Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

mar­ket switched af­ter BOC shares recorded steep losses in Greece. BOC closed 2.8% lower at CYP 1.79 ahead of re­sults of about CYP 40.5 mln, when shares were trad­ing steady at EUR 3.143.16 or CYP 1.83-1.84 in Greece. The 3.8% plunge on Laiki (CPB) stocks was even more sur­pris­ing af­ter the Popular Bank had an­nounced ex­cep­tion­ally good re­sults, plus a 3c div­i­dend, with the stock end­ing at CYP 1.28 on the CSE. Most other stocks fol­lowed the down­ward trend, de­spite prof­its, with Louis down 0.95% at 20.8c and Hel­lenic Bank re­treat­ing 1.5% to 38c.

Louis Cruise Lines is to re­sume its one­time popular itin­er­ary to the Holy Lands af­ter an ab­sence of four years with four to five cruises planned for the year, while a 3-day cruise will com­bine Egypt and Is­rael. Chair­man Costakis Loizou said that the Group plans to hoist the Greek flag in or­der to launch cruises from Pi­raeus to Con­stantino­ple to avoid the Turk­ish em­bargo on Cyprus-flag ves­sels.

A decade ago crude oil prices had surged to $50 a bar­rel as colder-than-nor­mal weather in the U.S. and Europe boosted de­mand, while spec­u­la­tion that a fall­ing U.S. dollar would boost global fuel con­sump­tion also helped oil rise. The OPEC car­tel was dis­cussing a pos­si­ble out­put cut in March, but Saudi Ara­bia said it would main­tain a sur­plus of 2 mln bpd to meet un­ex­pected world de­mand.

The gov­ern­ment ahs raised CYP 112 mln from the one-off tax amnesty for the dec­la­ra­tion of se­cret amounts un­til the end of De­cem­ber 2002. This means that CYP 2.25 bln of funds or sources of in­come were de­clared on the ini­tial 5% flat rate and 6.5% postamnesty win­dow.

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