Are Greek bank stocks the best stocks to follow a buy-and-forget trading strategy at this time? For many wealthy Greeks, investing in Greek banks sounds very promising given the very cheap prices these stocks are trading for in the Greek stock market. “How much more can they possibly decline?” is their common argument. Of course that argument failed miserably during the last couple of years as Greek economy weakened. Here are the stock charts of 3 popular Greek banks.
Bank of Greece (TELL.AT)
The most expensive Greek bank stock is currently trading at €13.70. The worst year was definitely 2008, as the bank’s shares plummeted from €94 to €38, indicating the start of the Greek bank crisis. TELL stock might trade for lower than this year’s all-time low of €9 in the future but it might also reverse, climbing back up to €100 and gaining almost 1000%, in which case the buy-and-forget strategy would be proven extremely profitable.
The bank’s stock symbol (TELL) comes from T(rapeza) ELL(ados), whereas “Trapeza” means bank and Ellados means “of Greece”.
National Bank of Greece (ETE.AT)
National Bank of Greece stock also experienced heavy losses in 2008, but unlike TELL, it gained 400% during a strong uptrend between 2003 and 2006. The National Bank’s stock closed at €2.12 on Friday, about one euro up from the all-time low of just €1! Reversing to €40 would increase the investment’s value by 20 times, if investors are courageous and patient enough to buy and forget ETE shares!
ETE stock symbol stands for E(thniki) T(rapeza) (Ellados), whereas “Ethniki” means “National”. That is why the ADR symbol of National Bank of Greece in New York Stock Exchange is NBG, and traders can nowadays buy NBG shares for about $2.70.
Alpha Bank (ALPHA.AT)
Alpha Bank stock is one of the few Greek bank stocks that trade for more than €1 per share at the Athens Stock Exchange.
Plunging Greek bank deposits in June 2012 resulting from a Greek bank run due to the Greek elections were quite harmful for bank stocks in Greece, since all of them printed new lows on their stock charts at that time. For many optimistic investors that low price is the market’s bottom and some have already bought shares of Greek banks. Time will tell if their buy-and-forget strategy will pay off.