Limassol port management company DP World Limassol welcomed the world’s biggest cruise ship on Monday, Royal Caribbean International’s Wonder of the Seas.

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome the world’s biggest cruise ship to Cyprus and to the port of Limassol,” DP World Limassol CEO Nawaf Abdulla said.

“DP World Limassol strives to provide passengers and cruise ships with first-class service and has invested heavily in attracting business to Cyprus, recognising the importance of tourism to the economy,” Abdulla added.

The 6,988-passenger ship is Royal Caribbean’s fifth Oasis Class vessel, measuring 362 metres long and weighing 236,857 gross tons across 18 decks.

The ship was only recently delivered to the company, and it will make its official debut in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on March 4, to begin sailing 7-night cruises to the Caribbean before heading to Barcelona, Spain and Rome.

“We are pleased that Royal Caribbean has trusted us with servicing their largest cruise ship and we are looking forward to welcoming them back in August,” the DP World Limassol CEO said.

“The fact that leading cruise operators like Royal Caribbean are increasingly choosing Limassol as a layover, homeport or port of call, is a testament to the efforts that DP World Limassol and the government have been making to improve the port’s competitiveness and transform it into a major homeport in the Eastern Mediterranean”, Abdulla concluded.

Cyprus’ public debt may be sustainable due to extremely low interest rates in the eurozone, but its high level remains a cause for concern, as its course may be derailed by possible shocks, the Audit Office said in a special report on Tuesday.

At the same time, the Audit Office identifies “a possible point of increased risk around 2028, when very high amounts of debt become payable (maturities of €2.73 billion) and will have to be refinanced.

This challenge, the Audit Office notes, underscores the need for Cyprus’ Public Debt Management Office to “continue to focus on the future and to strengthen its capacity to identify areas of increased risk and optimise financing strategies”.

At the same time, the office points out that climate change endurance tests confirm that high debt levels are creating a situation that is becoming more fragile due to the effects of climate change on the economy.

In this context, the Audit Office suggests that the management office, in cooperation with the Fiscal Council, integrate climate risk analysis into public finances.

“There is a significant accumulation of liquidity reserves over the last two years, corresponding to about 150 per cent of short-term debt financing needs, which came about mainly from the need to ensure liquidity, in view of the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,” the office said in its report.

“Using part of this liquidity reserve to repay debt could significantly decrease the cost and risk of public debt, something which the management office now seems to be applying,” the report added.

Retail Trade increased by 8.8 per cent in value and 5.3 per cent in volume annually in November 2021, according to the Cyprus Statistical Service (CyStat).

In particular, the Turnover Value Index of Retail Trade for November 2021 increased by 8.8 per cent compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

For the same month, the Turnover Volume Index of Retail Trade increased by 5.3 per cent year-on-year.

The biggest increase in value (39.6 per cent) was recorded in the retail sale of automotive fuel in specialised stores.

An increase was also recorded on computers and telecommunications equipment (19.4 per cent), as well as electrical household appliances, furniture and construction materials, which went up by 18.5 per cent, in comparison to November 2020.

The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) ended Tuesday, February 1 with profits.

The main Cyprus Stock Market Index was at 69.52 points at 13:21 during the day, reflecting a rise of 0.43 per cent over the previous day of trading.

The FTSE / CySE 20 Index was at 41.74 points, which represents an increase of 1.59 per cent.

The total value of transactions came up to €22,831.

In terms of the sub-indexes, the main index and alternative index rose by 0.55 per cent and 0.17 per cent respectively.

The investment firm index fell by 1.86 per cent, while the hotel index remained stable.

The biggest investment interest was attracted by the Bank of Cyprus (+0.91 per cent), Atlantic Insurance (+1.86 per cent), Salamis Tours (no change), Louis Plc (+1.88 per cent) and Demetra Holdings (-0.51 per cent).