The foreign ministry is to temporarily move to the former Laiki Bank head quarter in Strovolos, according to reports.

Subject to final approval from the Strovolos municipality, the government is set to purchase the building from its current owner the Bank of Cyprus for €18.5 million, while an advance payment of €3.7m is also required.

All the employees and services of the foreign ministry will be transferred to the building while its usual headquarters, near the presidential palace, undergo renovations.

The House finance committee is set to discuss the matter on Monday, while funds have been specifically allocated in the 2024 state budget for the purchase of the building.

The finance ministry said the land registry’s initial assessment of the building’s market value was €16.5m, while a private appraisal estimated a value of €21.1m. Therefore, following meetings with the competent technical committee, the final figure was adjudged to be reasonable.

Reports also suggest that the fact the building is “emblematic” and located in a convenient location on the outskirts of Nicosia were taken into account during the purchasing process.

It was also pointed out that “despite the fact it was built years ago, it nevertheless complies with modern construction requirements and is well-maintained.”

In addition, the fact that the building was immediately available was seen as a positive, as well as the fact that the current market would make it more expensive to build a new building of a similar size in a similar location.

Laiki Bank folded after the financial crisis of 2013 and its properties were taken over by the Bank of Cyprus.