Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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