Ratings agency Moody’s has upgraded Greece from B1 to Ba3 with a stable outlook, based on the country’s recent record of reform and its positive growth prospects, despite the short-term effects of the pandemic.
Greece joined the elite of countries with negative interest rates on their bonds on Friday, as for the first time in history the yield of a Greek bond dropped below zero. It is the three-year debt expiring in January 2023 that saw its yield slide to -0.02%, following the rally that the entire Greek yield curve has recorded in the last few days due to the general trend toward bonds supported by the European Central Bank.
Digital and tech
Up to €15 billion worth of investments are expected to boost the Greek digital economy over the coming years including €6.9 billion related to 5G and network infrastructure, €870 million for the fibre-optics network, €6 billion from the EU Recovery Fund for digital transformation projects, and €1 billion linked to Microsoft’s data centre investment.
Over €2.3 billion was spent on R&D in Greece in 2019, equivalent to 1.27% of GDP, according to official figures from the National Documentation Centre. Spending was up 7.2% on the previous year.
The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) announced the commencement of commercial operations on November 15. The 878-km gas pipeline was 4.5 years in the making and will transport gas from Azerbaijan to the European markets via Greece, Albania and Italy.
The Greek government is in talks with three London-based banks with a view to attract post-Brexit relocations of banking services to Greece, according to a Bloomberg TV interview with the Greek PM’s chief economic advisor, Alexis Patelis.
A tax-free income for seven years for 50% of earnings will be offered to foreign executives relocating to Greece in 2021. Any Greek or foreign citizen who had their tax residence out of Greece during the last seven years will be eligible for the benefits of the programme. The main condition is that the move will create a new job position and not replace an existing one.
Thessaloniki expo redevelopment
Over 100 architectural firms from 33 countries submitted entries to the competition for the redevelopment of the 175,000-sqm Thessaloniki ConfEx Park, home of the Thessaloniki International Fair, a flagship project in the redevelopment of Greece’s second largest city as an international business hub and tourist destination. By December 2020, 15 teams will be pre-selected, which will submit their proposals by May 2021, while the selection of the first prize by the international jury will take place in June 2021.
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