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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-11-13

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] CENTRAL BANK - RATES - EUROAREA
  • [02] TEPAK - EARMA
  • [03] FINANCE MINISTER - FISCAL SURPLUS
  • [04] CYPRIOT CANDIDATE - WOMEN OF EUROPE AWARD

  • [01] CENTRAL BANK - RATES - EUROAREA

    Central Bank Governor Athanasios Orphanides has said that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) would have raised the main interest rates of the Central Bank f Cyprus had the country not been set to join the Eurozone on 1 January 2008.

    Speaking after a meeting of the MPC, Orphanides said the Central Bank was concerned about the ``continued rapid increase of credit in the market,`` most of which is channelled to the construction sector and consumer expenditure.

    Orphanides said that the Central Bank, due to Cyprus` accession to the Eurozone, cannot increase interest rates, which would have been a more effective measure to tackle the credit expansion, but said the MPC may reduce Cypriot interest rates during its last meeting on December 10 in order to align Cyprus pound interest rates with those of the Eurozone or to let this happen automatically on January 1.

    During Monday`s meeting, the MPC decided that the official interest rates of the Central Bank of Cyprus, that is the minimum bid rate on the main refinancing operations, the interest rate on the marginal lending facility and the interest rate on the overnight deposit facility, would remain unchanged at 4.50%, 5.00% and 3.00%, respectively.

    The MPC noted that domestic economic developments have not substantially changed since its last meeting on 8 October 2007, so as to warrant, at this juncture, a change in domestic interest rates, Orphanides said.

    In particular, inflation climbed to 2.99% in October, from 2.63% in September, while the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) reached 2.70% in October.

    The high oil prices contributed significantly to the increase in the HICP, as evidenced by the fact that the increase in the index in October, excluding energy products, was limited to around 2.00%.

    Orphanides noted that inflationary pressures continue to also be fuelled by the high prices of certain food items as well as by the fast growth of the money supply and credit to the private sector. A major cause of concern is the distribution of loans which are primarily channelled to the construction sector and to consumption, thereby contributing to the continuing increase in real estate prices and the noticeable widening of the trade deficit.

    The MPC, taking this into account, as well as the fact that the European Central Bank maintained interest rates unchanged at its recent meeting, unanimously decided to maintain its waiting mode and keep the official interest rates of the Central Bank of Cyprus unchanged.

    Replying to questions, Orphanides said the Central Bank was concerned over the high rated of loans to the private sector, which during the period January-September 2007 reached 2.2 billion Cyprus pounds (3.77 billion euros). He expressed the opinion that this would not continue at the same pace and that the growth rate of credit would be just under 40% at the end of the year.

    Orphanides said that as of January 1, 2008 the Central Bank would not be able to take decisions of a monetary nature on its own but in cooperation with the European Central Bank, and would be able to take measures for monitoring purposes.

    Regarding the credit crisis in the world banking system due to the collapse of the US subprime mortgage market, Orphanides said there was no cause for concern in Cyprus because the low quality loans given in Cyprus were better quality than the subprime mortgages in the US, while Cypriot banks have not become engaged in the securities market based on subprime loans.

    [02] TEPAK - EARMA

    The Cyprus University of Technology has become a full member of the European Association of Research Managers and Administrators (EARMA). EARMA members represent public and private research organisations from over 30 countries across Europe. The Cyprus University of Technology, based in the southern coastal town of Limassol, was inaugurated early September by President Tassos Papadopoulos.

    According to its website, the Cyprus University of Technology aspires to become a modern and pioneering University capable of offering high level training and research in popular fields, which today offer great economic, technical, and scientific output. The University will be offering degrees in graduate and post graduate levels that are not offered by the University of Cyprus or by other higher education institutions.

    EARMA is a non profit organization which provides services in professional development, networking, and dissemination of best practice in the field of research management. Its activities include training courses, working groups, annual conferences, staff exchanges, an interactive discussion forum, and a regular newsletter. EARMA aims to provide a voice for research managers in European policy-making.

    [03] FINANCE MINISTER - FISCAL SURPLUS

    By the end of this year the Cyprus economy will record a fiscal surplus and not a fiscal deficit, Minister of Finance Michalis Sarris has announced to his Eurozone counterparts and EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Joaquin Almunia.

    Almunia said after an ECOFIN meeting in Brussels that the Cypriot Minister had informed them that due to an increase in revenue from taxation, the economy of the country will record by the end of 2007 a slight surplus. The EU Commissioner said he was satisfied with this development which he described as excellent, adding that Cyprus is trying to put its finances in order.

    Last Friday, the European Commission predicted that Cyprus public deficit would reach 1% of GDP by the end of this year. The Commission at the time was not aware of the latest developments. Cyprus will enter the Eurozone on January 1st, 2008

    [04] CYPRIOT CANDIDATE - WOMEN OF EUROPE AWARD

    Tasoula Gergiou Hatzitofi has been named Cyprus` candidate for the Women of Europe Award 2007, for her efforts to protect the islands culture heritage, in particular objects stolen from the northern Turkish occupied areas of the country. During a ceremony, Monday, President of the International Association for the Promotion of Women of Europe AIPFE Cyprus Soula Zavou said the Women of Europe Award was founded in 1987 to encourage the participation of women to the European affairs.

    Hatzitofis work will be presented in March 2008 in Brussels before a committee, comprising among others EMPs and journalists. In the late 1990s she intensified her effort to locate and bring back home stolen artifacts, a goal that took her to Japan, Germany, Britain and the US. During this time she was often confronted by criminals, involved in smuggling, visited numerous museums around the globe and cooperated extensively with Interpol and Europol.

    Her work led to the repatriation of 60 objects, including 6th century mosaics, 15th century icons and 12th century frescoes, all of which are now at the Byzantine Museum in Nicosia. Some 5,000 archaeological treasures, stolen from Cyprus Turkish occupied areas and taken to Germany, have been located by Hatzitofi, through concerted action with the Church of Cyprus, the Cypriot and the German authorities. Some 350 of these, confiscated in Munich, belong to the Republic of Cyprus which is claiming them back through legal means.


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