Greek Stocks Up 45% in 2013

While past investors have been burned badly playing the Athens Stock Exchange, this year – even during a crushing economic crisis – it has been the world’s best performer, surging 45 percent in dollar terms, far ahead of second-place Ireland – also a bailout country – at 35 percent.

Global stock markets have reflected the recovery of the developed world’s economies this year, particularly those of “peripheral” Eurozone countries, but the latest performance figures also show it has been a torrid year for many emerging markets, the Financial Times reported.

The newspaper noted that Greece’s strong stock market returns follow its reclassification as an emerging market by MSCI in June, having been deemed a developed market by the index provider since 2001.

Bankers added that the resurgence of peripheral Eurozone stock markets was partly driven by renewed interest from US investors, who have been keen to rebuild their exposure to Europe since the Eurozone crisis abated.

Private investors and holders of Greek bonds suffered 74 percent losses imposed on them by a previous government in 2011 that was desperate to write down the country’s debt while still in the early stages of getting $325 billion in two rescue packages from the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB).

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has been jawboning investors as well, predicting an “imminent” recovery in 2014 with his optimism coinciding with that of some American speculators hoping to catch the wave early.