Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

and ap­pre­ci­ated 0.8% com­pared with its pre-en­try rate. This has raised hopes that in­ter­est rates will be cut when the Mon­e­tary Pol­icy Com­mit­tee meets on May 20, with the of­fi­cial rate 225 ba­sis points above the equiv­a­lent in the eu­ro­zone (ECB mar­ginal lend­ing: 3%; de­posit: 1%).

The com­bined as­sets of the 25 in­vest­ment com­pa­nies listed on the CSE rose 7.5% in the first quar­ter to CYP 223.5 mln, but still short of the 230 mln at the end of March last year. The re­turn matched the CSE per­for­mance with their com­bined NAV up 17.45% com­pared with the CSE GENX rise of 17.06%.



Fran­chise wars:

Af­ter a rel­a­tive lull, the fran­chise wars have heated up again, with PHC clinch­ing the sec­ond KFC li­cense, Syme­onides’ Costa Cof­fee tak­ing on Marinopou­los-op­er­ated Star­bucks and Marks & Spencer start­ing a Home unit to take on IKEA open­ing in late-July, Greece’s Hon­dos is pulling out and Lidl is ex­pected to make its first in­roads.

Pres­i­dent Tas­sos Papadopoulos has warned against rais­ing hopes too soon for the re­sump­tion of a new round of talks to solve the Cyprus prob­lem.



Hous­ing up:

Home prices con­tin­ued to rise for a sec­ond month in April, up 0.6% from March, to a year-to-date in­crease of 2.5% ac­cord­ing to the BuySell in­dex. The av­er­age home price is CYP 85,317. Mean­while, Cyprus Ce­ment Co. said it is ex­pected to raise prices 8-9.5%.

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