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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-02-03

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [02] Cassoulides on Clerides-Han meeting
  • [03] Lombard Natwest annual results
  • [04] Russia - Cyprus problem
  • [05] Cassoulides - Ledra Palace

  • [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Feb 3 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index Closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                     75.81 (+2.07)
    
    Sectural Indices
    
    Banks                                   86.00 (+1.79)
    Approved Investment Companies           66.75 (+7.19)
    Insurance Companies                     54.68 (+3.99)
    Industrial Companies                    73.66 (+1.39)
    Tourist Industries                      64.53 (+1.43)
    Commercial Companies                    52.76 (+6.82)
    Other Companies                         58.23 (-1.37)
    
    Trading Volume                          CYP 977564.335
    
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting. CNA MA/1997 ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGNECY

    [02] Cassoulides on Clerides-Han meeting

    Nicosia,Cyprus,03/02/1997 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides and UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Cyprus, Han Sung Joo, discussed issues relating to the substance of the Cyprus question, but there is little hope for direct negotiations, Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides has said.

    ''We are not anywhere near a direct meeting between the President and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, which would create hope for success,'' Cassoulides told the press after the meeting today.

    He also said Han did not convey Denktash's views to the President and added ''therefore I cannot say that there is any progress at this stage.''

    Describing the meeting as "interesting", Cassoulides said no new UN proposals were put forward, but ''ideas and views which had been discussed in the past and relate to various aspects of the Cyprus question'' were on the agenda.

    ''I would say that the UN are currently conducting proximity talks, '' Cassoulides said.

    Replying to questions, the Spokesman said he did not think the UN top envoy would propose direct negotiations after his meetings here.

    ''Han asked new questions on various issues already discussed,'' Cassoulides said and noted he had no concrete information about US and British ideas on Cyprus.

    He added President Clerides had pointed out to Han that there can be no common ground between the positions of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides if the Turkish side continues to maintain the views expressed in last month's joint declaration Turkey's President, Suleyman Demirel and Denktash have signed.

    The declaration aims at improving ties between the self-styled Turkish Cypriot regime in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus and Turkey and threatens military and political measures against Cyprus.

    Han will see President Clerides on Wednesday and tomorrow he is scheduled to hold another meeting with Denktash.

    CNA EC/MM/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

    [03] Lombard Natwest annual results

    Nicosia,Cyprus,03/02/1997 (CNA) -- Lombard NatWest completed the financial year, which ended September 30 1996, very successfully, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Michael Colocassides said here today.

    Presenting the bank's annual results at a press conference, Colocassides said that total customer deposits increased by 44 million Cyprus pounds (one CY pound is about two US dollars) reaching 190 m., which translates into a rate of growth of 30 per cent, nearly three times the growth rate of 11 per cent of the banking system as a whole.

    Advances, Colocassides added, rose by 38 m. to reach 144 m. reflecting a growth rate of 35 per cent, compared with 13 per cent of the banking system.

    Lombard NatWest's total assets in the year under review increased by 62 m. or 32 per cent, reaching 252 m.

    Colocassides stated that ''profit before tax for the year, including one-off items, was 3.28 m., double the 1995 figure of 1.64 m.'' and added that if one-off items associated with the liquidation of shares is excluded, then pre-tax profit reached 2.27 m., reflecting a rise of 39 per cent on 1995 figures.

    He also noted the bank now offers ''trustee services and in association with Coutts is working on introducing private banking services in the near future.''

    The Lombard Natwest Chairman said that ''as the largest international banking group in Cyprus, it aims at establishing itself as the key player offering profitable business prospects, both in Cyprus and the wider region.''

    He said the outlook for 1997 is marginally more favourable with economic growth estimated to be around three per cent.

    Colocassides welcomed the Central Bank's continuous pressure to lift interest rate ceiling and remove capital controls.

    These measures, he said, ''are fundamental to the modernisation of the financial system and preconditions to establishing a role for Cyprus in the region.''

