Production in construction increases

Production in the construction sector in Cyprus increased by 7.5% during the 3rd quarter of 2018 compared to the second quarter and by 24.4% compared to the 3rd quarter of 2017, according to first estimates released today by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

In November 2018 compared with October 2018, seasonally adjusted production in the construction sector decreased by 0.1% in the euro area (EA19), while it increased by 0.2% in the EU28.

In October 2018, production in construction fell by 1.6% in the euro area and by 1.1% in the EU28. In November 2018 compared with November 2017, production in construction increased by 0.9% in the euro area and by 1.8% in the EU28.

In the euro area in November 2018, compared with October 2018, civil engineering fell by 0.2%, while building
construction rose by 0.1%. In the EU28, building construction rose by 0.5%, while civil engineering fell by 0.8%.

Among Member States for which data are available, the highest decreases in production in construction were recorded in Czechia (-3.6%), Germany (-1.7%) and Portugal (-1.5%). The largest increases were observed in Hungary and Slovenia (both +4.4%) and France (+1.5%).

In the euro area in November 2018, compared with November 2017, civil engineering rose by 2.1% and building
construction by 0.7%. In the EU28, civil engineering rose by 4.8% and building construction by 0.9%.

Among Member States for which data are available, the highest increases in production in construction were recorded in Hungary (+27.3%), Slovenia (+18.9%) and Poland (+16.0%) and the largest decreases in Romania (-4.8%), Sweden (-2.6%) and Germany (-1.9%).

 

Source: Stockwatch

Production in construction increases in 2018

Production in Construction for the third quarter of 2018 increased significantly, over the third quarter of 2017.

According to data released by the Statistical Service of Cyprus, the Index of Production in Construction for the third quarter of 2018 reached 177.1 units (base year 2015=100,0), recording an increase of 24.3% over the third quarter of 2017.

By type of project, an increase of 30% was observed for buildings and of 2.2% for civil engineering projects in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the corresponding quarter of 2017.

The Output Prices Index in Construction for the third quarter of 2018 reached 106.0 units (base year 2015=100.0), recording an increase of 1.5% over the second quarter of 2018. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the index recorded an increase of 4.4%.

By type of project, an increase of 2.8% was observed for buildings and of 10.1% for civil engineering projects in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the corresponding quarter of 2017.

 

Source: Stockwatch

Google Reportedly Blacklists ‘Ethereum’ as a Google Ad Keyword, Startup Claims

Google Reportedly Blacklists ‘Ethereum’ as a Google Ad Keyword, Startup Claims

Google (Alphabet Inc.) has reportedly blacklisted keywords mentioning Ethereum (ETH) on its advertising platform Google Ads, smart contract auditing startup Decenter tweeted on Jan. 10.

The official Google Ads account replied to the tweet stating that cryptocurrency exchanges targeting the United States and Japan can be advertised on the platform, and that targeting other countries could be the reason for the ad rejection.

When Decenter explained that they are a group of developers doing smart contract security audits and that they were seeing the error message when trying to use the “ethereum development services” and “ethereum security audits” keywords, Google Ads’ official account answered:

“Although we wouldn't be able to preemptively confirm if your keyword is eligible to trigger ads, we'd recommend that you refer to the 'Cryptocurrencies' section of our policy on Financial products and services.”

When Decenter asked the Ethereum community on Reddit in an open query about the alleged Google Ads policy changes, the team specified that:

“Any of the keywords that contain "ethereum" in our campaigns are no longer showing ads as of January 9th and are now reporting the following error.”

Screenshot of the error encountered by Decenter

Screenshot of the error encountered by Decenter. Source: Decenter’s Jan. 10 Tweet

Decenter’s Reddit post further explained that they have tested keywords for “ethereum smart contract audits" and "eos smart contract audits” and found that only the EOS-referenced keyword showed ads.

The top comment on the Reddit post criticizes Google’s position as a neutral third party, stating:

“Google has various political and economic agendas, and they are quite willing to use their various services to promote their preferences. AdSense and Youtube are notorious for this, but there have been some incidents regarding the play store as well.”

As Cointelegraph reported in March last year, Google banned all cryptocurrency-related advertising of all types in June 2018, according to a recent update to their Financial Services policy.

However, Google announced in September 2018 that it would change its ad policy in October, reallowing some crypto businesses to advertise on its platform. Namely, the changes allow cryptocurrency exchanges ads in the United States and Japan.

