The Greek market is experiencing an intense period in terms of transactional workload, mainly due to investments coming in through privatizations and concessions, as well as the powerful development of the renewable energy market, according to KLC Law Firm Deputy Managing Partner Theodore Loukopoulos.
"In terms of market, there have been a lot of M&A mandates for developing energy projects, including wind and solar farms," Loukopoulos notes. "Additionally, we have a lot of real estate transactions. In particular, there is a heavy demand for small apartments for individuals who hold golden visas and other schemes implemented by the government to attract foreign investors." According to Loukopoulos, there has also been an increase in demand for hospitality real estate. "Larger developments are taking place on the Greek islands, the Athens riviera, and other mainland touristic spots, increasing demand for hotels and other hospitality venues," he notes.
Another hot topic in Greece, according to Loukopoulos, are the preparations for the upcoming winter. "We are all discussing the extremely unpredictable winter we have ahead, expecting a crisis with regards to the energy prices. Greece is not as dependent on gas as other EU countries and, consequently, it does not look like we will have any serious problems," he notes. "Yet, gas prices are very high – having increased around 6 to 8 times – and consumers struggle to cover the expenses. Even though the government will likely provide subsidies, we don’t know if it will be sufficient to deal with the situation."
Loukopoulos adds that Greece is also preparing for elections next year: "we are in an important period leading up to the elections. Normally, this is the period when everything stops – investors are waiting for the election outcomes and the government refrains from proceeding with new projects. We hope that, in the fourth quarter of 2023, the general situation in the country will eventually change."
On a positive note, Loukopoulos says that, at the moment, life sciences is another interesting subject in Greece. "In the pharmaceutical market we have seen a few M&As in the previous years, but the number is declining," he points out. "However, the major players are now showing interest in huge investments in large pharmaceutical plants and research centers. We have three new research centers by Pfizer, Demo, and Elpen already developed or being developed at the moment." According to Loukopoulos, "Greek-based multinational pharmaceutical companies have exceeded expectations in terms of remaining, investing, and growing in Greece – with governmental subsidies having helped with that process. Apart from all that, we're also noticing that patent litigations have been increasing among pharmaceutical companies in Greece."