Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

close to the CYP 105 mln in M&A deals in 2002, but far be­hind the CYP 439 mln in 2000. A record 42 deals were an­nounced in 2004, mostly in the last quar­ter of the year and 82% of the value in cash. The big­gest deals of the year were CYP 25 mln by NETI for 55% of Ava­com Com­puter, CYP 17 mln by Louis Pub­lic for 88% of Louis Ho­tels and FW Wool­worth in­vest­ing CYP 14 mln in ITTL and 5.6 mln in Lakkos Real Es­tate. CLR In­vest­ment con­cluded its takeover of Laiki CLV Ven­tures at CYP 5.1 mln.

Trade unions at the ‘quango’ semi-gov­ern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions were about to strike fol­low­ing the dead­lock in talks over the re­newal of labour col­lec­tive agree­ments after the gov­ern­ment of­fered zero wage hikes for two years and 2% in the third year, later im­prov­ing the of­fer from 2% to 3%.

The Nicosia Mu­nic­i­pal­ity has se­cured a euro-loan worth CYP 6 mln from the Ger­man-based DePfa In­vest­ment Bank on highly favourable terms of 0.85% in­ter­est, re­payable over 10 years, to fund run­ning costs and the re­build­ing of the Mu­nic­i­pal The­atre. Sign­ing the deal were Mayor Michael Zam­pelas and DePfa’s Erol Riza.

Bond yields dropped sharply in the mul­ti­ple bond auc­tions with a record CYP 270 mln bids for 180 mln on of­fer. Most ac­tiv­ity was on the 100-year bonds where yields plunged to 6.17% from 6.26%.

The gov­ern­ment decision to pass on a 0.33c a litre tax for all fu­els onto con­sumers caused an out­rage, with pump prices ex­pected to rise by 2-3c a litre to 43.9c for diesel and 95-ctane petrol to 44c.

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