Recently, Cointelegraph reported that the Bitcoin (BTC) wallet provider Samourai Wallet needed to disable some of its security features in order to be able to continue to distribute its software on Google’s Play store.

Source: Cointelegraph

Cyprus ranked third on Family Beach Index

A new ‘Family Beach Index’ ranks Cyprus third on a list of 50 family beach destinations in eight European countries.

Researchers looked at air and sea temperatures, family friendly attractions, flight duration from the UK and average cost for a family of four to compile the rankings.

The island of Crete came first, with the highest number of water and amusement parks, 10, and enjoys an average temperature of 24C from May to October.

 

Number two is the Costa Blanca. Though Cyprus has more water parks than the Spanish resort, nine compared with 7, it has the disadvantage of being further away from the UK.

The beach resort of Costa Blanca is ranked 16.8 on the flight score, and the Costa Brava and Costa Dorada, which are number four and five on the list, have the shortest flight duration to the UK with a score of 17.4, while Cyprus has a ranking of just 14.2.

Cyprus scores high on average sea and air temperatures in the summer, 24.5C and 23.5C respectively.

As travel firm On the Beach, which compiled the index, put it: “With flights coming in at around 4 hours and 50 minutes Cyprus is just that little bit further away, but with beautiful beaches, fabulous attractions and plenty of sun, it’s so worth it.”

The rest of the top ten is made up of Majorca (sixth), Malta (seventh), Corfu (eighth), Sardinia (ninth) and the Costa De La Luz in Spain (10th).

Source: CyprusMail

Exploratory drilling in «Delphyne-1» concludes

Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry on Wednesday announced that the exploratory drilling at «Delphyne-1» target in block 10 of Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone on behalf of the ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum, is concluded.

Stena Icemax drilliship has already moved to target «Glaucus-1» where drilling is underway.

The Ministry says in a press release that further announcements will be made when the second drilling will be concluded.

The exploratory deep-water drilling at «Delphyne-1» began on November 16.

Source: Stockwatch

‘Empty houses could help the homeless’

Existing housing that is currently empty could be put to use to offer some relief for the homeless, Volunteerism and NGO Commissioner Yiannis Yiannaki said on Tuesday.

Yiannaki told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that in a letter to Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides, he proposed that “we make use of existing housing potential for those who need aid, such as in refugee neighbourhoods, where there may be apartments or houses that are not being used.”

There are also Turkish Cypriot houses, Yiannaki said, “which could be given to vulnerable groups.”

Yiannaki called on the relevant services to evaluate both the problems burdening the vulnerable groups of Cyprus, as well as the current situation in terms of the use of existing housing structures.

“After such an effort, if we see that there are still deficiencies and the construction of additional housing is required – various such proposals have been made – the state will have to take on the task of construction, either this consists of modular homes or something more permanent.”

Source: CyprusMail

Economic climate improved in December 2018

The economic climate improved in December 2018 by 3.4 points, assisted by the improvement of the business climate in services and manufacturing industry.

The Economic Sentiment Indicator, composed by the Economics Research Centre of the University of Cyprus, stood during the last month of 2018 at 118.6 points, compared to 115.2 points in November 2018. The Index reached a record high on January 2018 with 119.8 points.

According to the Economics Research Centre, the Index reached on average 115.4 points throughout 2018, compared to 114.8 in 2017.

The reason for this rise is, according to the Centre, the significant improvement of business trust in constructions, in comparison to 2017.

The Centre also notes that high levels of economic trust achieved in Cyprus are expected to act favorably for economic activity in the following quarters.

The Centre also says that the rise of the Index is mostly attributed to the improvement of the business climate in services and industry, while the climate’s marginal improvement in constructions and among consumers had no significant impact.

The rise of the business climate in services is related to more positive reviews of the current economic situation and better turnover for businesses in the last quarter. Moreover, it has to do with enhanced expectations for an increased turnover in the next quarter.

The upgraded climate in the manufacturing industry is due to improved evaluations about current stock and more positive estimates for the future production, it is added.

The climate in construction improved only marginally, due to less negative reviews of ongoing projects. The climate deteriorated in retail, due to less favorable reviews of the current situation (sales, stock) and more composed estimates about sales in the next quarter.

Consumers reviewed their expectations slightly upwards regarding the future economic situation of their households and of Cyprus in general, contributing thus to a marginal improvement of consumer sentiment.

