A NCIIAL MII ROR THIISS WEEK

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

com­pa­nies, as well as re­ports from banks, lawyers and au­dit firms, which are now mak­ing much more money from for­eign clients than from lo­cal business. The In­land Rev­enue said that in the 11-month pe­riod, rev­enue from off­shore com­pa­nies surged by 13.6% year-on-year to CYP 58.6 mln, far out­strip­ping the 10% in­crease in cor­po­ra­tion tax from lo­cal com­pa­nies and the 6% in­crease from all sec­tors.

Cen­tral Bank Gov­er­nor Christodou­los Christodoulou has granted a Christ­mas wish to the Bankers As­so­ci­a­tion post­pon­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of strict cri­te­ria on the sus­pen­sion of in­ter­est on prob­lem­atic loans by a year. Thus, tough rules on loans over­due for more than three months will come into ef­fect in Jan­uary 2006 in­stead of the orig­i­nal date of Jan­uary 2005. Banks were sup­posed to sus­pend in­ter­est in­come on prob­lem loans over­due for more than three months and set aside pro­vi­sions for such loans from Jan­uary 2005.

Real GDP growth will reach 3.$ for the whole of 2004, based on re­vised forecasts from third-quar­ter data, low­er­ing the re­cent gov­ern­ment fore­cast of 3.6% growth.

The first es­ti­mates of agri­cul­tural in­come for 2004 show a year-on-year in­crease of 3.3% in the Euro­pean Union, mainly due to the ad­di­tion of nerw mem­ber states that pushed farm­ing in­come up by 54%, but not so in Cyprus which saw a 1.4% de­cline, the only coun­try to do so. The Cyprus real agri­cul­tural in­come per worker in 2004 is seen at 97.3% of the EU 25 av­er­age.

Leader of the five trade unions ac­cepted a sec­ond re­vised pro­posal by Labour Min­is­ter Chris­tos Tali­adoros, sav­ing about CYP 22 mln in pay con­ces­sions, with pi­lots earn­ing up to CYP 30,000 agree­ing to a 5% cut, and those above the thresh­old an 8% cut.

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