE/Athex Banks index has soared over 40% ytd. The euro-area’s agreement to disburse around EU1 billion to Greece can support both the bond market and the country’s banks. Greece may also repay part of its IMF loans early.