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George Georgiopoulos

Greek PM outlines tax cuts in 2020, promises reforms

Sep 07 2019

THESSALONIKI/ATHENS Greece's prime minister detailed tax cuts for austerity-hit Greeks and companies strained during a decade-long debt crisis, and promised reforms aimed at convincing lenders to ease the nation's fiscal target from 2021.

Greek economic growth gains pace, boosted by net exports

Sep 04 2019

ATHENS Greece's economy remained on the path of recovery in April-to-June, with its pace of expansion picking up from the first quarter thanks to a boost from net exports and government spending.

Greek housing sector rebounds at strongest clip in more than 12 years

Sep 02 2019

ATHENS The recovery in Greece's housing market gained speed in the second quarter with prices increasing at the strongest pace in more than 12 years, helped by an expanding economy and growing foreign interest, central bank data showed on Monday.

Greek housing sector rebounds at strongest clip in more than 12 years

Sep 02 2019

* Residential property prices rise 7.7% y/y in Q2 * Home prices had plunged 42% since 2008 peak * Prices in Athens outperform, up 11.1% y/y By George Georgiopoulos ATHENS, Sept 2 The recovery in Greece's housing market gained speed in the second quarter with prices increasing at the strongest pace in more than 12 years, helped by an expanding economy and growing foreign interest, central bank data showed on Monday. Property accounts for a large chunk of household wealth in Greece, where the home ownership rate is 80%, above the EU average of 70%. Apartment prices rose 7.7% in the second quarter compared with the same period a year earlier, Bank of Greece data showed, accelerating from a 1.3% increase in the first quarter of 2018. More specifically, prices rose by 11.1% year-on-year in Athens, where home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb and a "golden visa" programme - a renewable five-year resident's permit in return for a 250,000-euro ($285,000) investment in real estate - have grown very popular. Greek house prices fell 42% between 2008, when the country's protracted recession began, and the end of 2017. A similar trend is unfolding in Greek prime office prices, which rebounded 7.0% last year. "Housing prices rose 3.5% quarter-on-quarter, a seventh consecutive quarter of growth. Year-on-year it was the strongest pace in 12 and a half years," said National Bank economist Nikos Magginas. The uptrend was seen in all market segments - including old and newly built apartments - and in all regions, though prices in the capital led the way. "Increasing demand from residents and non-residents, buoyed by positive macroeconomic trends and the first reduction in real estate taxation in a decade, supports the uptrend," he said. The Greek market had been hurt by property taxes imposed to plug budget deficits, tight bank lending and a jobless rate still around 17.2%, the highest in the 19-nation euro zone. But economic prospects have improved since 2015 when Greece signed up to a third bailout package worth up to 86 billion euros ($107 billion). The country emerged from its latest bailout in August last year and is now relying on markets to cover its financial needs. Greece's 180 billion euro economy expanded in January-to-March, but at a slower annual pace than the quarter before, mainly driven by consumer spending and a pick-up in investments. Following is a table on Greek apartment prices from Greece's central bank: **************************************************************** 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Q2 Index 69.5 64.3 61.1 59.6 59.0 60.0*64.4 Change y/y % -10.9 -7.5 -5.1 -2.4 -1.0 1.7* 7.7 New (up to 5 years) 71.4 66.8 63.0 61.2 60.7 61.9*66.3 Change % -10.9 -6.5 -5.6 -3.0 -0.8 1.9* 7.7 Old (older than 5 years) 68.3 62.8 59.8 58.6 57.9 58.9*63.2 Change % -10.8 -8.1 -4.7 -2.0 -1.2 1.6* 7.6 ---------------------------------------------------------------- * revised source: Bank of Greece (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos Editing by Andrew Heavens)

Greek banks Alpha, NBG trim bad loan pile in second quarter

Aug 29 2019

ATHENS Greek lenders National Bank and Alpha pressed ahead with their balance sheet repair in the second quarter, reducing their sour loans as the country's economy recovers from a 10-year debt crisis.

Greece to fully lift capital controls imposed during bailout chaos

Aug 26 2019

ATHENS Greece is fully lifting its remaining capital controls, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Monday, in a move signaling the economy's continuing return to stability after the tumult of three international bailouts since 2010.

Moody's ups Greek banks' deposit rating outlook to positive

Jul 16 2019

ATHENS, July 16 Moody's changed its deposit rating on Greek banks Alpha, Eurobank and National to positive from stable, citing expectations of further improvement in asset quality, the ratings agency said on Tuesday.

Think-tank trims Greek 2019 economic growth forecast to 1.8%

Jul 10 2019

ATHENS Greece's economy will continue to recover at a moderate clip of around 1.8% this year, the influential Greek think-tank IOBE predicted on Wednesday, trimming a previous forecast.

Conservative leader Mitsotakis becomes Greek PM, picks cabinet

Jul 08 2019

ATHENS Conservative politician Kyriakos Mitsotakis took office as Greece's new prime minister and named his cabinet on Monday, after storming to victory on a pledge to create jobs and lure investment to the economically stricken nation. | Video

Greece seizes record amount of amphetamine Captagon shipped from Syria

Jul 05 2019

ATHENS Greek authorities have seized what they described as the world's largest single haul of super-charged amphetamine Captagon pills from Syria worth more than half a billion euros.

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