A NCIIAL MII ROR THIISS WEEK

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

World stock and the dol­lar gained on op­ti­mism that the US elec­tions would pro­duce a clear win­ner be­tween in­cum­bent George Bush ju­nior and Se­na­tor John Kerry, while in Cyprus, the earn­ings sea­son was about to kick off with Bank of Cyprus an­nounc­ing its 3Q re­sults, the Fi­nan­cial Mir­ror re­ported in is­sue 593, on Novem­ber 3, 2004.

Nearly 125 mln Americans were ex­pected to go to the polls to choose be­tween Pres­i­dent George W. Bush and the Democrats’ John Kerry, an out­come that would set the coun­try’s course on the war in Iraq, the fight against ter­ror­ism, the econ­omy and for­eign re­la­tions. The long­est and

The Com­mer­cial Bank of Greece (Em­po­riki) launched its Cyprus op­er­a­tions with two branches, the Cyprus Fi­nan­cial Mir­ror re­ported in is­sue 84, on Novem­ber 9, 1994, while ten­der changes for a de­sali­na­tion plant may have been bi­ased and will cost tax­pay­ers more.

Com­mer­cial Bank of Greece launched its Cyprus sub­sidiary op­er­a­tions with Group Chair­man Panayi­o­tis Poulis say­ing it is the only Greek bank on the is­land with its on­line sys­tem con­nect­ing costli­est pres­i­den­tial race lurched to a cli­max with the S&P 500 gain­ing 0.8% and the DJIA up 0.6% in a day, just as the Dol­lar edged higher against the euro, with the out­come ex­pected to be clearer than the cliffhanger in 2000.

Bank of Cyprus will kick off the third quar­ter re­port­ing pe­riod when it re­leases re­sults next week, widely ex­pected to be bet­ter than the dis­mal 9-month fig­ures in 2003 when it re­ported prof­its of only CYP 9.79 mln. An­a­lysts will be look­ing to see if the bank will sus­tain a ris­ing rate in prof­its that were up 90% year-on-year in the first half, up at CYP 16.22 mln, but with lit­tle hope of a div­i­dend.

The IMF (re­mem­ber them?) has tar­geted almost all of the ‘sa­cred cows’ of Cyprus, call­ing for all kinds of poli­cies which have be­fore been po­lit­i­cal no-go ar­eas, in­clud­ing the tax­a­tion of the Church and the Co­op­er­a­tive as­sets, the re­vamp of Cyprus branches with the Greek net­work. It was also launch­ing an off­shore OBU unit and is co­op­er­at­ing with the Cyprus De­vel­op­ment Bank to es­tab­lish the In­vest­ment Bank of Kuban.

Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials seem to have dis­qual­i­fied the best of­fer to build an eco­nom­i­cal and prof­itable wa­ter de­sali­na­tion plant in Dheke­lia by chang­ing the terms of the ini­tial ten­der that favour a more ex­pen­sive tech­nol­ogy. (Ed’s note: so, what else is new?).

Christodou­los Christodoulou, pre­vi­ously Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, has been sworn in as the new Fi­nance Min­is­ter after the un­ex­pected res­ig­na­tion of Phae­dros Econo­mides. Christodoulou, 55, as­sured Pres­i­dent Clerides he would make ev­ery ef­fort to per­form his wage in­dex­a­tion and the cor­po­rati­sa­tion and even­tual pri­vati­sa­tion of Cyta and the EAC. The IMF mis­sion’s pre­lim­i­nary con­clu­sions added that given Cyprus’ poor record on meet­ing bud­get tar­gets, the cred­i­bil­ity of the Cypriot au­thor­i­ties was on the line. If ‘fis­cal slip­pages’ (miss­ing bud­get tar­gets) per­sists, they could “place the ob­jec­tive of early euro adop­tion in jeop­ardy,” the mis­sion said. (Ed’s note: Strange how no­body ever learns in this coun­try…)

The Euro­pean Cen­tral bank has called for an over­haul of COLA, the in­fla­tion-linked wage sys­tem be­moaned by all em­ploy­ers, in a re­port that also shows that wages in Cyprus have out­paced pro­duc­tiv­ity since way back in 1996, thus call­ing into ques­tion union de­mands for pay hikes.

The econ­omy will ex­pand at a slower pace in 2005, at 4% ac­cord­ing to the EC Au­tumn Fore­cast, com­pared to 4.3% pre­dicted by the gov­ern­ment, with fi­nal growth for 2004 seen at 3.5%, com­pared to state forecasts of “almost 4%”. du­ties and carry out gov­ern­ment pol­icy for fur­ther eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and the im­prove­ment of stan­dards of liv­ing… (LOL!)

The star at­trac­tion at the Emi­rates Air­lines gala din­ner to cel­e­brate the in­au­gu­ra­tion of of air ser­vices be­tween Dubai and Lar­naca was none other than heart-throb Demis Rous­sos, with VIP guest in­clud­ing the air­line’s driv­ing force, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Mak­toum. The en­ter­tainer told his fan crowd that he was on a see-food diet, he would “eat all the food he could see”.

Cyta chair­man Micha­lakis Zi­va­naris said the Au­thor­ity needs more au­ton­omy to re­spond to rapid in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ments and not pri­vati­sa­tion, by call­ing for changes in its le­gal frame­work. (Ed’s note: Keep walk­ing…)

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