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The Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry has announced that it has received 652 applications from pre-existing and newly formed manufacturing small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) who wish to improve their competitiveness.

The initiative, which falls under the government’s Thalia programme, can provide funding to SMEs for the purposes of modernising or expanding their operations.

This includes the refurbishment of the facilities used by the business, as well as the purchasing of new machinery.

The full budget allocated for this initiative is €50 million and can cover up to 60 per cent of the total funding necessary for each project with a cap of €200,000.

New businesses requesting more than €150,000 are mandated to provide a feasibility study detailing the proposed investment.

Fitch Ratings has released an updated report on Hellenic Bank, rating their Senior Preferred Debt ‘B’ and their Senior Non-Preferred Debt ‘B-‘.

“HB’s long-term SP debt rating is in line with the bank’s Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) to reflect that the likelihood of default on SP obligations is the same as that of the bank,” the credit rating agency said.

“The ‘RR4’ Recovery Rating for HB’s SP debt reflects our expectation of average recovery prospects, as the progress on the bank’s asset quality clean-up plans and our expectation that the bank will maintain comfortable capitalisation relative to its risk profile will materially reduce solvency risks,” it added.

The Cyprus Agricultural Payments Organisation (Koap) has announced that it has concluded payments for its beekeeping programme.

The total budget for the programme in 2021 was €321,880.69.

The programme spans three years in total, having started in 2020 and ending in 2022.

“With the financial support for beekeepers, the programme has made a decisive contribution to the restructuring of the Cypriot beekeeping industry and has helped improve the competitiveness and quality of the Cypriot honey,” the organisation said.

The programme included actions to treat varroa (a genus of parasitic mites) with drugs or the use of customiσed cell bases and the replacement of old or worn cells.

Funds were also allocated for the running of the beekeeping centre, as well as for the laboratory analyses of honey samples.

The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) ended Monday, October 11, with losses.

The main Cyprus Stock Market Index was at 66.90 points by 13:14 during the day, reflecting an increase of 0.28 per cent over the previous day.

The FTSE / CySE 20 Index was at 39.98 points, representing a drop of 0.27 per cent. The total value of transactions came up to €41,745.61.

The biggest investment interest was attracted by Vassiliko Cement Works (€25,100 worth of trades, no change), Bank of Cyprus Holdings (€7,945.75 worth of trades, -0.95 per cent), Agros Development Company Proodos (-4.55 per cent), Amathus (-1.61 per cent), and Blue Island (+1.25 per cent).