After Monday’s drubbing that saw it lose 20%, the Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (NYSEArca: GREK) was attempting to notch a modest bounce-back rally earlier Tuesday, flirting with gains of nearly 5%.
But at this writing, the lone Greece has seen the bulk of those gains evaporate and is close to its intraday lows after Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services lowered its long- and short-term counterparty credit ratings on four major Greek banks.
The ratings agency pared its ratings on “Alpha Bank A.E., Eurobank Ergasias S.A., National Bank of Greece S.A. (NYSE: NBG), and Piraeus Bank S.A. to ‘SD’ (selective default) from ‘CCC/C’. We have also lowered our issue ratings on the banks’ senior unsecured debt to ‘CCC-‘ from ‘CCC’. We have affirmed our ‘C’ subordinated debt ratings on the four institutions,” according to a statement.
As of the end of the first quarter, GREK had an allocation to the financial services sector of nearly 25%, roughly 730 basis points above consumer discretionary, the ETF’s second-largest sector weight, according to Global X data.
At the start of U.S. trading Tuesday, National Bank of Greece, Alpha Bank, Eurobank Ergasias and Piraeus Bank were GREK’s third-, fourth-, fifth- and seventh-largest holdings, respectively, combining for almost 23% of the ETF’s weight.
Greece’s ASE Index would need to rise more than six-fold to reclaim its 2007 highs, according to Bloomberg. GREK was not around back then, but the ETF would need to jump more than two and a half times to reclaim its all-time of $24.93 set in March 2014. [Greek Drama Sends ETF Tumbling]