Switzerland and the Netherlands have headed the inflow of new foreign investments in the first six months of this year, according to statistics published by the Bank of Albania. Swiss investments have recorded 194 million Euros for the period January to June 2018, undergoing a doubling compared with the same period last year. From this state, or better from the TAP pipeline, 40% of the total investment came in the first six months of the year. The second largest investor is the Netherlands, with hydro power plants on the Devoll River (though Devolli Hydro power is 100% in the hands of Norfolk Statkraft, the investment is counted from the original country of origin). For the first six months of the year, they brought a total of € 101 million, 87% of which was in the first quarter, while in the second one they fell sharply. Turkey is ranked third with 44 million Euros. The largest Turkish investments are in the banking and telecommunication sectors. Then Austria ranks with € 35 million, mainly in the banking and energy sectors (hydro power). France is fifth, with 29 million euros (29% drop), also linked to the TAP pipeline, through the French company Siepecapag, which is implementing pipeline engineering projects.
Italy and Greece, although two countries with which we have historically traded, brought only 16 and 13 million Euros in capital in the first half of the year. Interesting are the Cayman Islands, where a negative investment inflow of -30 million euros was recorded in January-June 2018 and -10 million euros in the first six months of 2017. In total, for the six-month period, foreign investments amounted to 494 million Euros, with a 27% increase on an annual basis, but their biggest fluctuation was in the first three months of the year (282 million Euros), while in the second to 212 million Euros. The fall during the three-month period was mainly due to the Netherlands, Switzerland and France.
In the second quarter of 2018, the inflow of new investments from Greece was negative, down from -10 million Euros, the most negative through years. In fact, Greece continues to be the first in terms of investment stock in the years, with 1.27 billion Euros, but this stock has remained unchanged for at least 3 years. Greek-owned banks are withdrawing from the Albanian market (NBG was sold to Abi Bank and Tirana Bank is in negotiations to be sold to the Balfin group). Telecommunications, which were the other major investor from Greece, are in a difficult situation, since for two years they have resulted in losses and have minimized investments. If this trend persists, the Hellenic state is expected to lose the “flag” as the largest investor in the country. Regarding the stock of investments, Switzerland takes the second place with 1.13 billion Euros a rapid increase in the last years, thanks to the fact that the TAP pipeline investment is Switzerland-based. Third place is the Netherlands, with 973 million Euros as a result of energy investments, passing Canada, which until two years ago was the second largest investor in the country due to the origin of Bankers Petroleum, the the greatest oil producer. Italy is fifth with an investment stock of 646 million Euros, followed by Turkey, with 565 million Euros.