total at 1,877,263 from 1,823,547 I the same period last year, an increased of 2.9%. The UK maintained the lion’s share with 59% of arrivals, followed by Germany, Sweden, Greece and Russia.
The trade deficit surged 20.6% year on year to CYP 1.29 bln from 1.06 bln a year ago as total imports were up 16.9% and exports rose a miserable 1.8%.
Cyprus has been placed 38th out of 104 in the World Competitiveness rankings compiled by the World Economic Forum and 19th out of the EU 25, behind new members Estonia, Malta, Slovenia and Lithuania.
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Hellenic Bank’s ratings at Long-term ‘BBB+’ with a ‘stable’ outlook, due to a strong likelihood government support would be forthcoming if necessary, based on its adequate capital base and large stock of sub-standard loans. estimated at USD 1 bln a month.
BOCY expansion: Bank of Cyprus Chairman Solon Triantafyllides said that the bank’s expansion plans are progressing well, including the Metamorphosis facelift of all branches and IT automation. First half profits were at CYP 13.1 mln, up 12.3% from the year-earlier period. Other plans include expanding factoring operations to Greece, the listing of shares on the Athens Stock Exchange, the smooth takeover of Karmazi Properties and Investment and issuing bonds worth CYP 10-15 mln to boost its capital needs.
Beverages giant KEO reported a 65% drop in profits for the full 1993, down from CYP 2.4 mln to 846,000 as both local and export sales had dropped, despite the takeover of Laona-Arsos winery, while beer and wine sales were down 10% due to a drop in tourist arrivals.