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18/1/2019
Improved creditworthiness of corporates during 2016-2017 and positive outlook for 2018
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Greece, Credit Ratings Review

ICAP, on 7th July 2011, at the outbreak of the crisis that is still stressing the Greek economy, was registered from the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) as a "Credit Rating Agency (CRA)", in order to provide credit risk assessments to Greek corporates. These assessments, since they follow a rigorous European framework of principles, procedures and supervision, consist an important indicator of how companies cope during the prolonged period of crisis, especially in the last two years, where clear signs of recovery are emerging.

In 2015, the protracted negotiations with the European Institutions resulted to the implementation of capital controls and the prolongation of uncertainty regarding the status of the Greek economy, which was facing an immediate threat from a possible Grexit. Those, combined with the stricter austerity measures of the third rescue plan and the lack of investments, led to an even greater recession affecting all areas of the real economy and consequently entrepreneurship. This environment was reflected in the Credit Rating Assessments of Greek corporates, where 74% of them were rated as either High or Relatively High Risk. More specifically in high risk zones ranged: almost all (98%) of SMEs (GP, LP, Sole Proprietorships), which are extremely vulnerable to adverse economic data, and the biggest part (72%) of large companies (SA, LLC, Private LLC, PC, Single-Member PC). In the individual sectors of the economy, enterprises operating in Industry and Commerce were more affected by capital restrictions, with 74% and 69% of them respectively ranging in high risk zones compared to 67% of the companies operating in the Services sector.

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