    Reffering to the island's economy, he noted that in its annual review the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reaffirmed its confidence in Cyprus' economy and noted that ''the development of the offshore sector has put Cyprus on the course of becoming a regional financial centre.''

    He also outlined the challenges the local economy is facing, especially in the tourist and manufacturing industries, in view of the island's prospect for European Union membership. CNA/GG/MM/1997

    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

    [04] Russia - Cyprus problem

    Nicosia,Cyprus,03/02/1997 (CNA) -- Russia has a right and an obligation to help efforts for a solution to the protracted Cyprus problem, Vladimir Tchizhov, Head of the Third Directorate for European Affairs at the Russian Foreign Ministry said here today.

    Tchizhov, who is on a fact finding mission here, was received today by President Glafcos Clerides and met Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides. He was also scheduled to meet Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    Speaking after his meeting with President Clerides, Tchizhov, stressed that ''Russia has always been involved in the Cyprus issue'' and noted his country's important political role in international efforts for a solution.

    Russian interest in Cyprus is not confined to the sale of arms, he added, in an indirect reference to the sale of the Russia made S-300 anti- aircraft missiles to Cyprus.

    He noted Russia ''is in a continuous dialogue with the other UN Security Council permanent members'' over the Cyprus issue, and stressed the need for ''coordination of future moves'' under the UN umbrella. Tchizhov said his country believes it should cooperate with all parties involved in the Cyprus issue, and said this is why he visited Ankara and Athens before coming here.

    He added his government will soon have meetings with officials from the British Foreign Office on various issues, including the Cyprus problem, and will also be discussing Cyprus with the US.

    The Russian diplomat pointed out that a settlement in Cyprus would benefit Turkey as well as his country, because ''Cyprus is quite close to our southern borders and we are interested in peace in this sensitive area.''

    On his part, the Foreign Minister expressed satisfaction with Moscow's interest in a solution to the Cyprus issue and said the two countries agree that the role of the permanent members of the UN Security Council had been enhanced in a bid to help resolve the matter.

    Asked how Russia could influence developments in the Cyprus question, in view of the fact that US and British initiatives are expected, Michaelides said every country, and especially a member of the Security Council, has the right to develop an initiative on international problems.

    However, he reiterated the need for collective and coordinated efforts to help find a settlement in Cyprus.

    CNA MA/MM/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

    [05] Cassoulides - Ledra Palace

    Nicosia,Cyprus,03/02/1997 (CNA) -- The government has stepped in to clarify the facts, concerning a visit to the Turkish occupied areas of the Republic by the UN commander, and backed the UN version of the story, after carrying out its own inquiries into the incident.

    Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides told the press today UNFICYP chief, Brigadier General, Ahti Toimi Paavali Vartiainen had indeed accompanied friends to the Turkish occupied areas, and not tourist representatives, as originally claimed.

    ''The Foreign Ministry has looked into Saturday's incident, at the Ledra Palace checkpoint here, and ascertained that the people the Commander was escorting were not tourist agents, and did not undertake any role to promote tourism in the occupied areas,'' Cassoulides said.

    On Saturday a group of Greek Cypriot demonstrators, protesting at the Ledra Palace check-point, harassed a UN vehicle carrying the Finnish Commander and his friends as they attempted to cross into the occupied part of Cyprus.

    The Spokesman pointed out that UN officers and UNFICYP have a special role on the island and need to maintain good relations with both Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

    Any ties with the Turkish Cypriot side must not in any way give diplomatic recognition to the self-styled Turkish Cypriot regime in occupied Cyprus, he added.

    Replying to questions, Cassoulides did not rule out the possibility of UNFICYP making representations over the protest at the check-point which began in a bid to dissuade foreigners from visiting the Turkish occupied areas and inform them about the injustice of the situation in Cyprus.

    The demonstrators, who have been staging a weekend protest campaign at the checkpoint, the only point from which one can cross into the area occupied by Turkey since its 1974 invasion, were angred because they believed the Commander was escorting tourist representatives.

    CNA MA/MM/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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