Cyprus should heed the trends in renewable energy

GLOBAL natural gas demand will not carry on rising but will peak. Is this considered unthinkable? Then think again!

Most recently published oil company Energy Outlooks talk about the possibility of peak oil but foresee gas demand continuing to grow in the period to 2050. A few, though, such as DNV-GL and IRENA, forecast that natural gas demand will peak earlier. The continuously falling costs of renewables and advances in electricity storage technology, including batteries, pose increasing challenges. Renewables are on the way to become cheaper than building new coal and gas-fired power plants, even without subsidies.

Cyprus should heed this and open up the sector, and specifically solar power, to the benefit of substantially lower electricity prices and reduced emissions in line with EU requirements.

Energy transition

In its Energy Transition Outlook, released in September, DNV-GL forecasts that global primary gas demand will peak by 2034, as direct use of gas loses out to electricity. It forecasts that renewables will be taking an ever-increasing share of the electricity market, with gas demand falling back down to today’s levels by 2050.

DNV-GL, though, warns that this requires the gas industry to remain cost-efficient if it is to stay competitive for the longer term. That will then ensure that gas decline, after it peaks by 2034, is slow and that it can still have a strong role alongside renewables in decarbonizing the world energy system. Expensive gas will hasten renewables penetration and could lead to faster decline. Increasingly, all fuels in the global energy mix will be competing on cost.

DNV-GL also forecasts that “Driven by pervasive electrification, especially of transport, and by ongoing efficiency gains in other sectors, linked in many instances to digitalization,” advances in energy efficiency will lead to “peaking of energy demand worldwide in the 2030s.” It concludes that a rapid energy transition will lead to “a very strong growth of solar and wind, initial growth in gas, and a decline in coal, oil and, eventually, gas, in that order,” but even then the world “would still exceed the 2degC carbon budget.”

Based on the deployment of low-carbon technologies to achieve the Paris 2degC goal, IRENA forecasts that fossil fuel use for energy would fall to one-third of today’s levels by 2050. Oil and coal would decline most, 70% and 85% respectively. Natural gas use would peak around 2027 and then decline by 30% from present levels.

Even BP, in its Energy Outlook 2018, foresees a scenario under which gas demand peaks in the 2020s and declines below current levels. This could happen if the world were to enter an ‘even faster transition’, needed to reduce carbon emissions from energy-use broadly consistent with the Paris climate goals. According to BP, this could be brought about by a sharp increase in carbon prices and implementation of climate polices to encourage greater energy efficiency and fuel switching.

Shell also recognizes the unstoppable rise of renewables. Its CEO, Ben van Beurden, said that the energy transition is “fundamentally a force that cannot be stopped…It is both policy and public sentiment, but also technology that is driving it.” In its Sky-scenario, Shell expects natural gas demand to peak by 2030 and start declining in the 2040s to low levels beyond 2070.

It would appear that even though the oil majors in their ‘base case’ scenarios expect natural gas demand to carry on increasing at least to 2050, they are hedging their bets. They are also considering scenaria that show possible conditions under which future natural gas demand may peak well before 2050.

Clearly the concept of ‘peak natural gas demand’ is not unthinkable and as such it should be taken seriously.

As most major international oil companies are in the process of shifting future production to natural gas, often seen as a bridge between a fossil fuel past and a carbon-free future, this is an important issue.

With the inexorable advance of renewables, the world has entered an era of abundant energy. This is leading to low energy prices, a more competitive and cleaner energy market environment and increasing pressure on fossil fuels if they are to hold-on to their dominance.

Increasingly cheaper renewables, combined with coal resilience because of low prices, are putting the future outlook for gas in doubt. BNEF’s CEO, Seb Henbest, warned that “Wind and solar are just getting too cheap, too fast” for gas to play a transitional role. High oil and gas prices, climate policies and increasing use of carbon pricing are other factors that may accelerate fuel mix switch, threatening the view that gas can be a bridge fuel.

