Investment regulation - Greece


Holding restrictions

There are no specific ownership restrictions for foreign residents; that differ from those for Greek investors.

An inter-ministerial committee approval is required before raising holdings above 20% in strategically sensitive national companies.

The Amended Significant Shareholder Law 3414/2005 (replacing Law 3310/2005) on transparency and prevention of infringement on the procedure of contracts with the Greek public sector regulates and imposes some holding restrictions in relation to Public Sector Contracts Companies (PSCCs)1 and Mass Media Companies (MMCs)2.

A significant shareholder of a PSCC or an MMC is the natural or legal person, who, directly or indirectly:

  • Is currently an owner of shares or a holder of voting rights representing at least 1% of the share capital or of the total voting rights (respectively) of such a company; or
  • has ever been an owner of shares that represented at least 1% of the share capital or a holder of voting rights that represented at least 1% of the total share capital or the total voting rights at the general meeting that resulted in the election or revocation of the last Board of Directors of such a company.

The above is under the additional precondition that, during the period between the commencement of the legal procedure that may result in a PSC and the completion of the control on incompatibilities made by the Greek National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV), such natural or legal person:

  • Is or was at any time the owner of a number of shares ranking such shareholder among the 10 major shareholders of such a company; or
  • Holds or has at any time held voting rights at the general meeting of shareholders of such a company ranking such a shareholder among the 10 major shareholders; or
  • Has or at any time had a right, either by law or by such a company’s articles of association, to appoint or revoke a member of its board of directors; or
  • Has at any time entered, directly or indirectly, into contracts with such a company that resulted in financial gains for that company for the previous fiscal year at least equal to 10% of such a company’s gross revenues for the same fiscal year.

The main underlying impact for CBL customers is on the maximum percentage of the Radio and Television MMC’s share capital (excluding Paying Television MMCs) that may be held by foreign (non- EU) shareholders or by a single shareholder. The total share capital that may be held by foreign (non-EU) shareholders in a Radio and Television MMC is 25%; the maximum that a single shareholder may hold in such a company is 25%.

Note: It is the responsibility of the Clearstream Banking customer to ensure compliance with local holding restriction requirements. If a requirement is not met, it is the customer that will be liable for any related penalty. Customers may wish to seek independent legal advice on the interpretation of Greek holding restrictions in respect of the amended Significant Shareholder Law considering the complexity of this new law.

Disclosure requirements

For details of the local domestic disclosure requirements, please refer to the Disclosure Requirements.


1. A Public Sector Contracts Company (PSCC) is a natural person or a legal entity entering into a PSC or participating in a legal procedure, according to relevant legislation, that results in a PSC (where PSC refers to a contract between the private sector and the State for the provision of services or goods or for the execution of a contract with a price above EUR 1 million).

2. A Mass Media Company (MMC) is a company engaged, exclusively or not, in any of the following activities:

  • Publication of newspapers or magazines, defined as such by the relevant Greek legislation, or editions containing political or economical material, printed, published or distributed in any form, including electronically;
  • Establishment and operation or management of television station(s), transmission of television signals, in any form or manner, for example free, cable, paying, satellite, digital or other, according to relevant legislation in force;
  • Establishment and operation or management of radio station(s), transmission of radio signals in any form or manner, according to relevant legislation in force;
  • Provision via the internet of audiovisual services of informative nature.