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Another blow for Greece, Coca-Cola Hellenic (CCH) - the country's biggest firm by market cap...

Another blow for Greece, Coca-Cola Hellenic (CCH) - the country's biggest firm by market cap (though with negligible domestic sales) - is moving its headquarters to Switzerland, citing the country's stable economic and regulatory environment. CCH is also the largest holding of the Greek ETF (GREK).
Comments (4)
  • Windsun33
    , contributor
    Comments (4254) | Send Message
    Pretty soon there won't be enough companies left in Greece for the ETF to exist.
    11 Oct 2012, 12:42 PM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (3984) | Send Message
    The problem is that a large part of GREK was/is banks (at least 5 right now, but I think it used to be more, but anyway 20% out of the 20 stocks currently).


    And if the banks aren't merging they're insolvent.


    But the Greek ETF does represent a diverse set of businesses and domestic interests: cement (Titan), the majority government owned power and telephone utilities (PPC/HTO)), gambling (OPAP), heavy industry (MYTIL and BIOX), oil and gas (MOH), retail (BELA), etc.


    12 Oct 2012, 02:20 PM Reply Like
  • Emmanuel Ceyte
    , contributor
    Comments (50) | Send Message
    Not a good news for the Hellenic stock exchange. CCH is their #1 listing. Not a good news for Athens which is losing a headquarter. The silver lining I can think of is that more liquidity will be available for other Greek stocks. I do not know the breakdown in terms of local/foreign ownership of the stock but some of the money will still have to be invested in Greece. There might be a beneficial effect there.
    11 Oct 2012, 01:39 PM Reply Like
  • Emmanuel Ceyte
    , contributor
    Comments (50) | Send Message
    The timing of CCH was a little odd but the delisting has apparently been in the works for the last 3 years. Hence it was meant to happen sooner or later.
    The stock is not especially cheap (15.9 x 2013e) and has held its value well despite the crisis. There is no doubt that the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) cannot compete with the LSE (and has never been able to, crisis or not) : if CCH's top management is looking for more liquidity and access to better-priced credit, the decision makes sense.
    More negative than the delisting I think is the decision to move the headquarters to Switzerland at a time when the Greek government is trying to build its goodwill.
    On a positive note though, CCH's decision should not divert investors' attention from everything that has been accomplished over the last 5 months: the Greek banking sector is consolidating at full speed, the privatization program has been relaunched and the Samaras government is in a position to negotiate some breathing space from the Troika. Therefore I remain cautiously optimistic and hope that CCH's decision will just be a bump on the road to recovery.
    12 Oct 2012, 06:08 PM Reply Like
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