Impact of climate policies

BP, in its Energy Outlook 2018, says the prospects for gas demand could be adversely affected, with both weaker or stronger environmental policies posing potential threats. Weaker policies could dampen the shift away from coal towards natural gas, while stronger policies could encourage greater gains in renewables and energy efficiency.

Such policy risks might cause the gas share of primary energy consumption to plateau by mid-2020s to 2030s and then fall, “squeezed out by non-fossil fuels.”

In introducing the Energy Transition 2018 report, Remi Eriksen, group president and CEO DNV-GL, said “There are many signs that the energy industry is on the brink of profound change. Globally, policy developments, despite some notable exceptions, continue to favour renewables technology. Last year, new renewable power capacity additions were more than double the new power capacity additions from fossil fuels. In capital markets, a reallocation of funds towards cleaner technology is underway.”

With 2020 approaching, most of the world appears to be moving forward reviewing and often strengthening commitments. There is an expectation that climate pledges will be largely fulfilled and extended. This is increasing pressure on fossil fuels, as is the policy goal by an increasing number of countries of achieving near-zero emissions by 2050.

Seven countries have already adopted legally binding commitments to largely eliminate carbon emissions by 2050 – UK, Mexico, Denmark, Finland, France, Norway and Sweden – mostly in line with Paris climate targets, with the Netherlands and California about to join them. This is gradually creating a momentum, with other countries being prompted to join them.

Inevitably this could lead to major reductions in the consumption of fossil fuels, likely to lead to peaking demand well before 2050. Fossil fuels can retain a foothold through adoption of technologies to reduce emissions, otherwise their future use could face extensive scaling-down.

The combination of more ambitious climate policies, technology advances, efficiency improvements and changing social preferences are leading to increasing penetration of cleaner fuels and slow-down in fossil fuel demand. It is social preferences combined with environmental activism that may hasten this transition.

Gas prices in Europe and southeast Asia are already high and may increase further as winter approaches, impacting electricity prices. These are factors that contribute to implementation of greater energy efficiency measures and hastening renewables penetration at the expense of fossil fuels, and may eventually lead to faster peaking of gas consumption if they persist.

Not all doom-and-gloom

The energy sector is changing fast, making long-term forecasts challenging. It is likely that in the longer-term natural gas demand will peak before 2050 and then decline over time. But it is not something that will happen suddenly. In fact, most of these forecasts predict growth in global gas demand over the next twenty or so years, followed by gradual decline.

In addition, renewables have great success penetrating the global power sector, but very limited success in other sectors, such as transport and industry, where displacing fossil fuels is proving to be much harder.

It is important not to miscalculate. Not to let the uncertainty of ‘peak demand’ stifle investment in oil and gas projects prematurely, before renewables and efficiency improvements demonstrate they are able to fill the gap in global energy demand. This could result in energy supply shortfalls and price rises, creating a problem for the global economy.

Source: CyprusMail

Cyprus bond achieves the best borrowing rate

The Cyprus ten-year bond issued on Tuesdayrepresents the lowest reoffer yield and the lowest coupon that the country has ever achieved in international capital markets  for a benchmark size euro-denominated syndicated issuance and the largest ever transaction for the sovereign in this currency, the Ministry of Finance has said.

According to a press release by the Ministry of Finance’s public debt management office which includes the details of the issuance the order-book closed at 11:00 GMT yesterday “with a final size of € 5.675bn (excl. JLM interest) and approx. 279 different investors participating in the transaction, representing the largest order-book Cyprus has achieved since its return to markets in June 2014.”

“The new 10yr benchmark, which extends the existing Cyprus yield curve, represents the lowest reoffer yield (2.40%) and the lowest coupon (2.375%) that the Republic of Cyprus has ever achieved in international capital markets for a benchmark size Euro-denominated syndicated issuance,” the press release says.

By national size, it adds, “it is also the largest syndicated Euro transaction from the sovereign since the return to capital markets in 2014, and matches the largest ever transaction for the sovereign in this currency.”

It continues noting that the issuance had a broad geographic distribution of investors, comprised largely of international investors across Europe (28%) and the UK (28%). This was followed by Cyprus (19%), Germany / Austria (14%), Greece (6%), US Offshore (3%) and investors from the rest of the world (2%)

“By investor type, the quality of the orderbook was high with real-money demand dominating the orderbook,” it says.

