Hellenic Bank announced on Monday the successful completion of a conference it held during the previous week to support small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with participants having had the opportunity to share their experiences, discuss their daily concerns, the challenges they face, as well as their aspirations and objectives.
The conference, titled ‘Helping small and medium enterprises, in Limassol and Paphos, to grow’, took place in Limassol on March 16, in collaboration with Epic, UCLan Cyprus and IMH.
“The main parameters that interest the bank are the customer’s sales, the existence of a satisfactory profit margin, the dispersion of sales and the successive situation. Based on the above, the lending officers prepare every year a written analysis and presentation of the company’s creditworthiness to the approval authorities,” the bank’s Head of Commercial Banking Andreas Papadopoulos said.
Papadopoulos stressed that the bank is invested in the success of Cypriot businesses, saying that the two parties win or lose together.
The Hellenic Bank executive said that Cypriots have entrepreneurship at their core, with one in five households in Cyprus having its own business, double the rate of the EU average.
Hellenic Bank said that SMEs are the backbone of the Cypriot economy, but recent challenges and difficulties are making it extremely difficult for them to thrive.
“To ensure their long-term sustainability, they must keep evolving and renewing their competitive advantages and at the same time adapt to the rapidly changing market conditions,” the bank said, adding that an “up-to-date technological infrastructure is a key component for their success, in order to increase their productivity and competitiveness”.
The Cypriot economy can withstand both automatic price indexation of wages and the restoration of salaries, the Independent Union of Cyprus’ Public Employees (Asdyk) said on Monday.
The union also accused certain political parties and businesses of using the war in Ukraine as a pretext to promote anti-labour policies.
Asdyk said that the war is a favourable situation for employers’ organisations, including the Employers and Industrialists Federation (Oev) and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce (Keve), alleging that the two organisations rushed to raise the issue of abolishing automatic price indexation of wages, as well as reducing public sector salaries in the public and private sectors, as a way to support the economy and entrepreneurship.
“Wages are not meant to be a tool to squeeze labour costs in order to maintain or further increase the profitability of companies,” the union said.
Regarding the automatic price indexation of wages, the union said that such a programme is also implemented in other countries, including Luxembourg, Spain and Belgium.
“The automatic price indexation of wages allows for the protection of workers’ purchasing power, who through consumption drive the national economy,” the union said, before adding that “the possible abolition of the programme entails a wage reduction, consequently reducing consumption, with negative effects on the economy”.
The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) ended Monday, March 21 with losses.
The main Cyprus Stock Market Index was at 65.12 points at 12:30 during the day, reflecting a drop of 0.53 per cent over the previous day of trading.
The FTSE / CySE 20 Index was at 39.10 points, which represents a decrease of 0.53 per cent.
The total value of transactions came up to €41,846.
In terms of the sub-indexes, the main and investment firm indexes fell by 0.74 per cent and 1 per cent respectively, while the alternative index rose by 0.05 per cent. The hotel index remained stable.
The biggest investment interest was attracted by the Bank of Cyprus (-1.88 per cent), Logicom (+1.57 per cent), the Cyprus Cement Company (no change), Hellenic Bank (-0.28 per cent) and Atlantic Insurance (+0.55 per cent).