ANCIIAL MII ROR THII

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

EasyGroup en­tre­pre­neur Ste­lios Haji-Ioan­nou was about to take on the board of Stel­mar in a mul­ti­mil­lion takeover deal, while the 1% rate hike in Cyprus failed to at­tract new CYP de­posits, the Fi­nan­cial Mir­ror re­ported in is­sue 587, on Septem­ber 22, 2004.

Ste­lios is tak­ing on the NYSE-listed Stel­mar board after the US$677 mln agreed sale of the Greek oil trans­porter to pri­vate eq­uity group Fortress. The Hadji-Ioan­nou fam­ily, that owns 27% of Stel­mar, said it had re­jected the pro­posed cash of­fer.

Rate hike bub­ble: The 1% rate hike or­ches­trated by the Cen­tral Bank at the end of April failed to gen­er­ate a sub­stan­tial in­crease in CYP de­posits, in sharp con­trast to a mas­sive rise in for­eign cur­rency de­posits that ac­count for the bulk of de­posits in­crease from CYP 8.41 bln to 8.57 bln.

Nearly a third of 30.9% of the gov­ern­ment’s to­tal spend­ing for 2005 hjas been ear­marked to cover civil ser­vants’ pay­roll costs, which will cost CYP 1.09 bln out of a to­tal spend­ing of CYP

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