ATHENS/FRANKFURT, July 24 (Reuters) - Greece is preparing to reopen its stock exchange and allow international investors to take their money out of the country’s listed companies after a one-month shutdown.
The Greek economy is slowly regaining some semblance of normality after the government secured a 7.2 billion euro bridging loan to pay its debt obligations last week, allowing it to reopen banks, albeit with a cap on withdrawals, and loosen restrictions on foreign transfers.
A spokesman for the Athens Stock Exchange said on Friday a proposal to reopen the bourse had been submitted to the European Central Bank for an opinion before a decision on the matter is made by the Greek finance ministry.
Under the proposed plan, foreign investors will be able to transfer abroad any money they make by selling their holdings while domestic investors will be barred from doing so due to restrictions on capital movements, the spokesman said.
A swift approval by the Greek government could now allow the stock exchange to reopen as early as Monday, although a person with direct knowledge of the matter said a timeline had yet to be finalised.
“We don’t know yet if it will reopen on Monday,” the person said. “We will know that in the ... coming hours.”
The Greek stock exchange has been shut since June 29, when a cash-strapped Greek government imposed capital controls to ward off a collapse of its banking system after the country rejected a cash-for-reforms deal in a referendum.
At that point, Greece’s main equity index was alredy down nearly 16 percent from its 2015 high, hit in February, having sharply underperformed the other European bourses. (Reporting by Francesco Canepa; Editing by Tom Heneghan)