Are there any good buys emerging in Greece?

It may be interesting to look at some of the public companies in the hardest-hit European countries, since the stock indices here are lower than anytime in at least a decade. Here are the results of a search for Greek shares, with an eye towards companies in defensive industries that will not be hurt, or could even benefit from a weaker currency.

All of these businesses are likely to survive a very bad economy, even if they go bankrupt – the question is how the equity holders will fare.

Athex index chart (Athex is now 60% lower than at the 2009 bottom): http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/FTASE:IND/chart

List of top 20 Greek companies by market cap as of May 2010: http://topforeignstocks.com/2010/05/09/the-top-20-greek-companies-by-market-capitalization/

Here are a few names – these first 2 look strongest to me (bottler and utility):

Coca Cola Hellenic Bottling Co:

Biggest foriegn Coke bottler

http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/EEEK:GA/chart

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coca-Cola_Hellenic

EUR 13.00, EPS 0.93 – not really cheap yet by earnings, 1.62x book. Keep an eye on this one.

Public Power Corp SA , ticker PPC

Biggest utility in Greece. To raise cash, the gov sold 17% of its until then 51% stake.

Plants are mostly coal-fired.

http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/PPC:GA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Power_Corporation_of_Greece

EUR 5.30, EPS 1.10 – very cheap by earnings, 15% dividend yield.

Hellenic Telecommunications Organization S.A., ticker HTO

http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/HTO:GA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OTE

3.6% div yield, 15 PE. 1.14x book – not cheap at all, though stock is way down

Boutaris J & Sons Holdings SA , ticker MPK (preferred shares also traded)

6 Greek wineries, one in France, most recognised Greek wine brand

Company website: http://www.boutari.gr/?TEFORz1FTg==

http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/MPK:GA

No earnings data available, but trading at 0.3x book and 0.27x sales.

Attica Group

Largest ferry operator

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/quote?ticker=ATTICA:GA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attica_Group

No earnings data, but 0.12x book

ANEK Lines SA

Ferries

http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/ANEK:GA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ANEK_Lines

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1 Response

  1. Bjorn says:

    I’m somewhat off topic here, but I wanted to run this by you Mike and see if you might have have a comment. This article was posted on Zero Hedge regarding the MF Global Collapse:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/entire-system-has-been-utterly-destroyed-mf-global-collapse-presenting-first-mf-global-casualty

    I hope the link works. In case it doesn’t, the author operated a brokerage, but after the MF Global situation he decided to shut down his operation. He states, “The futures and options markets are no longer viable. It is my recommendation that ALL customers withdraw from all of the markets as soon as possible so that they have the best chance of protecting themselves and their equity.”

    He believes that the MF Global collapse revealed a systemic problem. He writes, “Whenever a firm failure happened, the customer funds were intact and the exchanges would step in to backstop everything and keep customers 100% liquid – even as their clearing firm collapsed and was quickly replaced by another firm within the system. Everything changed just a few short weeks ago.” He makes the point that the exchanges did not step in this time.

    He spells out what seems to be a change in how such collapses are being handled. This change is apparently unprecedented. I wonder if you might have any thoughts about this.

    I know the “Prechter Point” awaits us, but this sounds like a giant step in that direction.

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