CNA News – CNA – Antonios Gkildakis – CYPRUS/Nicosia 23/12/2017 14:27

Astrobank to take over USB Bank

Astrobank is very close to take over USB Bank, in a move that would contribute to the consolidation of the Cyprus’ fragmented banking system, according to sources speaking to Cyprus News Agency (CNA). The take-over will be concluded whilst it receives the green light by the Central Bank of Cyprus. Asked by CNA for a comment, George Appios, Astrobank’s executive director, refrained from confirming or denying the information, he said however that among the bank’s top priorities is to grow its balance sheet, also through acquisitions.

Presidents of Cyprus and Egypt hold telephone conversation

President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades held on Friday a telephone conversation with President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides wrote in his account on twitter that they discussed about regional developments, Cyprus and Egypt. CNA also learns that the conversation took place ahead of President Anastasiades visit to Saudi Arabia, at the beginning of January.

Cyprus and Egypt carry out joint search and rescue exercise

A joint Search and Rescue (SAR) Daylight Exercise, titled CYPEGP – 02/17 was conducted on Friday, in the southern coast of Cyprus, with the participation of SAR Units and Personnel from the Republic of Cyprus and Arab Republic of Egypt. Egypt’s T/S SHALATIN and the SAR Helicopter of the Republic of Cyprus took part in the aeronautical SAR Exercise, under the operational control and full coordination of the JRCC Larnaca.

Cyprus condemns missile attack against Saudi Arabia

Cyprus unequivocally condemns the missile attack launched from Yemen aimed at the Saudi capital Riyadh earlier this week. According to an announcement, Nicosia expresses its full support to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against those who threaten its security and whose acts of aggression also constitute a threat to regional peace and security.

May praises efforts of British troops in Cyprus

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has praised the efforts made by British troops in the battle against Daesh and in trying to maintain stability in the wider region of the Middle East. May paid on Friday a brief visit to the British Base in Akrotiri, on Cyprus’ southern coast.

Browder’s case to continue on January 22

The Browder case continued Friday with the Nicosia District Court approving an appeal by the representative of the Republic’s Law Office, asking for more time to study the content of an additional affidavit. Thus, the Court set the next hearing for January 22. The American multimillionaire, who is wanted by the Russian authorities for tax evasion, had filed a demand for a decree to prohibit the Republic of Cyprus to cooperate with the Russian authorities in relation to his case, which has now taken on an international dimension.

Turkey sacrificed Cyprus solution, EPP SG Isturiz tells CNA

Turkey lost the opportunity to “mend” its relations with the EU member states when it decided not to contribute to the solution of the Cyprus issue during the last round of talks under the auspices of the United Nations, Secretary General of the European Peoples Party (EPP), Antonio Lopez Isturiz, told CNA. He added that the majority of the EPP EU governments understands that Erdogan has now set out a peculiar strategy for his country, looking to the East, Russia and Iran. In this new strategy, he also sacrificed the solution of the Cyprus problem.

European Asylum Support Office and Cyprus sign extension of Special Support Plan

Executive Director of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), Jose Carreira, and the Minister of Interior of Cyprus, Constantinos Petrides, signed a two year extension of the Agency’s Special Support Plan (SSP) to Cyprus, that will now run until 31 January 2019, with additional amendments to its tasks. The agreement will build on the support activities that EASO has been delivering throughout 2017 to improve and enhance the country’s asylum and reception system.

Central Bank of Cyprus upgrades projections for GDP growth

The Central Bank of Cyprus has upgraded its projections for the growth rate of the Cypriot economy, citing the course of public finances and tourism. In its financial bulletin for December 2017, the CBC said the Cypriot economy will grow by 3.8%, compared with 3.1 in the June bulleting. In 2018 GDP growth is projected to grow by 3.4% and will decelerate slightly to 3.2% and 3.1 in 2019 and 2010 respectively.

Wholesale trade increases in Q3 and in first nine months of 2017

The Turnover Value Index of Wholesale Trade except of Motor Vehicles for the period July-September 2017 increased by 5,8% to 92,7 units, compared to 87,6 units during the same period of 2016, according to data released Friday by the Statistical Service of Cyprus.

Source: Cyprus News Agency