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  • When debt markets and equity markets are telling completely different stories,

  • it can be highly profitable to pay attention.

  • A pronounced example of this can currently be seen in Greece

  • where its equity markets are sharply lagging Greek government bonds

  • that have rallied during the country's recent emergence from an economic depression.

  • If the debt markets are correct,

  • then Greek stocks should be one of the better performing markets next year.

  • The most recent IHS Markit Greece PMI

  • showed its sixth consecutive improvement in manufacturing conditions

  • whilst employment growth was at its highest in the 18 years the survey has existed.

  • This consistently good news can be seen in the, albeit illiquid,

  • Greek 10-year government bond yield,

  • which has fallen from over 7% at the start of the year to 4.3% today.

  • The Athens composite stock index, meanwhile, is up just 16% year to date.

  • There are some technical factors behind Greece's stock market

  • lagging behind the improvements seen in its government debt and economy.

  • Many Greek stocks are tiny in terms of market capitalisation

  • and illiquid following the crisis,

  • meaning few analysts bother to cover them and large funds are unable to own them.

  • Psychologically, professional investors remain traumatised

  • from their prior experiences investing in Greece

  • and may not yet be willing to take the career risk of distancing themselves from the herd.

  • Few also are likely to bother to look beyond a headline price to earnings multiple of an index

  • that is heavily distorted by its weighting of banks.

  • But for more nimble stock pickers, there are certainly opportunities.

  • A number of Greek industrial stocks have strong balance sheets

  • and trade at undermining multiples of free cash flow.

  • Those looking for a racier, although fall riskier option, can choose Greek banks.

  • Not only are they the most economically sensitive sector,

  • but these lenders have very high capital ratios, trade at large discounts to book value,

  • and operate in a highly consolidated retail banking market

  • which in the future should become very profitable.

  • Either way, betting on Greece may become one of the trendier trades in 2018.

When debt markets and equity markets are telling completely different stories,

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Listen to the Greek oracle: stocks' strength is no myth | Short View

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    林恩立 posted on 2017/12/25
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