Fund Managers were the largest investor class at 42%, closely followed by banks and private banks (40%), followed by hedge funds (8%), central banks or other official institutions (4%), insurance / pension (3%) and other (3%).


Source: Stockwatch

New government website for jobseekers and employers

The labor ministry has announced the creation of a new website where unemployed people can register and where employers can look for workers.

According to the ministry, the website aims to simplify the selection and recruitment process by giving employers direct access to an electronic register of unemployed people, where their qualifications, experience, and skills will be presented.

The platform aims to provide a complete service for both the job seekers and employers.

Employers will have authorized access to specific personal data of the unemployed. So far 14,000 job seekers gave their written permission to be registered on the platform.

To obtain a password for access on the platform, employers must know their employer registration number and complete a short registration form on the website.

For more information visit

Ρύθμιση ενοικιάσεων οικιών και διαμερισμάτων για τουριστικούς σκοπούς επιχειρεί η Βουλή

Ρύθμιση στο θέμα της ανεξέλεγκτης ενοικίασης επαύλεων, οικιών αλλά και διαμερισμάτων για τουριστικούς σκοπούς επιχειρεί να εισάξει η Επιτροπή Εμπορίου της Βουλής μετά από Πρόταση Νόμου που κατέθεσαν από κοινού ο Πρόεδρος του ΔΗΣΥ Αβέρωφ Νεοφύτου και ο Βουλευτής της ΕΔΕΚ Ηλίας Μυριάνθους. Βασικές πρόνοιες της πρότασης είναι η εγγραφή των υποστατικών σε ειδικό μητρώο και η πληρωμή φόρων, με βάση τη νομοθεσία. Η Επιτροπή συζήτησε επίσης το νομοσχέδιο και τους Κανονισμούς για τη ρύθμιση, ίδρυση και λειτουργία Ξενοδοχείων και Τουριστικών Καταλυμάτων.

 Ο Πρόεδρος της Επιτροπής Εμπορίου Άγγελος Βότσης στις δηλώσεις του μετά τη συνεδρία είπε πως η Επιτροπή είναι πολύ κοντά στην ολοκλήρωση της συζήτησης και τη συμπερίληψη όλων των απόψεων και των προβληματισμών στο νομοσχέδιο. Πρόσθεσε πως σε 15 μέρες αναμένεται να ολοκληρωθεί η συζήτηση και να οδηγηθούν στην Ολομέλεια και το νομοσχέδιο αλλά και οι κανονισμοί που αφορούν τα τουριστικά καταλύματα.

Ταυτόχρονα, όπως είπε, συζητείται και η πρόταση Νόμου για την αντιμετώπιση των ζητημάτων που έχουν να κάνουν με τις ενοικιάσεις υποστατικών για μικρό χρονικό διάστημα για τουριστικούς σκοπούς. Σημείωσε πως και αυτή η πρόταση αναμένεται να ολοκληρωθεί εντός 15 ημερών για να οδηγηθεί στην Ολομέλεια για ψήφιση.

Απαντώντας σε ερώτηση, είπε πως η Πρόταση Νόμου έχει ως σκοπό να δώσει το δικαίωμα σε αυτούς που σήμερα νοικιάζουν τα υποστατικά τους ανεξέλεγκτα, να θεσμοθετήσουν αυτή τους τη δραστηριότητα μέσα από την εγγραφή σε ένα ειδικό μητρώο.

Όπως εξήγησε, υπάρχει μια θέση είναι όπως σε αυτό το μητρώο εγγραφούν αυτόνομες κατοικίες ή διαμερίσματα που έχουν την έγκριση και των υπολοίπων ιδιοκτητών διαμερισμάτων της πολυκατοικίας για να τα ενοικιάζουν. Βεβαίως, συνέχισε, οι ιδιοκτήτες θα φορολογούνται και θα πληρώνουν και ΦΠΑ σύμφωνα με τις πρόνοιες της νομοθεσίας. Πρόσθεσε πως το όλο θέμα είναι υπό συζήτηση και πως εντός 15 ημερών οι εισηγητές της πρότασης θα καταλήξουν στην τελική της μορφή.

