ATHEX headed north yesterday, for five sessions in a row, outperforming the European stock markets. In more detail, the General Index rose by 0.79% at 1,395.99 units, at a 13-year high, (FTSE Large Cap: +0.96%, FTSE Mid Cap: +0.30%, Banks Index: +2.33%) and the traded value was shaped at EUR 145.4m, up from Friday’s EUR 137.9m. We expect ATHEX to seek direction today, without ruling out some profit taking.
Athens Airport releases strong passenger traffic for January
Athens International Airport (AIA) released its passenger traffic data for January 2024, according to which total passenger traffic up by 10.7% y-o-y, driven by international traffic (up by 12.8% YoY), while domestic traffic was also up +6.2% y-o-y.
Comment: Although January has limited contribution in yearly tourist revenues, the strong passenger traffic in the start of the year points to an extension for the tourism season in the winter months and a positive trajectory for the critical summer season. Additionally, the 8.7% increase in total flights for the month, coupled with the 10.7% total passenger traffic, imply increased load factors (positive for Aegean Airlines).
Cypriot Competition Committee approved the increase of Eurobank’s stake in Hellenic Bank
Eurobank Holdings announced that the Commission for the Protection of Competition of the Republic of Cyprus approved the concentration arising from the increase of Eurobank’s stake in Hellenic Bank. Following the approval of the Commission, the acquisition of a total stake of 26.1% of Hellenic Bank shares, is now subject to the approvals of the Central Bank of Cyprus/European Central Bank and the Superintendent of Insurance of Cyprus. Recall that Eurobank currently holds 29.2% in Hellenic Bank, therefore after the completion of the transactions, its total holding will amount to 55.3%. Eurobank is our top pick in the sector with TP of EUR 2.41/share, implying a 27% upside potential.
Alpha Services and Holdings issued new senior preferred bond
Reportedly (euro2day), Alpha Services and Holdings raised EUR 400m through the issue of a new senior preferred bond (MREL eligible), with a yield of 5.125% and a maturity of six years, callable in five, while demand exceeded EUR 1.25bn. Recall that the yield in the previous issue was shaped at 7.0%. On the side, the same reports (euro2day) indicate that the group NPEs will fall to EUR 2.3bn in 2023 from EUR 2.87bn in 9M23, since the bank classified a NPE mortgage portfolio with a GBV of EUR 500m as held for sale. We reiterate our Buy rating and TP of EUR 2.10/share.
OTE Financial Calendar 2023
The company is set to report FY2023 results on Thursday 22 February, the AGM will take place on Friday 28 June and the stock will trade ex-dividend on Thursday 04 July.
Mytilineos secures a License in Ghana for exploring and subsequently extracting bauxite
Mytilineos announced that it has secured a License from the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation for exploring and subsequently extracting bauxite deposits in an area estimated to have geological reserves of 300mton of bauxite. Provided that there are exploitable reserves in the said area, the company aims at gradually developing mining activities, reaching an annual production capacity of 10mton of bauxite, ($c.500m p.a. in current market prices). Additionally, the company will the potential construction of an alumina production unit with a projected annual production capacity of up to 1.5mton.
Comment: the said development is part of the Group’s broader strategic plan to expand its bauxite supply sources, and strengthen its presence across all stages of the aluminium industry value chain. It is noted that the investment horizon of this project is 3-5 years until commercial operation.
PPC interested to enter the retail telecom sector (press)
According to Powergame.gr, further its expansion in the wholesale telecom sector, is also interested to enter the retail telecom market with a potential acquisition of Nova.
Sarantis to hold an Investor Day on 14 March
Sarantis will hold an Investor Day on 14 March. Additionally, Sarantis will release its FY23 Results on 11 March, with a conference call scheduled for the next day.
Days in ATHEX become busier and busier, with Monday trading at EUR 141m worth of equities and the index printing gains of 80bps. Banks ended the day 2.3% higher with Eurobank clearly standing out, up 4.4%, followed by Piraeus Bank, +2.3%. Sarantis and GEK TERNA continue their upward trend, up 3.7% and 1.4% respectively. HELLENiQ also ended the day on green territory, up 2.1% vs its peer MOH that balanced around flat line.
