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The Cyprus Shipping Chamber (CSC) this week welcomed the proposed transfer of the Cyprus Port Authority to Limassol, saying that the city is the key representative of the shipping industry in Cyprus.

In a statement, the chamber stated that Limassol is the shipping capital of Cyprus and the seat of the Cypriot shipping industry, “with more than 180 shipping and related shipping companies, to be based and carry out their daily international business activities”.

According to the chamber, the proposal for the relocation of the authority acknowledges the scope and size of shipping activities in Limassol, considering it “a very functional proposal”.

The chamber added that the simultaneous presence of the Deputy Ministry of Shipping and the Ports Authority in Limassol will have positive results, facilitating closer cooperation and offering a better quality of support to the local shipping industry.

 

The non-performing loan rate in the Cyprus banking sector fell to 11.1 per cent of total loans at the end of December 2021, compared with 17.7 per cent at the end of 2020, according to a report by the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC).

NPLs, as defined by the European Banking Authority, fell to €3 billion in December 2021, marking a reduction of €1.24 billion compared to the previous month, while compared with marking a reduction of €2.11 billion year-on-year.

The monthly reduction was mainly the result of the NPL portfolio sale by the Bank of Cyprus (Helix 3), as well as the reclassification of an NPL portfolio by Hellenic Bank.

The loan coverage ratio declined to 43.1 per cent from 48 per cent in the previous month.

Furthermore, total loans in end-2021 fell to €27.01 billion from €28.01 billion during the previous month.

Of the total NPLs at the end of 2020, €1.56 billion were held by households and €1.17 billion belonged to corporate entities, of which €0.92 billion were held by small and medium-sized corporations.

Since 31 December 2014, NPLs have been reduced by €24.3 billion, representing a decline of 89 per cent, the Central Bank said.

 

The average gross monthly earnings of employees during the fourth quarter of 2021, amounted to €2,341 compared to €2,259 during the fourth quarter of 2020, recording an increase of 3.6 per cent year-on-year.

Based on provisional data published by the Cyprus Statistical Service (Cystat), the average gross monthly earnings during the fourth quarter of 2021, seasonally adjusted, are estimated at €2,062, 1.1 per cent higher when compared to the third quarter of 2021.

The average gross monthly earnings of male employees during the fourth quarter of 2021 are estimated at €2,489 and of female employees at €2,157.

Compared to the fourth quarter of 2020, the average gross monthly earnings of male and female employees recorded an increase of 3.4 per cent and 3.8 per cent respectively.

 

The Central Bank of Cyprus maintained the countercyclical buffer (CCyB) for banks and investment firms to 0 per cent of the total risk exposure amount for the period between April 1, 2022, to June 30, 2022.

According to a statement by the Central Bank, the decision was taken in accordance with the methodology described in the CBC’s macroprudential policy and covers each licensed credit institution.

It also covers each investment firm that provides the investment services of dealing on their own account or the underwriting of financial instruments, as well as the placing of financial instruments on a firm commitment basis.

Based on the time series ending on September 30, 2021, the gap between the credit-to-GDP ratio and its long term trend (credit-to-GDP gap) based on the broad credit definition is -61.5, while the gap between the credit-to-GDP ratio and its long term trend (credit-to-GDP gap) based on the narrow (bank) credit definition is -58.2, the Central Bank stated.

“Given that the credit-to-GDP gap is lower than 2 percentage points, and taking into account the additional indicators that were assessed by the CBC, the benchmark buffer guide is 0 per cent and the CCyB rate remains at 0 per cent,” the CBC explained.

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