Ο στόχος, ανέφερε ο κ. Βότσης, είναι ο καταρτισμός του μητρώου ώστε να γνωρίζουμε ποια είναι αυτά τα υποστατικά και ποιοι είναι οι ιδιοκτήτες ή οι διαχειριστές τους.

Ο Βουλευτής του ΔΗΣΥ Ανδρέας Κυπριανού είπε πως στη συζήτηση υπάρχουν δύο νομοσχέδια για εκσυγχρονισμό της νομοθεσίας στη βάση της νέας τάξης πραγμάτων στον τουριστικό και τον ξενοδοχειακό τομέα και στο πλαίσιο αυτής της συζήτησης έχει κατατεθεί και η πρόταση Νόμου του Αβέρωφ Νεοφύτου και του Βουλευτή της ΕΔΕΚ Ηλία Μυριάνθους για τη θεσμοθέτηση της ενοικίασης μεμονωμένων κατοικιών, επαύλεων και διαμερισμάτων.

Όπως είπε ο κ. Κυπριανού, όταν ψηφιστεί η Πρόταση Νόμου, πρώτον, κάποια νοικοκυριά θα μπορούν να αυξήσουν τα εισοδήματα τους, δεύτερον, θα μπει μια τάξη και αν εισοδήματα των ιδιοκτητών είναι περισσότερα από 15600 ευρώ θα πρέπει να εγγραφούν στο ΦΠΑ, και τρίτον, θα πρέπει να εγγραφούν και να αδειοδοτηθούν και έτσι το κράτος θα έχει εισοδήματα. Επίσης, σύμφωνα με μια νέα τροποποίηση στην Πρόταση επιτρέπει σε κάποιους που ενοικιάζουν υποστατικά για εμπορικούς σκοπούς να τα υπενοικιάζουν.

Ο Βουλευτής του ΑΚΕΛ Κώστας Κώστα σε δηλώσεις του σε σχέση με το νομοσχέδιο και τους κανονισμούς για τα Ξενοδοχεία και τα Τουριστικά καταλύματα, είπε πως ως ΑΚΕΛ είναι έτοιμοι να καταθέσει δεκάδες εισηγήσεις για αλλαγές και πως σοβαρά θέματα όπως οι σχέσεις μεταξύ πελάτη και ξενοδόχων δεν ρυθμίζονται σήμερα. Σημείωσε ως χαρακτηριστικά παραδείγματα των προβλημάτων που υπάρχουν το overbooking, το δικαίωμα χρήσης των πελατών και το τι περιλαμβάνει η κράτηση του καταναλωτή.

Για την πρόταση Νόμου για τα αυτοεξυπηρετούμενα καταλύματα, δηλαδή της ενοικίασης κατοικιών και διαμερισμάτων, είπε πως η προσθήκη διατάξεων στη βασική νομοθεσία και ο καθορισμός πλαισίου αδειοδότησης τεχνικών και λειτουργικών προδιαγραφών και άλλων όρων, θα περιορίσουν την παρανομία. Σημείωσε πως θεωρούν πολύ σημαντική τη δημιουργία μητρώου και πρόσθεσε πως θα αναμένουν να μελετήσουν το τελικό κείμενο της Πρότασης Νόμου για να τοποθετηθούν.

Ο Βουλευτής της ΕΔΕΚ Ηλίας Μυριάνθους και εκ των εισηγητών της Πρότασης για την ενοικίαση των υποστατικών, είπε κατά τη σημερινή συνεδρία, μετά από διαβούλευση, αποφάσισαν να εντάξουν και τα  διαμερίσματα για ρύθμιση, κάτω από κάποιες προϋποθέσεις. Εξήγησε, πως οι προϋποθέσεις αφορούν προβλήματα που ενδεχομένως να παρουσιαστούν μεταξύ των ενοίκων σε μια πολυκατοικία.