TITAN CEMENT <TITC GA, OW>
We initiate coverage on Titan Cement International with an Overweight rating and a PT of EUR 36.0 per share. The stock currently trades on 2024E EV/EBITDA of 4.8x vs. a 20-year median of 7.8x. The discount to US peers (which accounts for c.55% of Titan’s EBITDA) is >60% and to non-US peers 20-30%. The shares have re-rated in 2023 but we think there is substantial upside ahead in view of the hidden value from US operations, the strong structural recovery from the Greek market, the steady growth and margins from SEE operations, and the underleveraged balance sheet (net debt/EBITDA at 1.4x on 2023E).
ALPHA BANK <ALPHA GA, OW>
Alpha Bank issued a EUR 400m senior preferred bond with a maturity of 6.25 years with a final yield of 5.125% and an oversubscription of >3x. On other news, Alpha will reportedly classify EUR 0.5bn NPEs as held for sale, leading to a reduction in NPEs to EUR 2.3bn from EUR 2.8bn in Sept 2023 (NPE ratio at <6% vs. 7.2% in Sept 2023). Alpha is, reportedly, planning to utilize Hercules III for the EUR 0.5bn of NPEs.
MYTILINEOS <MYTIL GA, OW>
MYTILINEOS announced it is expanding its international mining and alumina production activities in Africa has secured a Prospecting License from the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) in Northwest Africa for exploring and subsequently extracting bauxite deposits in an area estimated to have geological reserves of 300m tons of bauxite. MYTIL plans to gradually develop mining activities, reaching an annual production capacity of 10m tons of bauxite, which at today’s market prices corresponds to a turnover of EUR 500m. MYTIL and GIADEC will concurrently proceed with the preparation of a feasibility study regarding the construction of an alumina production unit with a projected annual production capacity of up to 1.5m tons.
News is positive and in line with MYTIL’s strategic initiatives deployed to further enhance vertical integration and cost efficiency, while also strengthening its presence across all stages of the aluminium industry value chain.
Market Comment // Trading on positive ground intraday, the ASE General index finished +0.79% higher on Monday (1,396 points) to complete a streak of 5 sessions in the green. Turnover reached €142m by the close, not far from recent levels and above the 100-day moving average of €115m. Eurobank (+4.40%), Sarantis (+3.71%) and Ellaktor (+3.17%) outperformed gainers, followed by Piraeus Bank, HelleniQ Energy, Autohellas and Viohalco (on >2% gains), and Alpha Bank, Optima, GEK Terna, ADMIE Holdings, Aegean Airlines (on >1% gains). On the flipside, EYDAP (-1.%), Thrace Plastics (-1.35%), Dimand (-0.8%) and Mytilineos (-0.63%) were among the few stocks on losses. EU futures point to a positive opening today, with EU stocks facing an updraft from the rally in China in the light of policy support.
AIA // AIA shares set to start trading tomorrow following the IPO process through a secondary offering. Meanwhile, 2024 has started on the front foot with January traffic +10.7% yoy (+12.8% international, +6.2% domestic).
Eurobank // Eurobank announced yesterday that the Cypriot authorities approved the concentration arising from the increase of its stake in Hellenic Bank; the transaction is now subject to the approvals of the Central Bank of Cyprus/ECB. As a reminder, Eurobank currently holds 29.2% in Hellenic Bank and is set to reach 55.3% after the completion of the relevant transactions.
Mytilineos // The Group has successfully obtained a Prospecting License from the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) in Northwest Africa. This license grants the company the authorization to explore and, subsequently, extract bauxite deposits in a designated area with an estimated geological reserve of 300mn tons.
Lamda // As per Lamda’s update presentation, 2023 cash inflows are calculated near €600m (EEe at c€500m), with the company reiterating its forecast for total Phase 1 project inflows of c€3.3bn and gross profit near €0.9bn by end-2026. Lamda aims to bring for sale >1000 more residencies before the end of Phase 1, with the company noting that a €1K/sq.m. increase in the price, above the weighted average €7.8K/sq.m. assumed, would unlock an extra €1bn potential revenues by 2026. In the meantime, Lamda is aiming to proceed with the malls’ IPO within 2024, having already completed the malls’ simplified structure under one entity.
Alpha Bank // According to press Alpha Bank’s NPE ratio will land below 6.0% in Dec’23 (from 7.2% in Sep’23) due to the classification of the NPE portfolio “Gaia” (€500mn) as held for sale, as the latter is meant to be included in H-APS III.
Alpha Bank // As part of its MREL strategy, Alpha Bank successfully raised €400mn through placement of a senior preferred bond with 6 years maturity. The yield settled at 5.125% while the offers reached €1.25bn. We remind that AB’s MREL ratio shaped at 24.4% in Sep’23 with a target of c27% by 2026e.
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