The Global X MSCI Greece ETF (NYSEArca: GREK) is already rewarding investors this year. Up more than 12% just this month, the lone exchange traded fund dedicated to Greek equities is higher by almost 22% year-to-date. That makes GREK one of this year’s best-performing single-country Europe ETFs.
Last year, Greece registered a primary budget surplus of €7.4 billion in the year ended November, or nearly €4 billion over its target due to lower spending and higher revenues. The IMF has pressured Europe to cut Greece’s budget target to a primary surplus of 1.5% of gross domestic product instead of its current goal of 3.5%.
“Big money managers have started buying cheap Greek stocks from banks to lotteries as clouds over talks between Athens and its international creditors gradually clear, anticipating big returns. A deal in May when Greece agreed to more austerity measures raised hopes of possible debt relief for a country that has endured economic hardship for years, resulting in the longest winning streak for the Athens bourse in more than two decades,” reports Danilo Masoni for Reuters.
The Eurozone macroeconomic environment has steadily improved, with a significant uptick in manufacturing and services PMIs over the end of 2016. Eurozone growth may continue to pick up speed ahead after the European Central Bank revealed increased loan demand and easing of terms and conditions on new loans to help stimulate the economy.
As of May 26th, GREK had $376.1 million in assets under management. At the end of the first quarter, the ETF held 32 stocks, over half of which hailed from the financial services and energy sectors. Nearly a third of the ETF’s weight is dedicated to consumer discretionary and telecom stocks. Importantly, Greek stocks still reside nowhere near their all-time highs.
“In the past decade, the benchmark Athens stock index has dived from well over 5,000 points to around 780 now. The bourse remains cheap because of the risk that the debt talks will collapse, a prospect that would bring economic chaos and raise the specter of an exit from the euro zone – something that the country only narrowly averted in 2015,” according to Reuters.
For more information on the Greek markets, visit our Greece category.
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.