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closing the next on Hellenic Bank, judging from the direct and indirect stake it has accumulated, or promised. It already has acquired a 1.4% stake and is raising its holding in Interfund to 28% of the fund’s shares and warrants, through which it has access to Interfund’s 2.4% stake in the third biggest lender.
The United Nations plans to establish a command centre in Cyprus for its peace keepers serving in Lebanon, according to Foreign Minister George Lillykas, who had visited Beirut to view the damage caused by the recent Israeli bombings. The news prompted hoteliers and tour companies to suggest that Cyprus adds ‘peace tourism’ to its range of holiday services offered, as
even American and allied troops were also stopping in Cyprus for a rest before returning home from duty in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Hellenic Bank beat analyst expectations and delivered a strong set of first half profits amounting to CYP 15.3 mln, compared to CYP 794,000 a year earlier. The boost came from derivative positions taken on Cyprus pound and euro rate convergence, which ore non-recurring. The bank revised its return on equity target from 11% to 13%, while the cost to income ratio was lowered from 69% to 65%. However, Hellenic was still bleeding in Greece with losses at CYP 836,000, an improvement from the year-earlier losses of CYP 3.9 mln.
Trade deficit up:
The trade deficit in the first nine months of the year rose to CYP 712.6 mln from 663.1 mln, driven by a rise in imports, while exports saw a marginal increase.
The other Clinton:
Charalambides Hypermarket is expected to open its flagship store in Engomi later this month, that cost CYP 4 mln to build.
And in the US presidential election, incumbent Bill Clinton was re-elected having defeated Republican challenger Bob Dole, with the second Democratic term expected be dominated by Medicare and social security, despite a standoff brewing with Republican dominated Congress over the US budget.