Hellenic Bank on Friday released its financial results for the first quarter of 2024, recording an after-tax profit of €93.3 million, with interim CEO Antonis Rouvas saying that the year “started on a strong footing” for the bank.

“This performance demonstrates the resilience and robustness of our business model, despite the continuing challenges and uncertainty rising from the geopolitical and economic environment,” Rouvas said.

The bank’s robust capital position is highlighted by a pro forma Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio of 24.62 per cent and a pro forma Total Capital ratio of 30.2 per cent, both significantly exceeding minimum regulatory requirements.

The European Commission this week issued reasoned opinions, the final step before referring cases to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), to Cyprus and other member states for failing to implement the agreement on a minimum 15 per cent tax rate on large multinational corporations.

This action is part of the commission’s May infringement package, which was publicly released on Thursday.

The infringement package also includes reasoned opinions against Cyprus and other member states for not enacting legislation on corporate transparency and enhancing public oversight of multinational enterprises.

Additionally, the commission has initiated new infringement proceedings against 18 member states, including Cyprus, related to the Data Governance Act, specifically the designation of competent authorities to monitor its implementation.

Property values in Cyprus marked an increase during the first quarter of 2024, compared to the same period during the previous year, according to a report released on Friday by real estate analytics firm Ask Wire.

Ask Wire CEO Pavlos Loizou said that “geopolitical tensions and unrest in the region continue to influence overseas real estate demand, accelerating the pace at which prices are affected“.

“Additionally, high mortgage rates are likely to persist, diminishing locals’ buying power and stabilising market prices as demand adjusts,” he added.

According to the report, apartments saw a rise of 6.3 per cent, while houses experienced a more modest increase of 2.1 per cent.

Eurobank Cyprus recently clinched the Digital Transformation Award at the Temenos Community Forum conference in Dublin, which took place from May 14-16.

This accolade celebrates the bank’s successful execution of a three-year digital overhaul, where 85 per cent of its core banking, digital channels, data warehouse, and wealth management systems and infrastructures were modernised.

By leveraging the powerful capabilities of the Temenos platform, Eurobank Cyprus has streamlined and digitised its internal operations while simultaneously reducing its environmental footprint.

This transformative programme has not only reinforced Eurobank Cyprus’ customer-centric approach but also enabled the provision of superior services, extended solutions, and innovative products through modern digital channels, ensuring both flexibility and security.

Frederick University and port management company DP World Limassol signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) this week, seeking to “further strengthen their strategic partnership in fields of common interest”, according to an announcement released on Friday.

The announcement noted that the MoU was signed on Thursday by DP World Limassol CEO Simon Pitout, and Frederick University’s Head of the Department of Maritime Studies Angelos Menelaou.

“We are very pleased to extend our cooperation with Frederick University,” Pitout said.

“Over the past few years, Frederick University students pursuing a degree in shipping or related fields took part in internships at DP World Limassol, with a number of them being offered permanent positions,” he added.

CEOs are currently expressing a renewed sense of optimism regarding future growth investments, despite a number of challenges, with short-term returns being high on their priority list, according to the latest findings from advisory firm EY’s quarterly CEO Outlook Pulse survey.

However, according to the survey—which canvassed opinions from 1,200 executives and 300 institutional investors globally—it appears that CEOs are keenly aware that their long-term objectives, such as decarbonisation and the creation of new revenue streams, could be accelerated by enhancing collaboration with institutional investors and governmental bodies.

“The key trend emerging from the latest edition of EY’s CEO Outlook Pulse survey is the need for CEOs to balance immediate financial pressures with longer-term imperatives,” Ronald Attard, Country Managing Partner of EY Cyprus said.

“The unfavourable economic environment is forcing CEOs to focus on managing business costs, while at the same time, the rapid growth of artificial intelligence combined with increasing cyber risks is driving them to prioritise investment in emerging technologies,” he added.

The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) ended Friday, May 24 with profits.

The general Cyprus Stock Market Index was at 167.05 points at 13:08 during the day, reflecting an increase of 1.82 per cent over the previous day of trading.

The FTSE / CySE 20 Index was at 101.59 points, representing a rise of 1.83 per cent.

The total value of transactions came up to €896,176 until the aforementioned time during trading.

In terms of the sub-indexes, the main, alternative, and investment firm indexes rose by 2.47 per cent, 0.11 per cent and 2.61 per cent respectively. The hotel index remained stable.

The biggest investment interest was attracted by Vassiliko Cement Works Public Company (no change), the Bank of Cyprus (+0.22 per cent), Hellenic Bank (+4.21 per cent), Logicom (+5.1 per cent), and Petrolina (+2.56 per cent).