Donald Trump’s presidential victory earlier this month is already resonating around the world, breathing life into one of Europe’s most moribund banking sectors, Greece. With the country embattled in a deep recession, Piraeus Bank’s Chairman George Handjinicolaou sees grounds for optimism and a chance to spark the country’s banking space.
Despite the summer drama in 2015, Greece has refused to show sustained signs of any economic growth or progress since accepting a new round of bailout funding that kept its economy afloat. 2016 has largely been a lost year for the country, with many of Greece’s lenders struggling in their respective path to recovery.
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Despite a largely populist and nationalistic path advocated by Trump, Mr. Handjinicolaou sees optimism in Trump’s message, in part due to a global recovery. Such yields could prove to be beneficial to Greek lenders, all of which have struggled with balance sheets and debt management.
Indeed, according to Mr. Handjinicolaou in a recent statement to Bloomberg TV: “If the bullish sentiment that currently exists in the U.S. with the election of a new president is a reflection of reality, I think the rest of the global economy will feel the positive effects of that and even Greece will benefit.”
It remains to be seen how a Trump presidency could or would affect Greece, or for that matter the rest of Europe. Much like the UK and its Brexit woes, 2017 will shape up to be one of the most dynamic and potentially convulsive years in recent memory for the economic bloc. On Greece’s part however, any abstention from the status quo brings some degree of hope.