We are considering new investment opportunities in Greek companies

We are considering new investment opportunities in Greek companies

Interview of the Chairman of the HCAP Board of Directors, K. Derdemezis, in

In the context of its role as a Public Wealth Fund, HCAP is considering new investments in Greek companies to support their growth.

This is what Konstantinos Derdemezis, the Chairman of the HCAP Board of Directors, told CNN Greece, underlining that the new Board of Directors is now approaching the organization with two objectives in sight:

The first concerns the active management of the existing portfolio, aimed at solving the subsidiaries’ long-standing problems and accelerating value creation in collaboration with the management teams selected by HCAP; and the second one concerns the investment pillar – as described in HCAP’s founding law, according to which HCAP is expected to contribute to the Greek economy.

We intend to complete our investment policy and support the development of companies with growth stories,” said Mr. Derdemezis, stressing that “we are a fund operating in the public interest; this also applies to the way we invest.”

Essentially, in this new phase, HCAP’s role is changing radically as it assumes an active role in the management of companies and also strengthens its investment role, directing its resources towards growth initiatives and reinvesting in the Greek economy.

At the same time, particular emphasis is placed on the One Planet Initiative – which HCAP has recently joined; the initiative is ESG-oriented, acting as a catalyst for the acceleration of HCAP’s next steps by sharing knowledge and collaborating with similar corporations, while catching up with other public wealth funds.

Evolving into a Public Wealth Fund in line with European standards, HCAP is ready to become a valuable tool in the country’s effort to meet all the challenges and requirements set by the recent pandemic and the European Recovery and Resilience Plan.

Our role is to be both a strategic investor and a reliable manager of public assets,” Mr. Derdemezis said. He also added that the size of HCAP’s portfolio and the implementation of a series of structural reforms in recent years constitute a very strong starting point for HCAP to play a strategic role in this new economic cycle; this cycle’s main focus is to rebuild the economy in terms of sustainability and ensure long-term prosperity for the country, the citizens and the future generations.

In fact, he stated that HCAP has assumed a role that supports the SOEs’ management, with its strategic plan as the guiding compass. “We are standing by the management teams through horizontal initiatives.” The key chapters we will focus on in the coming years are the Green Transition, digital transformation, increasing employment while cultivating new upgraded skills, helping to ensure social cohesion, attracting new private investments and transforming the Greek economy.

Our goal is for all of these companies, staffed with competent executives, to implement modern business operating models,” he said.

Commenting on the current developments, he appears reassuring those short-term disruptions and rising inflation are not impacting long-term planning. And this is because HCAP’s mission is the long-term creation of value for Greek society and the economy in general.

Clearly, small crises will always exist and we will adapt our strategy, but the basic principles are fundamental with a long-term rationale,” he stresses, following a European Commission model that has announced two important milestones, in 2030 and 2050.

Significant developments in ESG as well

Referring to the ESG criteria role, the Chairman of the HCAP Board of Directors is certain that maximising benefits involves that both listed and non-listed SOEs, adopt – or strengthen – Environmental, Social and corporate Governance (ESG) operating standards and criteria while ensuring that their growth serves the sustainability goals.

He stressed that the current occasion is fortunate as these practices are just beginning to be adopted. We are examining how this strategy shall be reflected in an administration and management plan, while outlining how investors will assess ESG performance.

This is the main philosophy behind the European Recovery and Resilience Mechanism, which will be the key driver of growth for the Greek economy in the coming years.

In fact, even though the discussion concerns public interest companies, the portfolio includes water management and management of natural resources and energy. A salient example is PPC, which will be a green business with 80% of its energy mix coming from Renewable Energy Sources. At the same time, a number of actions have already been launched on the governance side, while social initiatives are under way and already paying a social dividend in the context of the communities where HCAP subsidiaries operate.

The adaptation of our subsidiaries to ESG criteria is a top priority –both at a European and at a global scale – as it is now a prerequisite for attracting reliable, “clean” and high-volume investment capital. “This is the only option in the climate-crisis era,” Mr. Derdemezis concluded.