A NCIIAL MII ROR THIISS WEEK
The telecom wars has never been boring, with Cyta challenging rival mobile operator Areeba over its contract and pay monthly packages, while the Cabinet approved a ‘stable’ budget that would see the 2005 deficit at the same level as in 2004, the Financial Mirror reported in issue 586, on September 15, 2004.
Cyta said it was ready to match Areeba’s mobile phone promotional packages, as soon as the Telecom Regulator gives the green light. The first area where the two telcos were expected to clash was the monthly fixed contracts, with Areeba offering
Just as Cyprus was trying to break into the CIS markets, the Central Bank of Cyprus succumbed to pressure from its counterparts in Moscow and banned advertising by Cyprus companies in Russia, the Cyprus Financial Mirror reported in its issue 77, on September 21, 1994, while in other news, the business chamber KEVE was calling for more liberalisation to boost the economy.
The Central Bank has clamped down “aggressive” advertising tactics of Cypriot packages from CYP 4 to 29, while including subsidised prices on phone devices.
The Council of Ministers approved a ‘stabilising’ budget for 2005, with Finance Minister Makis Keravnos saying that the emphasis was on development projects, while maintaining the social welfare. The budget forecasts total revenues marginally lower at CYP 2.72 bln, while spending is mildly up at CYP 3.55 bln, creating a deficit of CYP 827 mln or 5.8% of GDP. While efforts were underway to reduce the deficit to 2.9% of GDP, Keravnos said no new posts will be created.
Real GDP growth accelerated again in the second quarter, reaching 4.1% year on year in April-June after 3.6% in the first quarter. This is the fastest pace of growth since the fourth quarter of 2001 and a shade above the seven year average of 0.8%, professional forms in Russia and has effectively placed a ban on direct advertisements in the Russian media. Cypriot accountants and audit firms hav been told to keep a low profile and restrain themselves from advertising in Russia promoting Cyprus as on offshore base. Russian authorities recently warned House President Alexis Ghalanos that they were unhappy with the fact that a large number of of offshore companies were being established and that many were exporting funds out of Russia.
The Chamber of Commerce called for measures to be intensified to encourage an eventual admission to the European Union and liberalisation of the economy. KEVE President Phanos Epiphaniou called for a joint body to be set up to help coordinate driven by construction, wholesale and retail trade, real estate, tourism, financial services and manufacturing.
The tax amnesty period officially began on September 6 with the first stage expected to continue until December 4, for the contributions of 5% on undeclared income and profits earned up to the end of 2002. The second stage will run until the end of the year and will carry a 6.5% levy. The aim is to raise some CYP 50 mln.
House prices in August rose 2.9% according to the BuySell Home Price Index, developed by Stelis Platis. The index was up 8.6% until the end of June with an annualised gain of 17%.
Cyprus Airways said it is to cut flights to Warsaw, Budapest and Birmingham in a drive to cut costs, while flights to Jeddah and Riyadh are under review. The airline had reported net first half losses of CYP 25 mln harmonisation efforts.
The draft rules on the operation of the official stock market by the new CSE Council have been delayed by a month, said its president Dinos Papadopoulos.
The reason was that some organizations had not yet responded with their comments on the future impact of the draft rules on the smooth operation of the stock exchange. He added that there was a time limit that the CSE could wait and expected responses by a few days or a week at most.
Total exports surged 23.4% to CYP 153.1 mln in the first four months of the year, but the merchandise trade deficit continued to expand and rose by 5.1% to CYP 331.7 mln. The EU remained the main trading partner representing 51% of total imports and 54% of exports.