Minister of Labour Yiannis Panayiotou said this week that proficiency in Greek will play a pivotal role in the approval of renewed work permits and for new foreign applicants.

Acknowledging previous statements regarding a crackdown on illegal employment, the minister admitted that the local workforce remains inadequate to meet the labour demands of the island.

To address staffing shortages and enhance efficiency, priority will be accorded to unemployed individuals and students from third countries who are already residents in Cyprus, stated the minister.

Furthermore, proficiency in Greek will soon become a prerequisite for job seekers.

 

As foreign companies flock to the island and certain areas boast better private school options, there’s a notable increase in demand for English education. Expansion and new school openings are widespread across Cyprus.

Akis Gregoriou, President of the Cyprus Association of Private Schools, notes the rapid growth, attributing it not only to foreign companies but also to global political instability.

Factors like conflicts in Israel and Ukraine have driven arrivals, particularly in Limassol, where tech industry growth and foreign workers necessitate more schools. This explains the surge in new schools, with two more underway in Limassol alone.

 

Charis Papacharalambous, Chairman of the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (Acta), revealed to state broadcaster CyBC that holidaymakers are increasingly relying on travel agents for their vacation arrangements.

He noted a significant increase in bookings, especially for the upcoming Easter holidays, indicating a growing trend.

With many long weekend packages already sold out and Easter reservations nearing capacity, travel agents are experiencing heightened demand, according to Papacharalambous.

 

The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) on Thursday announced the introduction of 25,000 new government bonds by the Republic of Cyprus.

Specifically, the CSE confirmed its acceptance of the introduction of 25,000 Government Bonds of the 13 Weeks 1st Issue, Series 2024, in accordance with Article 58(1) of the Cyprus Securities and Stock Exchange Law.

Each bond, with a nominal value of €1000, amounts to a total of €25 million. These bonds were derived from an auction conducted on March 15, 2024, and will be valid from March 22, 2024, to June 21, 2024.

 

The Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Keve) announced this week that it will host a Business Forum on March 27, as part of the official visit of the President of Estonia Alar Karis to Cyprus.

“This event marks a significant opportunity for Cypriot and Estonian companies operating in the fields of shipping, cybersecurity, and information technology to come together, fostering partnerships and addressing key challenges,” the chamber said.

“It aims to strengthen the trade and economic relations between the two countries,” the chamber added.

 

The Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) on Thursday reported that a total of 16 bounced cheques, worth €19,388 overall, were issued in February.

This resulted in 9 individuals (7 legal entities and 2 natural persons) being entered in the preliminary directory of the Central Information Repository (CIR) for bounced cheques, which the central bank maintains.

Moreover, during the January-February period of 2024, 61 bounced cheques were registered in the preliminary directory of the CIR, totalling €89,035, compared to €160,882 during the same period last year.

 

The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) ended Thursday, March 21 with losses.

The general Cyprus Stock Market Index was at 144.69 points at 12:29 during the day, reflecting a decrease of 0.53 per cent over the previous day of trading.

The FTSE / CySE 20 Index was at 87.90 points, representing a drop of 0.53 per cent.

The total value of transactions came up to €134,850.

In terms of the sub-indexes, the main and investment firm indexes fell by 0.66 per cent and 0.56 per cent respectively. The hotel and alternative indexes remained unchanged.

The biggest investment interest was attracted by the Bank of Cyprus (-0.55 per cent), Hellenic Bank (-1.24 per cent), and Demetra Holdings (-0.57 per cent).