Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides on Thursday addressed the first annual Financial Markets Forum, speaking on a number of issues, including recent economic developments, the evolution of the financial sector, growth prospects, as well as the ongoing energy crisis and soaring inflation.
“The credit ratings of the Republic of Cyprus, in recent years, followed a very positive and, I would say, remarkable, improvement because they have been achieved despite the uncertainty, recession and inflationary pressures that the global and especially the European economy is facing due to the energy crisis and the disruption of the supply chains which had already begun from the coronavirus health crisis and was seriously aggravated by the war in Ukraine,” Petrides said.
“In particular, all credit rating agencies agree that Cyprus’ economic performance, including public finances during 2021, but also the resilience it has shown in 2022 to date has been much better than anticipated and that medium-term conditions continue to support efforts to reduce the country’s public debt,” he added.
At the same time, Petrides explained, credit rating agencies also register the significant challenges that the economy still faces, which need to be addressed, particularly NPLs in the banking sector and high levels of public and private debt.
What is more, Petrides said that credit rating agencies have given a vote of confidence in the prospects and future developments in the Cyprus economy.
He said that they base their opinion not only on the quick recovery of the economy after the 2013 financial crisis and the more recent Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the consequences of the war Ukraine, but also on their belief that in the medium term there are strong drivers of underlying growth and robust prospects for a return to fiscal surpluses.
“The recovery can be achieved with the rational absorption and utilisation of funds from the EU and the Recovery and Resilience Fund (RRF), as well as, in the longer term, with the exploitation of natural gas reserves,” Petrides said.
The Construction Materials Price Index in Cyprus recorded an increase of 14.26 per cent in October, compared to the corresponding month of the previous year, according to a report released on Thursday by the Cyprus Statistical Service (Cystat).
In terms of each main product category, increases were recorded in metal products (16.74 per cent), minerals (13.52 per cent), mineral products (13.39 per cent), wood, insulating, chemical and plastic products (12.91 per cent) and in electromechanical items (11.72 per cent).
The Index for the month of October 2022 reached 134.72 points (based on 2015=100), marking a marginal increase of 0.12 per cent compared to the previous month.
For the period between January and October 2022, the Construction Materials Price Index recorded an increase of 18.30 per cent compared to the corresponding period of 2021.
The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) ended Thursday, November 24 with profits.
The general Cyprus Stock Market Index was at 82.42 points at 13:30 during the day, reflecting a rise of 1.47 per cent over the previous day of trading.
The FTSE / CySE 20 Index was at 49.53 points, which represents an increase of 1.52 per cent.
The total value of transactions came up to €273,754, making this one of the busiest days in terms of trading volume in recent months.
In terms of the sub-indexes, the main, alternative and investment firm indexes rose by 1.7 per cent, 0.24 per cent and 0.46 per cent respectively, while the hotel index remained stable.
The biggest investment interest was attracted by the Bank of Cyprus (+3.36 per cent), Logicom Public (+1.73 per cent), Hellenic Bank (no change), Ellinas Finance (-8 per cent), and Demetra Holdings (+0.5 per cent).