Beneficiaries in the mortgage-to-rent scheme are being extended to further aid the financially vulnerable, cabinet decided on Wednesday.

Announcing the decision, Finance Minister Makis Keravnos said the move aims to “further facilitate our fellow citizens who are facing problems with credit acquisition companies and banks that have mortgaged their first home”.

He stated that the scheme, aiming to reduce non-performing loans (NPLs), opened to the public for applications on December 4, 2023. It will remain open for nine months until August 2024, adding that the potential beneficiaries are estimated at around 2,500 borrowers, with approximately 1,450 applications submitted so far.

 

The architects’ association on Wednesday called on the government to conduct more environmentally friendly projects, particularly in sensitive areas like the Akamas.

“Public projects with clear green credentials and environmental objectives are a proven and useful development tool for the revitalisation of the living standards of the construction sector and the economy in general,” the association said in a statement.

They called on the state to take the lead, with the aim of preserving and upgrading the country’s built and undeveloped environment.

 

Deputy Minister of Tourism Kostas Koumis announced on Wednesday a grant scheme aimed at the revival of rural, mountainous, and remote areas, with a total budget of €4 million.

It should be noted that the amount allocated to this initiative will be fully covered by the European Union’s Recovery and Resilience Facility.

Following a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Koumis said that “the goals of the plan are to provide targeted support for upgrading or restoring public and private spaces, improving the aesthetics and accessibility of spaces in the countryside, and the development of special forms of tourism in the areas covered by the plan”.

 

Valentina Georgiadou has been appointed as the new Financial Commissioner, vacating her previous role as Deputy Financial Commissioner, according to an announcement made on Wednesday.

Following a cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning, Finance Minister Makis Keravnos said that “the Board of Directors of the Unified Body for the Out-of-Court Resolution of Financial Disputes, after evaluating the applications of those who showed interest and submitted a relevant application, determined that Valentina Georgiadou meets in the best possible the required qualifications, and has the skills and experience”.

 

The Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Keve) in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy, Commerce, and Industry this week announced the start of applications for the latest edition of the Cyprus Exports Award.

“The Cyprus Exports Award was launched in 1982 to recognise and reward exceptional efforts in increasing the exports of Cypriot industrial and agricultural products and services,” the chamber said in its announcement.

“Over its 42-year history, the award has recognised numerous companies across the spectrum of export trade, which have greatly benefited from using the Award for promotional purposes, especially abroad,” it added.

 

The Cyprus Borrowers Association (Syprodat) this week released a statement expressing appreciation for the government’s third support package aimed at alleviating the burden on vulnerable groups, while also noting that these measures “fall short of addressing the needs of all citizens, focusing instead on a very small group of those most vulnerable”.

Syprodat highlighted the ongoing issue of rising prices and the challenges faced by all people in coping with the high cost of living.

 

The government is moving towards imposing rents on state-owned properties based on usage rather than market value, in an attempt to resolve any discrepancies observed in industrial areas and zones, according to Energy, Commerce and Industry Minister George Papanastasiou.

“There is a serious distortion between zones and areas. Zones determine the rental cost of land based on market value, while in industrial areas, the Ministry of Energy determines the rent based on usage,” Papanastasiou said in statements following a session of the House Trade Committee, which examined this issue.

 

The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) ended Wednesday, April 3 with losses.

The general Cyprus Stock Market Index was at 144.52 points at 12:20 during the day, reflecting a decrease of 0.19 per cent over the previous day of trading.

The FTSE / CySE 20 Index was at 87.76 points, representing a drop of 0.19 per cent.

The total value of transactions came up to €216,611, until the aforementioned time during trading.

In terms of the sub-indexes, the main and alternative indexes fell by 0.08 per cent and 0.34 per cent respectively. The investment firm index rose by 0.66 per cent. The hotel index remained unchanged.

The biggest investment interest was attracted by the Bank of Cyprus (-0.8 per cent), Hellenic Bank (no change), Petrolina (-1 per cent), Demetra Holdings (+0.69 per cent), and Vassiliko Cement Works Public Company  (+0.61 per cent).