Alpha Services and Holdings S.A. (Alpha Holdings) has denied recent media reports claiming that the company is in negotiations to acquire a stake in the Bank of Cyprus Holdings Public Limited Company from existing shareholders.

In a statement issued on Friday, Alpha Holdings clarified that “within the framework of implementing its announced strategic plan, it is monitoring the market to evaluate investment opportunities and is informing the investing public in accordance with the applicable legislation”.

This is in reference to a report released on Thursday by Bloomberg, which claimed that two major investors in the Bank of Cyprus are considering selling their stakes.

Bloomberg reported that AB CarVal Investors and Caius Capital, who hold a combined 15 per cent, are working with an adviser to gauge interest from potential buyers, including Greece’s Alpha Bank SA.

Hotel occupancy rates in the Famagusta district during the Kataklysmos holiday weekend are expected to be at satisfactory levels, ranging between 80 to 90 per cent, according to Famagusta Hoteliers Association president (Pasyxe) Panayiotis Constantinou.

“Especially in the Famagusta district, we have quite good hotel occupancy rates during the Kataklysmos weekend and our compatriots once again are honouring our region,” he said.

“We believe that tourism in Ayia Napa and Protaras will continue to improve,” he added.

The Pasyxe president also explained that “the majority of visitors in the district are tourists from abroad, although there is a significant flow comprising of our compatriots, especially during this weekend”.

He also said that “the current occupancy rates stand at around 80 to 90 per cent, which is quite satisfactory”.

The Finance Ministry has been spurned into action by the news reported by Bloomberg that AB CarVal Investors and Caius Capital are interested in selling their shares in the Bank of Cyprus, which together amount to 14.65 per cent of the bank’s equity.

On Friday afternoon, a Finance Ministry official told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that the ministry is closely monitoring how the situation unfolds.

“We will not accept the Bank of Cyprus being sold to an entity of Greek interests,” the official told the agency.

It is worth noting that control of Hellenic Bank, Cyprus’ second-largest bank, has already passed to Greece’s Eurobank.

In this context, the same official issued a reminder that the bill for the control of foreign direct investments is currently before the House.

Hotel occupancy rates in Larnaca are expected to reach approximately 75-80 per cent for the Kataklysmos holiday weekend, mirroring the levels recorded during 2023, according to the president of the Larnaca Hoteliers Association (Pasyxe) Marios Polyviou.

“For the weekend and the Monday of the Holy Spirit, which is the celebration of Kataklysmos, we have good occupancy rates in the hotels of Larnaca city and district, ranging from 75 to 80 per cent, which are about the same levels as last year,” Polyviou said.

In response to a related question, Polyviou mentioned that “there are some Cypriots who have booked hotels to spend the long weekend in Larnaca, but most are foreign tourists”.

“This year, the Kataklysmos festival is celebrated in mid-June, and we are already in the tourist season, so foreign visitors have started their summer holidays,” he noted.

Moreover, the association president explained that “this period is exhibiting a recovery that brings optimism in terms of the Israeli market”.

The positive trajectory of the Cypriot economy, the successful issuance of a seven-year bond by the Republic of Cyprus, the commencement of strategic dialogue with the US, digital transformation, and the green transition were the main topics discussed during a one-hour meeting at the Presidential Palace.

The meeting, which was held on Thursday afternoon, was attended by President Nikos Christodoulides and a large delegation from the Association of Cyprus Banks.

This marked the third meeting between President Christodoulides and the association since he took office.

According to sources cited by the Cyprus News Agency, it was highlighted that the Cypriot economy is “doing very well,” as evidenced by recent upgrades from international credit rating agencies, which also underscored the “improving image of the banks”.

The Cyprus Composite Leading Economic Index (CCLEI), constructed and estimated by the Economics Research Centre of the University of Cyprus (CypERC), saw a marginal increase of 0.1 per cent in May 2024.

According to the relevant report, this follows year-on-year declines of 0.2 per cent in April and 0.4 per cent in March, respectively, based on the most recently revised data.

The centre explained that the positive estimate for May primarily reflects the annual growth in several domestic variables, including tourist arrivals, credit card transactions, retail sales volume, and electricity production adjusted for temperature.

An open event held at the CYENS Centre of Excellence this week aimed to connect public organisations and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

According to an official announcement, the event was hosted by the European Digital Innovation Hub Cyprus (DiGiNN).

The statement added that DiGiNN, a consortium of 11 public and private sector organisations including CYENS, was created by the European Commission under the “Digital Europe” programme to enhance Cyprus’ digital capabilities.

The programme facilitates the integration of digital technologies by Cypriot SMEs, public organisations, and ministries, and is co-financed by the European Commission and the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Digital Policy of Cyprus.

The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) ended Friday, June 21 with minor losses.

The general Cyprus Stock Market Index was at 164.47 points at 13:05 during the day, reflecting a decrease of 0.42 per cent over the previous day of trading.

The FTSE / CySE 20 Index was at 100.04 points, representing a drop of 0.43 per cent.

The total value of transactions came up to €166,781, until the aforementioned time during trading.

In terms of the sub-indexes, the main, alternative, investment firm and hotel indexes fell by 0.54 per cent, 0.07 per cent, 1.26 per cent and 0.84 per cent respectively.

The biggest investment interest was attracted by the Bank of Cyprus (-0.7 per cent), Logicom (+0.64 per cent), Hellenic Bank (-0.77 per cent), Demetra (-1.27 per cent), and Pandora (no change).