Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Greece. BOC shares closed at a record high of EUR 3.12/CYP 1.82 on Sopho­cleous, in­di­cat­ing that the 1.5% rally on the CSE has more room on the up­side. The bulk of the re­newed buy­ing in­ter­est is due to in­tense ac­tiv­ity by in­ter­na­tional fund man­agers who had taken up 3.2 mln shares in the past three weeks alone. Th­ese in­cluded the Blak­eney Fund, Bear Sterns, Priv­i­lege Port­fo­lio Growth Fund, Julius Bear, He­viBen, Oftin Al­pha of Uni­ver­sity of Texas and Al­pha Trust. UBS and Mor­gan Stan­ley main­tained their po­si­tions.

In­sur­ance in­vest­ment funds beat the per­for­mance of the eq­uity mar­ket in 2004, gain­ing on av­er­age 6.4% in value com­pared to 2003, ac­cord­ing to in­sur­ance and risk man­age­ment con­sul­tancy In­su­plus. The gains are con­sid­ered very sat­is­fac­tory in view of the 9.97% decline in the stock mar­ket in 2004 and her­alds a turn­around in the sec­tor which was bat­tered by the steep decline in eq­uity prices since the peak in 1999.

A Turk­ish Cypriot fam­ily in the north has filed an ap­peal with the Supreme Court by mak­ing use of its con­sti­tu­tional right to be heard in Turk­ish. An­tenna TV re­ported that the plain­tiffs would have to tes­tify through a trans­la­tor and may even de­mand the right to be heard by a Turk­ish Cypriot judge, or at least a mixed panel of judges, as was the norm in the ear­lier years of the Repub­lic of Cyprus. The case is chal­leng­ing the forced ap­pro­pri­a­tion of the fam­ily land in Polemid­hia, presently worth an es­ti­mated CYP 1,598,000.

Av­er­age house prices across Cyprus fell for a third straight month in Jan­uary, ac­cord­ing to the BuySell Home Price In­dex and are un­likely to con­tinue to fall in 2005, ac­cord­ing to an­a­lyst Dr Ste­lios Platis. The Jan­uary in­dex fell 0.4% over the pre­vi­ous month but was up 6.8% year-on-year, bring­ing the av­er­age to CYP 83,226.

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