CNA News – CNA – George Michael – Nicosia 02/12/2017 15:10

Reducing unemployment and tax burdens the priorities for 2018, Cyprus FinMin says

Following three years of continuous economic growth, Cyprus in 2018 aims to reduce unemployment to single digits and to promote further steps towards tax burdens Minister of Finance Harris Georgiades told the Parliament on Friday. One of the main targets for next year is to reduce unemployment to single digits and to reach full employment by 2020, Georgiades said speaking before the plenary, marking the commencement of the debate for the 2018 state budget.

Cyprus remains a competitive center for international businesses, President stresses

Cyprus continues to be a highly competitive center for international businesses, despite the economic difficulties the country faced in the last few years, President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades has said. Speaking on Friday evening at the 24th Annual General Meeting of the Cyprus International Business Association (CIBA), in Limassol, the President also noted that the business services sector demonstrated considerable resilience during the recent crisis and highlighted its potential for further grow as the trust towards Cyprus’ economy is being restored.

Cyprus to continue efforts even if no significant gas reserves are found soon, CHC Chairwoman says

Cyprus will not close its hydrocarbons chapter in the event that no significant gas reserves are found in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) during the forthcoming drillings, Toula Onoufriou, Chairwoman of the Board of the Cyprus Hydrocarbons Company (CHC), has said. Speaking on Friday to journalists during the presentation of the work of the CHC, which is the National Oil and Gas Company of Cyprus, Onoufriou said that even if no significant reserves are found soon, the hydrocarbons chapter will not close, and noted that ‘we must continue to support and strengthen our efforts”.

The US acknowledge Cyprus role in security concerns in the region, says Spokesman

The government considers significant the fact that the US acknowledge the role of the Republic of Cyprus to provide security in the region, Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides said on Friday. Speaking after President Nicos Anastasiades met with US Deputy Assistant Secretary Cohen, the Spokesman also said that it is up to Turkey to solve the Cyprus problem if it wants to become involved in the energy dialogue that is underway in the region.

CySEC fines Bank of Cyprus and its former directors for accounting disclosure failures

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) announced on Friday that it has imposed a series of fines totaling Euros 595,000 on Bank of Cyprus Public Company (the Company) and ten of its former directors – including its former Chief Financial Officer (together, the directors) – for individual and collective failings to make adequate provision for doubtful debts in the Company’s financial report 2011. This decision is based on the findings of CySEC’s long-term investigation into the Company’s activities preceding the financial crisis and the circumstances which arose in the Company and that of the Cyprus banking sector’s subsequent depositor bail-in in 2013.

Cyprus increases R and D spending to 0.5% in ten years, but still lags behind, says Eurostat

Cyprus and other nine member states of the European Union recorded low Research and Development, according to data released by Eurostat. Cyprus spent 0.5% of its GDP, or 92 million euro for R and D in 2016, an increase since 2006 (it was 0.38% or 62 million euro) and is placed 25th among the EU28. Eurostat published that 10 states are currently below 1%: Latvia (0.44%), Romania (0.48%), Cyprus (0.50%), Malta (0.61%), Lithuania (0.74%), Bulgaria (0.78%), Slovakia (0.79%), Croatia (0.84%), Poland (0.97%) and Greece (0.99%).

Cyprus and Jordan sign bilateral military cooperation programme

A bilateral military cooperation programme was signed, in Nicosia, on Friday, between Cyprus and Jordan, providing for practical actions such as joint exercises and training, Cypriot Defence Minister Christoforos Fokaides said at a joint press conference with Lieutenant General Mahmoud A. Fraihat, Chairman of Jordan’s Armed Forces.Jordan sees Cyprus as a friend who shares many of the same strategic challenges. We will continue to treasure our close relationship and seek ways to strengthen it, Fraihat said.

Cyprus re-elected member of the IMO Council

Cyprus has been re-elected as a member of International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council for another two years, during the organizations General Assembly held on Friday in London. The Cyprus Shipping Chamber issued a press release congratulating the Cyprus Shipping Administration and especially the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works and the Department of Merchant Shipping for this important achievement of Cyprus shipping sector.

Cyprus buys land owned by the United Kingdom on the island to build a port

The Republic of Cyprus and the United Kingdom signed on Friday an agreement on the basis of which London disposes of immovable property in Cyprus, in this case land it owns, which Nicosia has bought for the amount of Euros 8.6 million. The land falls in the area of Zygi, on the south coast of Cyprus, between Limassol and Larnaca. The Cypriot government plans to build there a port to serve industrial and energy needs.

Bank of Cyprus announces engagement of Pepper in a bid to reduce non-performing loans

The Bank of Cyprus Board approved the engagement of Pepper Cyprus Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of Pepper Europe (UK) Limited, to assist the Bank in resolving non-performing loans from its SME and Retail portfolio. According to a BoC announcement, Pepper will focus on resolving a specified portfolio of around Euros 800 mln Retail and SME NPE loans. The bank retains full ownership, control and responsibility for all non-performing loans allocated to Pepper.

Source: Cyprus News Agency