Fiscal Council president Michalis Persianis on Monday issued a series of recommendations and suggestions to the Interior Minister, following an analysis of the fiscal impact expected from the local government reform, particularly concerning the new municipalities.

This analysis, which has been submitted to the House, indicates that the initial stages of the reform will likely encounter several but otherwise expected weaknesses. However, the analysis added that this initiative remains a significant, positive, and promising development for the medium to long term.

The Fiscal Council’s analysis highlighted the efforts made, primarily by the Interior Ministry and secondarily by the Finance Ministry, as commendable for a historic reform that could significantly improve the financial management of local authorities and, most importantly, enhance service delivery to citizens.

Restaurants and bars in Cyprus saw their attendance increase to 75 per cent of their overall capacity during May, according to Neophytos Thrasyvoulou, president of the Federation of Leisure Centre Owners (Osika), who also called on business owners to be more competitive with their pricing.

In statements made to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), Thrasyvoulou explained that the recent elections drove many Cypriots to these venues for various gatherings and events.

However, Thrasyvoulou isn’t fully satisfied with these figures. He pointed out ongoing uncertainties about tourist numbers that could affect future attendance.

Total registrations of motor vehicles in Cyprus experienced a decrease of 9.6 per cent year-on-year in May of this year, dropping to 4,292 vehicles from 4,747 in May 2023, according to a report released on Monday by the Cyprus Statistical Service (Cystat).

However, the first five months of 2024 showed a significant increase of over 22 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Registrations of passenger saloon cars fell by 14.5 per cent to 3,325, down from 3,888 in May 2023.

For the January-May 2024 period, compared to the corresponding period in 2023, the total number of registered vehicles increased by 22.1 per cent, reaching 21,881, compared to 17,927 during the same period in 2023.

President of the Famagusta Hoteliers Association (Pasyxe) Panayiotis Constantinou remains cautiously optimistic about the future of tourist bookings in the Famagusta district, despite the challenging circumstances currently plaguing the tourism industry.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), Constantinou explained that his stance comes despite the recent bankruptcy of the German tour operator FTI, which has caused a significant disruption in the local tourism sector.

“The situation with bookings in the hotels of Famagusta district is not as expected, since we have several units that are not in the condition they would like to be in terms of occupancy,” he said.

Limassol-based shipping company Columbia Shipmanagement (CSM) is boosting its operations in the Middle East with the opening of a new office in Dubai, according to an official announcement.

This move complements CSM’s existing operations in Saudi Arabia and will provide the full suite of services offered by the Columbia Group, including maritime, technical, and crew management services.

The new Dubai office will focus on advancing vessel digitalisation and optimisation through Columbia’s established platforms. It will also offer a range of additional services such as procurement, training, catering, crew welfare, and consultancy for new shipbuilding projects.

Cyprus’ trade deficit for the period spanning January to April 2024 stood at €2.45 billion, a significant reduction from the €3.16 billion recorded in the corresponding period of the previous year, according to a report released on Monday by the Cyprus Statistical Service (Cystat).

According to the report, the total imports of goods saw a notable increase in April of this year, reaching €1.09bn, up from €915.5 million in April 2023, marking an increase of 19.5 per cent.

This rise is attributed to a significant uptick in imports from other EU Member States, which climbed to €648.4m from €573.1m, and from third countries, which increased to €445.7m from €342.3m.

Hellenic Bank actively supports various initiatives to enhance financial literacy, including the ‘Financial Alphabet’ programme, the final event of which was hosted at the bank’s headquarters in Nicosia.

According to a statement released on Monday by Hellenic Bank, the ‘Financial Alphabet’ educational programme was implemented in Cyprus by ActionAid Hellas, with funding from the European Investment Bank Institute.

For the programme’s implementation, ActionAid collaborated with the Ministry of Education, the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute, and the Directorates of Secondary General and Secondary Technical and Vocational Education and Training.

The announcement explained that the programme aimed to promote financial education and link it to active citizenship.

Cyprus experienced an increase of 9.4 per cent in beer sales in May, compared to the same month of the previous year, reaching 4,682,575 litres in total, a result of a rise in domestic demand, according to the Cyprus Statistical Service (Cystat).

According to the Cystat report, which was released on Monday, beer sales intended for domestic consumption saw a substantial growth of 13.3 per cent, climbing to 4,475,044 litres in May 2024, up from 3,951,318 litres in the same month of the previous year.

This surge underscores the growing preference for beer among local consumers.

The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) ended Monday, June 10 with losses.

The general Cyprus Stock Market Index was at 159.29 points at 12:27 during the day, reflecting a decrease of 0.54 per cent over the previous day of trading.

The FTSE / CySE 20 Index was at 96.82 points, representing a drop of 0.55 per cent.

The total value of transactions came up to €96,788, until the aforementioned time during trading.

In terms of the sub-indexes, the main, alternative and investment firm indexes fell by 0.67 per cent, 0.41 per cent and 1.43 per cent respectively. The hotel index rose by 0.09 per cent.

The biggest investment interest was attracted by the Bank of Cyprus (no change), Logicom (-1.29 per cent), Hellenic Bank (-0.39 per cent), Demetra (-1.45 per cent), and Atlantic Insurance (-0.96 per cent).