Bond issue survey shows PPC faring worst among local firms

A yield assessment from the beginning of the year to February 15 of bond issues concerning companies operating in Greece has shown that the “country risk” factor is making far less impact on global enterprises such as Coca Cola 3E than entirely Greek firms like the main power utility PPC and Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE).

The yield of Coca Cola 3E’s bond maturing in 2016 with a rate of 4.25 percent remained virtually unchanged during the aforementioned period. It shed just 0.36 percent. Convinced that the Greek economy’s recovery is still a long way off, the enteprise relocated its headquarters to Switzerland four years ago. The move was not made for tax purposes. The corporate group relies on foreign banks for loans, while it also issues bonds covered by foreign investors, who welcomed the move.

Looking at the bond yield performances of three Greek energy companies, PPC, ELPE and Motor Oil, the power utility fared worst. A PPC bond issue worth a total of 200 million euros, offering three-year bonds to mature in 2017 at an interest rate of 4.75 percent, has shed 7.43 percent since the beginning of the year. The performance of PPC’s five-year bond issue, to mature in 2019 at an interest rate of 5.5 percent, is even worse. It shed 16.2 percent from the beginning of the year to mid-February. This is not surprising considering PPC’s uncertain future as a result of various detrimental factors, including its considerable level of consumer arrears and bad debts, prospective sales of corporate units, and a bailout agreement condition requiring PPC to drastically reduce its virtually monopolistic market share.

ELPE’s bonds were stronger. Its five-year bond issue, totaling 325 million euros and offering 5.25 percent, has lost 5.82 percent from the beginning of the year. Another ELPE bond issue, worth 500 million euros, set to mature in 2017 and offering 8 percent, has shed 5.45 percent.

Motor Oil’s bond issue to mature in 2019, worth 350 million euros and offering an interest rate of 5.125 percent, has lost 4.37 percent since the beginning of the year.

Quite clearly, the uncertainty concerning the Greek economy and the “country risk” factor have  made little impact on global enterprises operating here. Companies whose profit levels are  greatly or entirely dependent on the local market, are being affected most, to varying degree.