Όπως εξήγησε, η παράμετρος που τέθηκε σήμερα για εξασφάλιση άδειας ενοικίασης για τουριστικούς λόγους ενός διαμερίσματος, οι ιδιοκτήτες τους θα πρέπει να εξασφαλίσουν την συγκατάθεση των υπόλοιπων ιδιοκτητών ή ενοικιαστών στις πολυκατοικίες.

Ο κ. Μυριάνθους ανέφερε πως υπάρχουν περίπου 40 χιλιάδες καταλύματα τα οποία τα οποία δεν είναι αδειούχα με βάση τη  νομοθεσία περί τουριστικών καταλυμάτων και του ΚΟΤ. Σημείωσε πως ουσιαστικά η αγορά από μόνη της έχει δείξει το δρόμο και ουσιαστικά με την πρόταση νόμου προτείνεται να αδειοδοτούνται κάτω από πιο χαλαρές διαδικασίες και σε ξεχωριστό μητρώο αυτά τα τουριστικά καταλύματα, επαύλεις και διαμερίσματα.

Επίσης, ο ειδικός αριθμός στο μητρώο θα καταχωρείται και πάνω στη διαφήμιση που έχουν στις διαδικτυακές πλατφόρμες ώστε να γνωρίζει ανά πάσα στιγμή ο καθένας ότι το συγκεκριμένο κατάλυμα έχει άδεια. Παράλληλα, με βάση την πρόταση θα ρυθμίζονται και τα ζητήματα φορολογίας. «Θα επεξεργαστούμε περαιτέρω αυτή την πρόταση και σε 15 μέρες θα γίνει ξανά συζήτηση στην Επιτροπή», είπε.


Egypt supports the right of Cyprus to its EEZ


Egypt supports the right of Cyprus to exploit its natural wealth within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and also supports a solution of the Cyprus problem in the context of UN resolutions, the President of the Egyptian Parliament Ali Abdel Aal has stressed.

The Egyptian House President, head of a parliamentary delegation, met on Monday with Cyprus House President Demetris Syllouris

Speaking after the meeting, the Egyptian President initially thanked Syllouris for the warm welcoming and hospitality and referred to his discussion on issues of common interest between the two countries.

As he pointed out, the Mediterranean Sea connects the two countries which should become a Sea of peace, love and cooperation.
The Egyptian House President pointed out that the bilateral relations between the two countries are at a very high level, and noted that the agreed with the President Syllouris to continue to work for further strengthening further of these relations that benefits the people of Egypt and Cyprus.
"As a House of Representatives of Egypt, we expressed our full support to the right of Cyprus to exploit its resources in its EEZ in the Mediterranean. We reaffirmed Egypt`s full support for the efforts made by Cyprus to restore its unity and we condemned any effort made to interfere in the country’s internal affairs. We support a solution to the Cyprus problem based on UN resolutions,” he stated.
Then, he said that during the meeting they discussed issues of the trilateral cooperation between Egypt, Cyprus and Greece, stressing that this cooperation upgrades the presence of the three countries in the region.

He also thanked Syllouris for the Cyprus firm support towards Egypt`s positions in various international forums, and mainly in the European Parliament. "We have discussed and agreed on the continuation of cooperation between our Parliaments in the international parliamentary forum," he concluded.
Syllouris thanked the Egyptian House President for his statement of support to the position of Cyprus and noted that they stick to their agreement for cooperation and actions that will bring results immediately.
He also referred to three points, upon which he thanked Abdel Aal for the support. Firstly, he thanked him for the determination to work together and to bring about results in the bilateral parliamentary cooperation.
Secondly, he said, the thanked him for his country’s longstanding support to the Cyprus issue and the opposition to Turkey`s intervention in an independent country. Thirdly, he thanked him on the support towards the rights of Cyprus to the island’s EEZ.

Abdel-Aal and the parliamentary delegation also met with the President and the members of the Cyprus-Egypt Group of Friendship at the Cyprus Parliament, Yiorgos Lillikas, Nicos Tornarites, Eleni Stavrou, George Loukaides, Christiana Erotokritou and Angelos Votsis.

