How bad was 2012 for Greek companies? There were two loss-making businesses for every one that turned a profit among the 267 listed on the Athens Stock Exchange, bleeding money during a crushing economic crisis, the newspaper Kathimerini reported.
With austerity measures worsening the country’s six-year recession and creating a record 26.8 percent unemployment, investor confidence continues to be shaken.
The first few companies have already published their reports for last year, with analysts’ estimates referring to total after-tax losses in excess of 1.5 billion euros, ($2 billion) not including the results of the seven major banks that are in such dire straits they need 50 billion euros ($67 billion) in rescue recapitalization monies.
The cost of money and the high cost of borrowing have been the catalysts for a seventh consecutive loss-making quarter for Athens-listed companies, a record in the history of the bourse. Greek banks have nearly stopped lending.
In what the newspaper said was a particularly hostile environment after five straight years of recession, the only sectors to have managed to avoid a slump have been oil refineries (Hellenic Petroleum, Motor Oil), exporting companies (Coca-Cola HBC, METKA, Karelia, Sarantis, Eurodrip, Corinth Pipeworks), retail firms (Duty Free Shops, Jumbo, Plaisio Computers, Korres) and the main state companies (PPC, OPAP, OLP, OLTH, EYDAP and EYATH.)
But Coca-Cola is so unhappy with the climate in Greece that the company is moving its Greek headquarters to Switzerland, while the big dairy company Fage is moving to Luxembourg.