State-owned asset management company Kedipes on Thursday announced cash inflows of €144 million for the first quarter of 2024, with the company also making a record payment of €140 million to the state, bringing the total repayment of state aid to €1.3 billion.

The announcement, made in conjunction with the company’s Q1 2024 management results, indicated expectations of improved cash flows for the second quarter.

What is more, Kedipes plans to repay a further €60 million in state aid within the month of June.

The demand for loans in Cyprus saw a further decline in the first quarter of 2024, with banks attributing this decrease to high interest rates, according to a report released on Thursday by the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC).

Additionally, lending criteria for businesses became stricter after remaining unchanged for three consecutive quarters, while criteria for household loans remained stable.

According to the report, based on the CBC’s bank lending survey, the tightening of business lending criteria in the first quarter was primarily due to banks’ reduced risk tolerance and their perception of increased economic risks.

Deputy Minister of Tourism Kostas Koumis on Thursday said that the strengthening of diplomatic relations between Cyprus and Jordan is helping to significantly lift the island’s tourism sector.

In an announcement by the ministry, Koumis emphasised the considerable potential for enhanced collaboration between the two countries’ tourism partners.

In the coming days, he explained, a new comprehensive cooperation plan will be proposed to Jordan after consultations with Cypriot tourism stakeholders.

Moreover, during a visit to Amman, the capital of Jordan, Koumis engaged in a series of meetings aimed at promoting Cyprus as a destination, coinciding with the introduction of new flight routes.

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and the Department of Accounting and Finance at the University of Cyprus (UCY) on Thursday jointly launched an educational initiative aimed at enhancing financial literacy among the public, especially young people.

According to the announcement, this campaign features citizens who have learned from their financial mistakes and are now sharing their experiences to educate others.

Titled “Make your past financial mistakes lessons for the future,” the campaign seeks to document real-life stories related to money management and investments.

These stories, the announcement explained, will be used to create educational materials for schools and universities, encouraging smarter and more strategic financial and investment decisions in the future.

Panagiotis Polydoros, Country Manager of Mastercard for Greece, Cyprus, and Malta, used a press conference held this week in Nicosia to underscore Mastercard’s confidence in Cyprus and its vision for a transition to a digital and sustainable economy.

Discussing the Cypriot market, Polydoros highlighted that the growth rate of card usage exceeded 17 per cent in 2023.

He also noted that the average transaction value in Cyprus is €46. Additionally, he explained that Cypriot consumers demonstrate a high percentage of card transactions, with nearly 60 per cent of household transactions being conducted using a card, placing Cyprus sixth among the 27 EU member countries.

European low-cost airline Wizz Air on Thursday announced an increase in flight schedules from its bases in Larnaca, Cluj, and Varna.

According to the airline’s announcement, this expansion is set to significantly boost its service offerings, bolstering its position as Europe’s most rapidly growing low-cost carrier.

“As part of Wizz Air’s commitment to providing exceptional service and affordable travel, the expanded schedules will cater to the needs of sun-seekers, travel enthusiasts, and explorers looking to make the most of their holidays,” the company said.

Moreover, the company said that with these additional flights, Wizz Air will add an extra capacity of 177,000 seats to its already extensive network, with 93,000 of these additional seats being available for passengers travelling from Cyprus.

PwC Cyprus announced on Thursday that nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of companies report a very high or extremely high level of confidence in their readiness to comply with the forthcoming EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), according to findings from the inaugural 2024 Global CSRD Survey.

The survey, which encompassed the perspectives of over 500 senior executives and business professionals spanning finance, sustainability, and risk sectors, highlighted the significant global influence of the directive poised to affect approximately 50,000 companies.

Interestingly, the data indicates a strong consensus on the impact of the CSRD beyond the EU borders: a robust 79 per cent of companies headquartered outside the EU, alongside 74 per cent of those within the EU, concur that the directive is catalysing, or will catalyse, a shift towards integrating sustainability more deeply into company leadership decisions.

The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) ended Thursday, June 13 with losses.

The general Cyprus Stock Market Index was at 163.23 points at 12:50 during the day, reflecting a decrease of 0.68 per cent over the previous day of trading.

The FTSE / CySE 20 Index was at 129,19 points, representing a drop of 0.65 per cent.

The total value of transactions came up to €91,122, until the aforementioned time during trading.

In terms of the sub-indexes, the main, investment firm and hotel indexes fell by 0.92 per cent, 0.88 per cent and 2.45 per cent respectively. The alternative index remained stable.

The biggest investment interest was attracted by Hellenic Bank (-0.77 per cent), Salamis Tours (no change), Petrolina (+1.13 per cent), and Logicom (-0.64 per cent).