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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-03-14

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Government welcomes Triple Five investment plans for Cyprus
  • [02] Solidarity to mark Cyprus’ EU Presidency
  • [03] Inflation rate unchanged in February

  • [01] Government welcomes Triple Five investment plans for Cyprus

    Finance Minister Kikis Kazamias expressed his satisfaction over the intention of Triple Five (555) Group to invest in Cyprus, noting the stated confidence of “people with money” who trust Cyprus amid difficult times.

    The statements were made following the meeting of Triple Five Group Chairman Nader Ghermezian with Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Kikis Kazamias, here today, who stated that ``Cyprus is one of the best countries in the world today to invest in``.

    The Minister announced that a team of the Group’s experts is due to arrive next week in Cyprus, to conclude negotiations with Cypriot hoteliers over the accommodation of 80-100 thousand tourists, to arrive by the end of this year.

    As Kazamias said, there is a possibility for cooperation between Triple Five and Cyprus Airways, using company-owned aircraft to carry tourists from new markets to Cyprus.

    On investment prospects in the banking sector, Kazamias said that a team of eight experts from the Group’s private bank is examining all options in running either an affiliate or a stand-alone new Cypriot bank. He added that the Group’s bank is the biggest private bank in Canada and is active in the US market.

    The Minister said that the Central Bank of Cyprus has announced a meeting with the credit institution of Triple Five next Monday, but said that the meeting will probably be moved to March 27 or 28.

    He said that the Group has decided to purchase five-year government bonds, a decision which he noted is a relief for the country’s economy and provides an answer to those who wish to see Cyprus excluded from the markets to cover financing needs.

    Kazamias noted that although the company is one of the bidders in the second round of licensing for the blocks in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, Ghermezian has not brought up the issue in the meeting with the President and praised his “subtlety” over the matter.

    Finally, the Minster said that an announcement is pending in the coming week concerning the acquisition of a big European energy company, active in Cyprus.

    “It is through all this that we try to provide tangible responses to developments like yesterday’s downgrading from the credit rating agency Moody’s,” the Minister concluded.

    In his statements, Nader Ghermezian said that ``it is a pleasure to be in Cyprus and after visiting Mr. President, I am even more convinced that we should continue doing investments in Cyprus``.

    ``I feel it is a right country, and a good country to invest and even though the economy is a little bit slow at this time, that should not stop anybody to come down here because I feel they are very nice people and very good people to work with``, he added.

    He noted that ``since we are very diversified in many major fields in the world we would like to work to bring the tourist industry that we have in one of our divisions in North America. As you know, we are attracting presently over 100 million tourist visits. I think we can bring some of these tourists and visitors to Cyprus``.

    He went on to say that “the other thing we can do, we are working on the banking field. There are three options for us. One is whether we open a branch of one of our banks in North America here. The other is either to open one or make arrangements with one of the local banks down here, so we can bring more investments here.”

    He moreover said ``we are very strong in energy”, adding that ``we are not only an oil company, we also have a division which is a service company that we service other oil companies also when they need help.``

    ``We think that we are in a position to contribute to the development of the energy industry of the economic zone of offshore Cyprus``, as he said.

    He said that ``we can help a lot in the infrastructure here. We can bring some major industries... We could help here with the development of highways, roadways, infrastructure``.

    Ghermezian noted also that ``we hope we can invest in some of the bonds of the Government of Cyprus``.

    Asked if he discussed the second round of licensing for the exploration and exploitation of natural gas in Cyprus` exclusive economic zone with the President, he said that they did not discuss this issue with the President.

    Asked if he is not interested, he replied: “we are interested. As a business person we are in anything that we can do but we did not discuss it``.

    Replying to another question, he said that “we intend to look into these projects. We are big enough that we can do a lot of these”.

    Asked when discussions with the government will start, he said that “we are already started with the Governor of Central Bank, we are in negotiations with him on banking and we are working to see how we can get involved in the field of energy``.

    “We have already started helping Cyprus in the field of tourism. We have a big experience in north America. We have sent our people to Europe last week to get information on how we can help Cyprus and we think we can put packages to bring chartered flights and tourism from Europe, Asia, North America and other places”.

    Asked if he has received banking license from the Central Bank, he said that “we are in discussions to get a license``.

    Asked why he has so much confidence in Cyprus, he said that “because Cyprus is centrally located between Middle East and Europe and also you have good weather here, good beaches, you have nice people and among other things. I think Cyprus is one of the best countries in the world today to invest in``.

    Asked if he is interested in casino, he replied negatively.

    Asked if he considers investing in Cypriot government bonds, he said that “yes we are looking into this”.

    [02] Solidarity to mark Cyprus’ EU Presidency

    Solidarity among EU member states and the effectiveness of EU policies to address major challenges will be the priorities of the Cypriot Presidency of the EU Council, said here Wednesday Deputy Minister to the President for European Affairs Andreas Mavrogiannis, speaking at a seminar for executives of the public administration.

    Mavroyiannis pointed out that Cyprus’ Presidency will mark the current big issues the EU is facing at this difficult time.

    Regarding the priorities of the Cypriot Presidency, he said that the semester program is currently in the process, explaining that Cyprus will give emphasis on efforts for a Better Europe.

    ``An EU committed to the fundamental values, that will promote sustainable solutions and ensure better living conditions and better quality of life for its citizens,`` he explained.

    [03] Inflation rate unchanged in February

    Euro area and Cyprus annual inflation rate remained unchanged in February 2012 while it increased slightly in the EU27.

    According to data released Wednesday by Eurostat Cyprus` harmonized annual inflation was 3.1% in February 2012, unchanged compared with January.

    Euro area annual inflation was 2.7% (unchanged) while it rose to 3.0% in EU27 (2.9% in January). In Greece, the inflation rate dropped to 1.7% from 2.1% in January.

    In February 2012, the lowest annual rates were observed in Sweden (1.0%), Greece (1.7%) and Spain (1.9%), and the highest in Hungary (5.8%), Estonia and Poland (both 4.4%).


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