Athens, Greece’s biggest company is leaving the country for greener pastures in Switzerland, as Coca-Cola Hellenic plans to move the company to one of the richest places in the world. Also, the drinks bottler plans to list its shares in London, delivering a ego-bruising blow to the debt-crippled Greek economy. Analyst are saying that the move is bad news for the nation which is struggling to compete inside the Euro zone. Coca-Cola Hellenic, which already has secondary stock market listings in London and New York, will exchange all their shock for shares in Coca-Cola HBC AG, based in Switzerland.
The firm, in which The Coca-Cola Company of the United States has a 23-per cent stake, bottles Coke and other fizzy drinks in 28 countries from Russia to Nigeria. About 95 percent of its shareholders and business activity are outside Greece. With the values of Greek banks collapsed, the country has been mired in recession and continuously has been facing mass discontent as its leaders slash budgets to meet international creditors’ terms for loans intended to keep Athens inside Europe’s single currency.