American investors are showing new interest in Greece, from financial assets to hi-tech start-ups, reflecting the country’s improved investment prospects and amid warming bilateral relations between Greece and the U.S.
During a three-city U.S. investor road show organized by Enterprise Greece last month, both established Greek corporates and start-ups saw a new interest in Greece for the first time. On Greek financial markets, investor interest has been reflected in strong demand
for the country’s recent 7-year bond issue, record lows in Greek government bond yields, and a 40% year-to-date rally in the Athens General Index.
The investor mission to the U.S., which took place June 10-14, included stops in Washington DC, New York and San Francisco, where three Greek start-ups -- SpotlightPOS, SyncBnB, Feel Clinic – and one established Greek hi-tech leader, Helic-ANSYS, met Silicon Valley industry professionals.
In the last few years, Greece has become home to a fast-growing start-up scene that has attracted more than €350 million in investment, including from several major multinationals like Samsung or Daimler. It is estimated that there are more than 1,000 start-ups in Greece and that by 2020, according to some estimates, the country’s hi-tech industry could make up roughly 10% of the economy.
One success story is Helic-ANSYS. The company, which has its R&D department in the northern suburbs of Athens, has developed specialized software for semiconductor design that is used by 15 of the world’s Top 20 semiconductor manufacturers. Growing U.S. investor interest in Greece comes as official relations between the two countries continues to deepen.
Last year, for example, the U.S. was the honored country at the 83rd Thessaloniki International Fair – Greece’s leading international exhibition. And reflecting the growing cooperation between America and Greece, the U.S. Senate is expected to soon vote on legislation drawing the U.S., Greece and Cyprus into an even closer strategic alliance. Earlier in July, Greece also hosted leading U.S. state legislators on an informational visit to Greece.
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