Now that Athens is paying back the International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank, Standard & Poor’s upgraded Greece’s outlook, potentially signalling a more stable Greek market and country-specific exchange traded fund.
Ratings firm Standard & Poor’s raised Greece’s sovereign credit rating to CCC+ from CCC-, citing that default risks have dissipated after the country secured a three-year loan program and €7.16 billion, or $7.84 billion, in three-month bridge financing, reports Lisa Beilfuss for the Wall Street Journal.
The Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (NYSEArca: GREK) was 0.6% higher Tuesday after the credit agency’s upgraded Greece’s credit rating. GREK has gained 2.2% over the past week but is still down 25.1% year-to-date.
Greece paid €4.2 billion to the ECB and paid off some €2 billion in arrears to the IMF after the Greek government acquired a short-term bridge loan that the ECB agreed to provide earlier this month as part of a bailout deal in exchange for grater austerity measures – Greece will have to enact measures including higher value-added taxes on a range of products and services, an end to VAT discounts on Greek islands, a higher corporate tax rate for small businesses, a higher luxury tax on some goods, an end to early retirement and an increase in the retirement age. [Betting on Greece ETF Recovery? Better Be Patient.]
Nevertheless, S&P still warns that there is a slight possibility of Greece leaving the Eurozone “if the Greek government doesn’t successfully implement what looks to be an ambitious program.” Additionally, the ratings firm warned that the new program may be nixed by another round general elections.
While Greek banks opened their doors Tuesday for the first time in three weeks, the Athens Stock Exchange remained closed. Greece’s markets are set to open later this week after the Ministry of Finance decides on whether to continue the relaxation of capital controls, Bloomberg reports. The government is wary of allowing investors free rein, which may risk more money being yanked from the market.