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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.