Welcome to Episode #57 of the Zacks Market Edge Podcast.
Every week, host and Zacks stock strategist, Tracey Ryniec, will be joined by guests to discuss the hottest investing topics in stocks, bonds and ETFs and how it impacts your life.
In this episode, Tracey is joined by Zacks very own Greek experts Harry Kougias and Domina Tingos. They are Greek natives, have friends and family in Greece and visit yearly.
Both of them were on the very first episode of the Market Edge in October 2015 discussing the Greece crisis and whether or not you should invest. This is a follow-up podcast to see if things have improved or gotten worse.
In 2015, the worries were whether or not Greece would stay in the Eurozone and whether or not Greeks would be able to get money out of the ATMs.
Flash forward a year and the capital controls are still in effect in Greece and it’s still in the Union, but there are other issues that have moved to the forefront.
1. There are now 60,000 refugees or migrants in Greece which are straining social services and hurting tourism in the eastern islands.
2. The Greek banks have about $120 billion in bad loans on the books, with 41% of those delinquent mortgages. There have been violent protests regarding the repossession, or foreclosure, of homes. Supposedly about 50,000 properties are up for repossession by the banks next year. But will it happen?
3. One bright spot is still tourism. In 2015, Greece saw a record number of visitors. Through September of 2016, it is again on pace for another record year as Greece has stolen visitors from Turkey and Egypt, which have been plagued by political unrest. Tourism is about 20% of GDP. But is it enough to keep the economy going?
In 2015, Domina and Harry were still optimistic about the future for younger Greeks but what do they think this year?
And what do they think about investing in Greece through the Greek ETF (GREK - Free Report) ? It is down 8.5% year-to-date. Tracey discusses whether it is a contrarian play right now.
There are other ways to play the Greek economy, including by buying cruise ships like Royal Caribbean (RCL - Free Report) and Carnival (CLL) as well as Ryan Air (RYAAY - Free Report) .
What else should you know about Greece, its debt crisis and its economy?
Tune into this week’s podcast to find out.
Listen to the 2015 Podcast on Greece
Greece was the very first topic we covered on Zacks Market Edge. The podcast is interesting to listen to a year later.