Banking & Finance

Will Last Ditch Efforts Stave off Nationalization in Greece?

Is Greece going to capitulate? It turns out that capital controls, the threat of bankruptcy hearings, attempts to repossess national heritage assets and infrastructure, the threat of not being able to get cash of any sort and a crushing blow to retirees just may be too harsh for even Greece’s socialists running the country to stand by. There are still risks here, but it appears that a last-minute deal to keep Greece in the euro is now much closer.

What economic watchers and investors need to consider is that this latest move is far from a true deal. As of Wednesday morning, Greece’s weekend referendum was still scheduled. Any deal in Greece also will not structurally fix the nation’s structural economic problems. Most likely, a deal in Greece would just kick the can down the road by another two years.

All in all, nationalization of Greek banks still remains a risk. All this is bad for investors and is bad for Greece itself.

National Bank of Greece S.A. (NYSE: NBG) is the key trading sentiment barometer for Greece today. Its American depositary shares were last seen up 10.5% at $1.16 on Wednesday morning, after closing at $1.05 on Tuesday. NBG’s 52-week range is $0.88 to $3.90, and it trades nearly 14 million on average now. NBG’s volume in New York has been only under that daily average once in the past two weeks.

The Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (NYSEMKT: GREK) was up almost 10.9% at $11.16 early Wednesday, after closing at $10.06 on Tuesday. The ETF has a 52-week range of $9.42 to $23.48. Investors do still need to consider for a moment that this exchange traded fund could lose its status as an official ETF if Greek markets remain closed for long.

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Greece remains a fluid situation. The path is not yet set, and unfortunately its problems ahead remain a serious risk whether or not a deal is struck to remain in the euro.

This news flow could expand or go the other way very fast. Stay tuned.