THEE FFII N A N CII ALL MII R O R T HIISS WEEEE K
The euro rose to a record high against the dollar after Russia’s central bank said it might increase the amount of euros in its reserves in an attempt to reduce reliance on the dollar. The Cyprus pound also tracked the euro higher and
The Euro hit a new record high, with the CYP already tracking the common currency and Russia saying it will add more euro reserves, just as the local parties backed the plan for ERM entry, while Hellenic Bank announced disappointing 9-month results, the Financial Mirror reported in issue 596, on November 24, 2004. assuming the $1.310 rate holds, is expected to trade at a fresh year high of $2.266, as the CYP-EUR remained unchanged at 1.730.
Cyprus’ chances of applying to join the European Exchange Mechanism (ERM II), paving the way for euro-zone entry by 2007, gained broad support from the political parties and social partners to push ahead with a package of fiscal restraints an put state finances in order. The government has introduced a tax amnesty and speedy passage of property deed transfer packages, which are aimed at reducing the 2004 deficit. But the emphasis remains on making this sustainable with civil servants and employees at semi-government organisations offered a two-year wage freeze with 2% wage hikes in the third year on the promise that it will not proceed with new hirings. (Ed: Yeah, sure!)
Hellenic Bank failed to keep up with the profit growth of its two peers following the release of greatly disappointing nine-month results which saw the declared profits in the P&L account wiped out by major revaluation on investment losses in the Reserve account. Net profits advanced by 66% to CYP 4.02 mln, far short of the 214% growth at Bank of Cyprus to CYP 30.7 mln and 100% at Laiki to CYP 16 mln. The result justify the 34% decline in share price to 37c since the beginning of the year, in contrast to BOC and CPB that were up 15% and 3%, respectively, bucking the 10.6% overall decline of the CSE All Share index.
Finance Minister Makis Keravnos said that foreign direct investments in 1997-2004 reached EUR 360 mln after all restrictions for foreign ownership were lifted in 2000.
Home prices are up 9.7% from January to October, up 0.8% from the previous month, according of the BuySell Index. The average home price in October was CYP 85,474 (EUR 146,040).