During the meeting, the two sides praised the excellent level of bilateral relations between Cyprus and Egypt at all fields and expressed the wish to further deepen those relations.
The President of the Group Yiorgos Lillikas expressed the gratitude of Cyprus towards Egypt for the firm support as regards the Cyprus problem, especially in the framework of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation. He added that on the other hand, Cyprus constitute the ambassador of the Egyptian positions in the EU.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Numerous UN-backed negotiations, aiming at reuniting the island under a federal roof, have failed to yield results.
Cyprus is currently developing natural resources discovered within its EEZ, while several international companies are involved in hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities.


Source: Stockwatch

Hellenic Bank: €35m net profit in first half of 2018

Hellenic Bank posted a €35 million net profit for the first half of 2018, with the bank’s CEO Ioannis Matsis stating that the bank is ready to launch a tender for the sale of a portfolio of non-performing exposures within the next six months.
“The bank will be ready in the next six months to launch a tender for the sale of non-performing exposures,” Matsis said in a press conference for the presentation of the financial results for the six months ended in June 30 2018 without elaborating on a target range.
Describing the results of Bank of Cyprus’ NPEs sale, which attracted interest from many investment funds, as very good, Matsis said he is confident that investment funds will show similar interest for the tender to be launched by Hellenic Bank.
In its financial results, the bank said it achieved an organic NPEs reduction for eleven consecutive quarters, with NPEs declining in the second quarter to €2.11 billion compared with €2.16 billion in end-2017. The NPE to total loans ratio amounted to 51.6%.
“The decrease was mainly driven by the curing of restructured loans, collections, debt to asset swaps and write-offs,” the bank said.
NPE coverage ratio amounted to 62% from 61% in end-2017.
In June 2018 the Bank had completed its first sale of a non-performing loan portfolio amounting to €144 million of predominantly non-retail unsecured exposures to B2Kapital Cyprus Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of B2Holding ASA, a Norwegian corporation listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange.
The Bank’s Common Equity Tier 1 Capital ratio amounted to 13.7% and its Capital Adequacy amounted to 17.4%, the bank said.
The bank also said it approved new loans amounting to €328 million in the first half of 2018 representing an increase of 77% compared with the respective period of last year.
Net loans to deposits in the first half of 2018 stood at 47%, with deposits amounting to €5.9 billion marginally up compared with €5.8 billion in end-2017, while gross loans increased by 1% to €4.08 billion in the end of June 2018.
In July the Bank announced it agreed to acquire the performing operations of the Cyprus Cooperative Bank, a move that would render Hellenic Bank as the island’s second largest lender.
The agreement provides for the transfer of a balance sheet amounting to €10.3 billion, including €9.7 billion in deposits, net loans of €4.6 billion and government bonds of €4.1 billion.
This transaction is expected to accelerate the bank’s strategy to strengthen its operations throughout Cyprus with a broader and diversified customer base leading to a more diversified loan portfolio, Matsis said.
“After the acquisition the bank is the Bank will be become the second largest bank and the leading retail bank on the island,” he added.


Source: Stockwatch

Hellenic Bank shareholders approved capital raise

The shareholders of the Hellenic Bank approved Wednesday an equity capital increase of €150 mn required to complete the acquisition of Co-op bank assets.

Chairman of the Board of Directors Yussef Nasr told the shareholders that the agreement for the acquisition would strengthen the Hellenic Bank in order to be in a position to contribute to the country’s economic growth and stability.

The Bank’s CEO, Ioannis Matsis, identified two risks posed by the acquisition, the first one being the Bank’s exposure to Cyprus government bonds and the second, the integration with the Co-op.

The Hellenic Bank and the Cyprus Cooperative Bank (CCB) reached a business transfer agreement last June, based on which the first would acquire a total balance sheet of €10.3bn of assets. The balance sheet comprises of a portfolio of primarily performing loans (net loans of €4.6bn), Cyprus Government Bonds (€4.1bn), cash (€1.6bn), customer deposits (€9.7bn) and certain other current liabilities and assets. The Hellenic Bank has agreed to pay CCB €74mn in cash.


