Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) governor Christodoulos Patsalides on Wednesday opposed the imposition of a windfall tax, emphasising that such a tax would harm the economy by disrupting the necessary fiscal predictability needed to attract foreign investors to a small, open economy like Cyprus.

The CBC governor expressed this viewpoint during his first press conference since taking office.

Moreover, Patsalides highlighted the need for changes in the governance of the CBC, stating that this institution must undergo a transformation.

He indicated that broad powers would be granted to the executive members of the bank’s board of directors.

Addressing the state of the Cypriot economy, Patsalides made note of its robust growth, urging stakeholders to utilise this period for reforms to enhance economic resilience.

The Office of the Commissioner for State Aid Control has advocated that Cyprus’ energy isolation and high energy costs, combined with other unique challenges related to the island’s energy sector, be viewed as critical factors needing special consideration when creating and applying state aid regulations.

This viewpoint was put forward by the office during its participation in the European Commission’s High Level Forum held on June 3 in Brussels.

According to a statement published on Wednesday by the Office of the Commissioner for State Aid Control, the forum, organised annually by the European Commission, focused on announcements related to policies, rules, and measures in the field of state aid.

These were based on the experiences of the European Commission and member states from the implementation of rules, developments and challenges both in the EU economy and at the international level.

The Republic of Cyprus and Montenegro this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to mutually recognise the certificates of competency for officers on merchant ships, marking a significant step in their maritime cooperation.

The agreement was signed in Limassol during an informal bilateral meeting by Cyprus’ Deputy Minister of Shipping Marina Hadjimanolis, and Montenegro’s Minister of Transport and Maritime Affairs Filip Radulovic.

According to a relevant announcement, the MoU is part of Cyprus’ broader strategy to enhance its bilateral external relations and foster mutually beneficial partnerships in the maritime sector.

It specifically addresses the mutual recognition of competency certificates for ship officers issued by the respective authorities of the two countries.

This agreement is particularly timely, as it addresses the acute shortage of qualified seafarers, noted by the Ministry of Shipping.

Eurobank Cyprus on Wednesday announced that it will soon proceed with the culmination of an initiative to support and reward its up-to-date mortgage customers by reducing the final interest rate on home loans by 50 basis points.

The original announcement of this initiative was made in May 2023, targeting private borrowers who have maintained good standing with their mortgage repayments.

According to the bank, the primary aim of this initiative is to “assist Cypriot households during a period of high lending rates, demonstrating Eurobank Cyprus’ ongoing commitment to taking proactive steps in challenging economic times”.

The announcement also mentioned that “approximately 1,400 individual customers of the bank have benefitted from this scheme”.

Cyta has partnered with the Volunteerism Coordinative Council (PVCC) to enhance social well-being through volunteering.

The state-owned telecommunications company has reinforced its commitment to fostering an inclusive and prosperous society after the signing of a memorandum of cooperation with the Pancyprian volunteer coordinating council on June 4.

This collaboration aims to establish a programme of activities in areas of mutual interest, such as the promotion and development of volunteering, the exchange of knowledge and experiences, and the support of PVCC and volunteer or non-governmental organisations, among others.

Cyta’s COO, Nikos Stylianou, highlighted the importance of this partnership: “Our collaboration with PVCC underscores Cyta’s commitment to social and environmental causes, while simultaneously strengthening our enduring ties with Cypriot society.

Two new items of legislation intended to support integration of innovative renewable energy source technologies into the grid and encourage use of solar energy by farmers, have been proposed by the House energy committee, it was reported on Wednesday.

Chairman Kyriakos Hadjiyiannis introduced the two proposals at Tuesday’s committee meeting, the first of which has to do with exempting RES installations from the payment of connection fees to distribution and transmission systems, as well as from usage fees, for a period of ten years.

The second, concerning use of RES in agricultural and livestock farming, calls for the installation of photovoltaic (PV) systems in areas left out of the irrigation water supply network, for the powering of water pumps.

The first proposal aims to aim to boost the country’s introduction of energy innovation and storage, Hatjiyiannis said in statements after the meeting.

The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) ended Wednesday, June 12 with profits.

The general Cyprus Stock Market Index was at 163.17 points at 12:56 during the day, reflecting an increase of 0.16 per cent over the previous day of trading.

The FTSE / CySE 20 Index was at 99.23 points, representing a rise of 0.14 per cent.

The total value of transactions came up to €422,413, until the aforementioned time during trading.

In terms of the sub-indexes, the main, alternative and investment firm indexes rose by 0.2 per cent, 0.66 per cent and 1.33 per cent respectively. The hotel index remained unchanged.

The biggest investment interest was attracted by the Bank of Cyprus (+1.19 per cent), Hellenic Bank (+0.78 per cent), Demetra (-1.33 per cent), the Cyprus Cement Company (-1.3 per cent), and Logicom (-1.9 per cent).