Cyprus’ construction sector has shown significant growth, as evidenced by the increase in building permits issued by the municipal authorities and the district administration offices in the early months of 2024.

According to the latest data from the Cyprus Statistical Service (Cystat) released on Tuesday, the number of building permits issued in February alone stood at 706, contributing to a total of 1,293 permits granted during the January-February period.

This represents a 13.1 per cent increase compared to the 1,143 permits issued in the same period last year.

The total value of these permits increased by 16.9 per cent and the total area by 14.3 per cent. The number of dwelling units recorded an increase of 13.4 per cent.

Deputy Tourism Minister Kostas Koumis on Tuesday said that the total seat capacity airlines expect to offer for trips to Cyprus in the coming months will be similar to last year, despite a range of challenges plaguing the aviation sector, setting the stage for a robust tourist season, provided there are no new unexpected developments in our region.

Speaking in the Parliament and asked about this year’s prospects, Koumis said that he is not overly optimistic but realistic, given that “in terms of planning, it has been and still remains a difficult year”.

He cited the persisting conflict in the Eastern Mediterranean region, including the fighting in Gaza, as a key reason, combined with the challenges facing the aviation sector.

An online platform through which depositors who suffered from the 2013 “haircut” can receive compensation, will be reopening on Tuesday, the finance ministry announced.

Through the platform, available at the ministry webpage here, applicants can submit their online applications to the National Solidarity Fund, starting at 10:30am.

Affected natural and legal persons classed as private clients whose deposits and securities were reduced during 2013 due to the implementation of consolidation measures in the Bank of Cyprus and Laiki Bank, are eligible to apply.

The first results of the cost-benefit study requested by the energy ministry for the Greece-Cyprus Great Sea Interconnector electricity project are anticipated to be unveiled by the end of May, according to an announcement released on Tuesday by Greece’s Independent Power Transmission Operator (Admie).

The Great Sea Interconnector – formerly the EuroAsia Interconnector – is the commercial name given to the mooted undersea cable linking the grids of Cyprus, Greece and Israel.

The cost-benefit study was requested by Energy Minister George Papastasiou in a letter addressed to Admie dated April 2, 2024.

Global Finance, one of the leading international publications focused on banking and finance, has named Bank of Cyprus the Best Bank and the Best Investment Bank in Cyprus in its 2024 awards, according to an announcement released on Tuesday.

The announcement noted that “these award wins are particularly important for the bank as they recognise the significant achievements of Bank of Cyprus during 2023, such as the strong financial and operational performance and the recommencement of dividend payments after a 12-year hiatus while expanding its digital offering to customers”.

“In a milestone year for the bank, the Bank of Cyprus has completed a significant transformation into a well-capitalised and diversified banking group,” Global Finance noted after the awards were made public.

The Cyprus Mail recently had a chat with Ilya Karpinskiy, a seasoned veteran in the gaming industry, both as a game creator and investor.

During the interview, we discussed his journey in the gaming industry, the increasing number of game studios on the island, as well as Cyprus’ growing prominence as a technology and business centre.

“Cyprus offers a favourable environment for IT and video game developers, supported by government initiatives which make it more straightforward to establish and operate businesses, attracting companies and talent not only from Eastern Europe but also from Central European countries like Poland and Germany,” Karpinskiy said.

“Owlcat’s experience reflects this: we attract and relocate talent from all around the world, which helps us develop games with global appeal,” he added.

Shipping Deputy Minister Marina Hadjimanolis is making an official visit to London to participate in the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) celebrations for the International Day for Women in Maritime, according to an announcement released on Tuesday.

During this session on May 17, 2024, the IMO will present the inaugural IMO Gender Equality Award.

This award will honour Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, a Cypriot nominee, who is set to receive the first IMO Gender Equality Award for her impactful work with the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA International).

During her visit to the agricultural estate of Akhelia as part of her tour in the Paphos district on Tuesday, Agriculture Minister Maria Panayiotou said the ministry’s goal is “to expand and increase the primary sector both in gross domestic product and in exports, aiming to attract even more young people into the profession.”

“We aim to create a framework that will allow the development of the primary sector, whether it’s through incentives, infrastructure, or a series of other strategies,” Panayiotou said.

“We have already had many requests from our farmers and we listened to their advice on a number of topics.”

The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) ended Tuesday, May 14 with profits.

The general Cyprus Stock Market Index was at 151.74 points at 12:08 during the day, reflecting an increase of 0.66 per cent over the previous day of trading.

The FTSE / CySE 20 Index was at 92.23 points, representing a rise of 0.69 per cent.

The total value of transactions came up to €364, 087 until the aforementioned time during trading.

In terms of the sub-indexes, the main, alternative and hotel indexes rose 0.36 per cent, 1.37 per cent and 0.51 per cent respectively. The investment firm index fell by 0.23 per cent.

The biggest investment interest was attracted by the Bank of Cyprus (+0.36 per cent), Hellenic Bank (+0.43 per cent), Atlantic Insurance (+2 per cent), Salamis Tours (no change), and Vassiliko Cement Works Public Company (+3.17 per cent).