The Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) presented the benefits of the planned digital euro at a press conference on Tuesday, while also providing details on the efforts being made behind the scenes to ensure its successful implementation.

Among the advantages highlighted were its wide acceptance across the EU, stringent security standards, user-friendly nature, and guarantee of user privacy.

The digital euro, the CBC explained, is not intended to replace cash and existing electronic payment options but to add another choice.

In his opening remarks, CBC governor Christodoulos Patsalides said that the Eurosystem is exploring the issuance of a digital euro, following the global trend among central banks.

He added that a strong euro supports EU autonomy for the benefit of consumers and businesses. He said that while the Eurosystem prepares for the euro’s future, citizens’ prosperity remains the primary goal.

Cyprus recorded the largest increase in housing transactions among EU countries in 2023, according to data released by the European Union’s statistical office (Eurostat).

Eurostat reported that in 2023, the number of housing transactions decreased in 13 out of the 16 EU countries for which data is available, compared to 2022.

This marks the second consecutive year that the majority of countries have seen a decline in sales.

The largest decreases in transaction numbers in 2023 were observed in Luxembourg (-43.3 per cent), Austria (-26.4 per cent), and both Hungary and Finland (-24.5 per cent each).

Conversely, increases were recorded in Cyprus (+31.0 per cent), Poland (+3.9 per cent), and Ireland (+0.6 per cent).

The contract between the state Natural Gas Infrastructure Company (Etyfa) and CPP-Metron Consortium Ltd (CMC Ltd) for the construction of the natural gas liquification plant at Vasiliko is heading towards termination, Energy Minister George Papanastasiou said on Tuesday.

Papanastasiou, who described negotiations as “tough”, made the announcement at the House energy committee, saying that Etyfa was now looking into other ways to complete the project “outside the contract”.

Papanastasiou said the extensions given to the consortium indicated that there was no end date for completion.

The energy minister added that negotiations with the construction company to send the floating unit were at their final stage, with Etyfa aiming for the ship to sail out the soonest possible.

The Bank of Cyprus on Tuesday celebrated the graduation of the inaugural class from the BoC Academy, an initiative carried out in collaboration with the CIM Business School.

Launched in 2023, the BoC Academy aims to foster both reskilling and upskilling, ensuring that the Bank of Cyprus staff remain at the forefront of the industry.

The ceremony saw twenty bank employees awarded certificates in Strategy, Digital Marketing, Business, and Organisational Behaviour, highlighting the bank’s commitment to lifelong learning and professional development.

Addressing the graduates, Irene Gregoriou Pavlidi, Executive Director of People & Change, emphasised the importance of continuous learning.

“Learning never ends and every experience, every piece of knowledge we gain makes us better people and professionals,” she stated.

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) announced on Tuesday that it has awarded a total of €1,000 in financial prizes as part of its annual student awards for the academic year 2023-2024.

The commission used this event to pay tribute to the first chairman of CySEC, the late Frixos Sorokos, with awards being granted in his memory.

The commission said that Sorokos laid the foundations for the creation of the supervisory authority in Cyprus.

“The mission of CySEC is to exercise effective supervision to ensure the protection of investors and the healthy development of the Cypriot capital market so that it becomes one of the safest, most reliable, and attractive investment destinations,” the commission said.

The Cyprus Statistical Service (CyStat) on Tuesday reported significant growth in the Industrial Production Index for Cyprus, highlighting key increases in employment and production value across various industrial sectors in 2022.

Starting with employment, the total number of individuals working in the broad industrial sector rose by 3 per cent to 42,100 in 2022, up from 40,900 in the previous year.

This growth is distributed across various sub-sectors, with manufacturing employment increasing to 37,100, while both mining quarrying and electricity supply maintained a steady workforce of 600 and 2,200, respectively.

Similarly, water supply, sewerage, and waste management sectors each saw a rise to 2,200 persons employed.

The production value at current prices within the entire industrial sector recorded a robust increase of 21.2 per cent, reaching €6.58 billion in 2022, compared to €5.43 billion in 2021.

The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) ended Tuesday, July 9 with losses.

The general Cyprus Stock Market Index was at 162.04 points at 12:40 during the day, reflecting a decrease of 0.08 per cent over the previous day of trading.

The FTSE / CySE 20 Index was at 98.54 points, representing a drop of 0.07 per cent.

The total value of transactions came up to €105,508, until the aforementioned time during trading.

In terms of the sub-indexes, the main index rose by 0.03 per cent, while the alternative and investment firm indexes fell by 0.53 per cent and 0.43 per cent respectively. The hotel index dropped by 0.13 per cent.

The biggest investment interest was attracted by the Bank of Cyprus (+0.49 per cent), Demetra (-0.44 per cent), Kythreotis Holdings (no change), Blue Island (no change), and Vassiliko Cement Works Public Company (-2.78 per cent).