The inflow of foreign capital into the Athens Stock Exchange is continual, helping create an impressive upward movement in prices as the market completed yesterday 14 consecutive days of gains, a record not seen since 1997 in the lead up to the country’s accession to the eurozone.
Beyond price gains, what is boosting optimism in the market is the rising in trading volumes. From the misery of low volumes seen in previous months, the market has passed to daily transactions approaching or exceeding 100 million euros. It is characteristic that in yesterday's session, the value of transactions approached 123 million euros.
As analysts note, there are growing expectations that the Greek economy will return to normal following the announcements about vaccines in early November, as large institutional portfolios increase their positions in Greece in what is relatively a small number of shares but a considerable change for the Athens bourse.
In addition to individual moves by major foreign banks and investment firms, such as Capital Group and Goldman Sachs, which have announced an increase in their stake in Eurobank and EXAE, respectively, above the 5% threshold, international institutional portfolios have made felt their daily presence felt on Athens Avenue, proceeding with selective placements in banks and blue chips.
A "barometer" of interest in Greek stocks is the increased activity for the unique ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) that is invested in Greek stocks and traded on Wall Street, Global X MSCI Greece ETF, which manages a series of negotiable mutual funds with a total $ 17 billion in assets under management
Grek provides a cheap (low management commissions) way for an investor to gain exposure to Greek stocks and track the performance of the MSCI Greek stock index. The ETF was created in 2011, in the midst of the Greek crisis, as then there was the expectation that in Greece, after the implementation of rescue programs, there would be a significant upward movement of the Stock Exchange as seen with other international rescue programs.
These expectations, of course, were not confirmed as Greece needed successive programs to overcome the crisis that began in 2010 and the stock market suffered a severe blow, while after a strong year in 2019, where it recorded the best performance internationally, the pandemic arose.
Grek had last shown large trading volumes in March, but not for good reason, as then the market collapsed due to the pandemic and restrictive measures. After many months of stagnating volumes, the ETF of Greek shares began to attract increased investment interest as of November.
It is characteristic that, on November 23, the transactions exceeded 300,000 shares, while on December 3 they exceeded 260,000 shares, marking the inflow of fresh investment funds in Greek shares. The performance of the Grek is starting to become particularly attractive, since yesterday it reached 29.2% on a quarterly basis, although it remains negative (-14.23%) since the beginning of the year.
The managed fund of the ETF has exceeded 160 million dollars. Its portfolio is dominated by the most important shares of the Greek market and is structured in such a way as to copy the performance of the MSCI index for all Greek shares (small and large capitalization). The portfolio is dominated by the share of OTE (17.93% of the assets) followed by the banking shares (Eurobank, Ethniki, Alpha) and the shares of OPAP (listed in Athens and the ADR of New York), Jumbo, PPC , Mytilineos and Titan.