 

Source: Stockwatch

Property demand and prices

 

Investing in real estate in Cyprus is worthwhile for foreign and local investors for all types of property. The reduction in the prices due to the economic crisis, the decrease of deposit and loan interest rates, the interest of foreigners in obtaining Cyprus citizenship and residency, the increase in tourism, government incentives and the exchange of properties for the repayment of debts constitute some of the main factors which have gradually created and increased property demand. At the same time, other sectors have benefitted, such as services, construction and trade, while job openings have been created, unemployment reduced and money brought to the market. There is also an increase in the demand for housing, which increases rents. Investment funds and asset management companies are present, they purchase from the banks mortgaged properties relating to non-performing loans. This growth in real estate demand causes increase in property prices.

Last year was one of the best in recent years regarding property sales and investments, focusing on the tourist industry, selected investments for the acquisition of a Cyprus passport, the sale of used houses and apartments in urban and nearby areas. There was also interest in the purchase of properties in primary locations for large investments and in plots. The question whether the new year will be better in view of the expected increase in demand and the variety of properties for sale, including agricultural and mortgaged properties, is connected with the factors above which remain strong and will keep the demand at a high level, pushing prices upwards. The development encourages depositors to invest part of their money in real estate since their deposits are not paying any interest. Moreover, the possibility to secure low-interest loans attracts more purchasers to invest in real estate.

The change of attitude by investing prudently in real estate through own funds rather than through loans creates a healthy and controlled property market adding value to properties and avoiding the financial bubble of the past. Everyone who is interested in investing in real estate is aware that the market is safe and that the problems of the past with the absence of title deeds or the long delay in their issue have been significantly dealt with. The relevant legislative reforms assisted in the issue of separate title deeds for a large number of properties and in overcoming the obstacles in the resale of properties without a title deed, giving the purchasers the opportunity to liquidate their investment without being dependant on the lack or the difficulties in the issue of title deeds. However, a potential purchaser before proceeding with the purchase of an immovable property should establish its legal and physical status, any obligations or encumbrances burdening it and the tax obligations of the vendor and of the property.

The strengthening of the real estate market is also connected with the execution of major development projects in various areas, such as the marinas, shopping malls, mixed developments, multi-storey buildings, the use of new technologies and design innovations, which promote the development of Cyprus, attract new investors and increase the competitiveness of the country. The success of the recovery of the real estate and the boost of its credibility require professionalism and attention by both the private and public sector to avoid mistakes of the past. The objective should be long-term development and the real estate sector constitutes one of its pillars together with low tax rates, the high quality of services and the quality of life that Cyprus offers.

Source: CyprusMail

Roads closed, as bad weather persists

Several roads remained closed in Paphos due to bad weather, as more rain and snow was on the forecast for Saturday.

Police said several roads in the Paphos district remained closed and others in the mountain regions were slippery due to frost.

In Paphos, the roads from Kelokedara to Nata and Galataria to Salamiou were closed due to river overflow.

The Tzielefos bridge continued to be closed, police said.

Mud and rockslides were also recorded at several locations on the Nata to Episkopi and Pentalia to Moni Panayias tou Sindi roads, police said.

The roads from Pedoulas to Prodromos, Pedoulas – Pinewood – Kakopetria, and Kakopetria to Karvounas were slippery.

Frost has also formed on the roads linking Amiantos and Karvounas, and Troodos to Hionistra. The Agros area was covered in fog.

The Met service has forecasted local showers and possibly isolated storms for Saturday, mainly in the west.

Snow or sleet is expected on the mountains with frost in certain areas and temperatures at 4C.

The temperature inland will reach 16C and 17C on the coasts.

On Saturday evening, temperatures are expected to drop to 5C inland, 8C on the coast, and minus one in the higher regions.

There will be some improvement on Sunday afternoon following some local rain and snow or sleet on the mountains.

Source: CyprusMail

Electricity prices to drop by 1.1% in January

Electricity prices will drop by 1.1% in January and will remain low for the next months, Cyprus Electricity Authority spokeswoman Christina Papadopoulou said.

According to Papadopoulou, the drop is caused by a decrease in global oil prices.

“Since October 9, when global mazut prices started falling, the Cyprus Electricity Authority has proceeded into buying cheaper fuel,” Papadopoulou said.

Although belated, the drop in oil prices will start being reflected in the authority’s electricity bills, she added.

Source: InCyprus

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