Source: Stockwatch

The acquisition creates a "healthy, profitable and sustainable bank", Matsis told the press, noting that the Hellenic Bank would be established as “the leading retail and SME bank in Cyprus”.

According to the CEO, the Hellenic Bank would return to profitability in the medium -term.

He said that through the acquisition the Bank’s assets would grow by 10 billion euro or 150%, that is two and a half times its size.

Figures he presented showed that the total assets would rise from 6,7 billion euro to 16,8 billion euro. Total loans and low-risk loans (guaranteed by the state) would increase from 1,95 billion euro to 6,27 billion euro or from 29.1% to 37.2% of total assets. Non-performing loans are expected to drop from 12.1% to 4.8% of the Bank’s total assets.

The Bank is also expected to have a performing loan market share of 22% and a customer deposit market share of 32%.
Its Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio is expected to rise from 12.9% to 14% and its capital adequacy ratio from 16.7% to 17%.

The Bank’s CEO identified two risks posed by the transaction for the Hellenic Bank. He said the first one was its exposure to Cyprus government bonds and loans, accounting for 29% of its total assets. The second risk, he explained, was the integration procedure that would take 15 months to be completed. The Bank has already formed an Integration Committee to ensure the effective oversight and input of the Board of Directors in smoothly implementing the integration plan relating to the acquisition, said Matsis.

In the framework of the agreement, up to 1,100 Co-op employees could be transferred to the Hellenic Bank and around 100 branches would close down, while 125 branches would remain open.

Furthermore, the Bank’s clients are expected to increase from 260,000 to 556,000.

Matsis noted that the terms of the loans that will be transferred from the Co-op to the Hellenic Bank would not change. But added that deposit rates could be adjusted, upon maturity date.

Around 1000 bank employees opt for Co-op voluntary retirement scheme

Around 1000 bank employees have opted to take the voluntary retirement scheme offered by the Cyprus Cooperative Bank, according to trade union estimations, while the deadline ends today at 15.00 local time (12.00 GMT).
The scheme, unveiled earlier in August, aims to reduce staff by 900 as certain parts of Co-op are being absorbed by Hellenic Bank.
PASEY PEO General Secretary Savvas Touloupos told CNA that the target of 900 people was already surpassed last week. The number of those opting to leave the bank is now estimated at around 1000, he added.
The target has been met and the first part of the process has been successfully concluded, Touloupos noted.
He said moreover that trade unions PEO, SEK and PASYDY now focus on the smooth continuation of the process, concerning employees that will continue working either for the lender or Hellenic.
Touloupos said finally that the bank has the final word as regards the number of employees to benefit from the voluntary retirement scheme.


Source: Stockwatch

Investment funds and their assets increase

Τhe number of investment funds increased to 130 in June 2018, compared with 123 in March 2018, a press release issued by the Central Bank of Cyprus has said. The Bank released on Monday the investment funds statistics for the reference month of June 2018.

As it is noted, the investment funds total assets grew by approximately 6% and reached €4.717,5 million in June 2018, compared with €4.446,1 million in March 2018.



Government to announce in September Troodos communities development plan


The government of Cyprus will announce its development plan for the Troodos mountain communities in September, President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has said.

Addressing on Thursday evening the "1st Festival of Friendship and Culture, Christos Lazaris", in Vassa Kilaniou village, the President also announced the government`s intention to make good use of the buildings of the Cooperative Banks to the benefit of the communities, for example by housing cultural centers or community councils. It is noted that state-owned Cyprus Cooperative Bank`s performing operations will be transferred to Hellenic Bank.

"I would like to assure you that the Government`s interest is particularly strong regarding mountain communities, small communities," he said.

In September, he added, "we will be in a position to announce the development plan for the Troodos mountain communities".

He said that through various infrastructure projects, the government wants to underline its interest in the revitalization of  abandoned communities.

Concluding, he made special reference to Chris Lazaris, in the memory of whom the festival took place.


Source: Stockwatch

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