March
2008
COUNTRY FOCUS - GREECE
 
Vol. 4 No.2  
 

Expansion mode

Retail, banks and property are where the Greeks are taking their chances in Romania, while renewable energy is a fresh target
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State-owned Greek companies are now showing an interest in investing in Romanian energy – particularly in the renewable sector.
“Most probably wind energy and hydro power are the most attractive areas for national Greek companies which intend to become very active in the Balkans and especially in Romania,” says commercial counsellor in the Greek Embassy in Bucharest, Ioannis Paschalis.
This followed the visit of the Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis to Bucharest where he signed an agreement on energy with his Romanian counterpart Calin Popescu Tariceanu. During the trip, he tried to convince the local authorities to continue supplying Greece with electricity.
Real estate, telecom, retail, banking and construction continue to be the main sectors where Greek companies are active. Piraeus Bank, Bancpost and Alpha Bank are continuing to expand their branch presence in Romania, with Alpha Bank moving up the rankings to take fourth place among Romanians banks in assets last September.
Greek retailers and restaurant chains such as Sprider and Gregory’s are expanding their number of outlets, but the high prices for rents in Bucharest are putting off some new investors.
“People working for small and medium sized businesses come to Romania with a lot of enthusiasm,” says Paschalis. “But after they see the exaggerated rent prices in the malls they either go back to Greece or re-orientate to cheaper areas in Bucharest.”

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