A corporate exodus from Greece has, in fact, already been under way since 2012, when FAGE, the international dairy company and makers of the top-selling yogurt, transferred its headquarters to Luxembourg to reduce its exposure to the Greek financial market. That year, Coca-Cola Hellenic, a bottling subsidiary of Coca-Cola, settled its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and switched its main market listing to London.
The latest corporate casualty might be the Antenna Group, one of the country's biggest media networks, whose operations include broadcasting, publishing, Internet services, telecommunications and a record label. The Greek press has been abuzz with rumors that the company, founded in 1988, is going to move its financial operations to Amsterdam. When contacted for comment, the company would not confirm whether or not these rumors were true.
Meanwhile, in Nicosia, Cyprus, businessmen and real estate agents are reporting that at least a dozen shipping and financial companies are making queries about corporate space in anticipation of relocating to the capital of the island-nation.
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Panos Danos, a real estate property consultant in Athens, said he has had 20 requests in the last week from companies in Greece asking for space in the capital of Cyprus, Nicosia and Limassol.
"Given the uncertainty over the future, it is reasonable that these companies are seeking to relocate," the managing director of Danos, an alliance member of BNP Paribas Real Estate, pointed out. Although he would not reveal the clients' identities, he noted that 70 percent of the queries came from shipping companies.
Michalis Pilikos, the head of the Employer and Industrialists Federation of Cyprus, also confirmed that there have been queries, although he admitted the trend is still at an early stage. He, too, would not reveal names.