Thursday, January 4, 2018

Greek Banks - It's The Economy, Stupid!

When it comes to winning elections, one piece of wisdom reigns supreme, as given by Bill Clinton: "It's the economy, stupid!"  But it also holds true when dealing with non-performing loans, particularly in Greek banks.

The obvious connection is that as the economy improves so do incomes, company profits and asset prices.  Loans that were not being serviced - intentionally or not - can become easier to pay, and underlying collateral becomes more valuable.  Couple that with the recent resumption of real estate auctions for property seized by banks, and you can see how NPLs may become less of a problem for Greek banks sooner rather than later.

The latest piece of news on the economy is quite good: the manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for December is the highest since 2008, driven by new domestic and international orders.  Business confidence is the highest on record, too.

 You can find the press release here. 
 An excerpt: 
"The Greek manufacturing sector closed out 2017 on a firmly positive footing, with business conditions improving to the greatest extent in nine-and-a halfy years. Strong expansions in new orders, on both a domestic and foreign basis continued to drive the upturn which, in turn, contributed to a further round of job creation and the joint-sharpest growth in output since August 2008."

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