Cyprus Business Now

Cyprus Business Now

Tourist arrivals in Cyprus displayed a slight yet steady increase in May 2024, compared to the same month last year, with the primary markets sustaining robust performance levels, the Cyprus Statistical Service (Cystat) revealed on Monday.

Notably, the figures for this period show a rise in tourist numbers to 421,400 from 420,076 in May 2023, marking a marginal growth of 0.3 per cent.

Over the span from January to May 2024, Cyprus welcomed 1,170,214 tourists, representing an increase of 1.2 per cent over the 1,156,705 arrivals recorded in the corresponding timeframe of 2023.

The UK continues to lead as the predominant source of tourists, contributing 39.8 per cent (167,696) of the total arrivals in May 2024.

The Finance Ministry is contemplating a return to financial markets in the near future, aiming to capitalise on the Cypriot economy’s positive momentum, which has been further reinforced by successive credit rating upgrades, according to reports.

According to sources cited by the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), there are indications that the ministry’s goal is to issue a ten-year bond.

However, the specifics, including the final amount to be raised, will be determined in consultation with the issuance advisors and based on prevailing market conditions.

Most recently, credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) upgraded Cyprus’ long-term credit rating to ‘BBB+’ from ‘BBB’, with a positive outlook. The short-term rating has been affirmed at ‘A-2’.

In its announcement, S&P highlighted that Cyprus recorded the highest consolidated fiscal surplus in the eurozone last year.

In its report, the agency projects that, by 2027, public debt will fall below 60 per cent of GDP, based on stable growth and fiscal prospects and the expectation that the government will achieve its fiscal surplus targets.

The Larnaca regional tourism board (Etap) on Monday announced that Larnaca has clinched the fifth spot in’s survey of Europe’s top 20 most scenic driving destinations.

This achievement marks the fourth consecutive year that the car rental company has compiled this list, basing its rankings on a robust analysis of over 250,000 customer reviews.

The criteria for inclusion were stringent, focusing only on cities that garnered the highest total reviews per country and those amassing over 500 reviews.

“Larnaca, known for its picturesque sandy beaches and dynamic nightlife, secured an impressive average score of 9.06 from 2,334 travellers, making it the premier destination in Cyprus to be acknowledged in this prestigious survey,” the announcement completed.

Cyprus’ general government recorded a surplus of approximately €600 million in the first quarter of 2024, reflecting a 58 per cent increase from the previous year, driven by revenue growth outpacing expenditure, according to a report by the state’s statistical service.

According to the report, preliminary fiscal results for January-March 2024 indicate a general government surplus of €598.3m, reflecting a significant rise when compared to €376.4m in the same period in 2023.

Total revenue for January-March 2024 rose by €389.9m, an increase of 13.5 per cent, reaching €3.28 billion, up from €2.89 billion in the corresponding period of 2023.

Freedom Holding Corp. (FRHC), the parent company of Freedom24, this week reported record-breaking results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024.

During this period, the holding company’s revenue doubled to $1.6 billion, while net income rose by 82 per cent to $375 million.

The significant revenue growth was primarily driven by increases in interest income, fee and commission income, and insurance underwriting income.

Specifically, interest income surged by 181 per cent to $828 million, largely due to higher interest on trading securities, margin loans, and other loans to customers.

Employment in Cyprus’ broad public sector exceeded 75,000 people in the first quarter of the year, reflecting an increase of 4.1 per cent, primarily due to a rise in employment within the central government and educational service staff.

Specifically, according to a report released by the Cyprus Statistical Service (Cystat), the total number of employees in the broad public sector in Q1 2024 stood at 75,723 individuals.

Employment in the general government sector reached 69,929 people, while employment in government-controlled companies and enterprises amounted to 5,794 people.

Within the general government, which includes the government, non-profit organisations, and local authorities, employment stood at 54,698, 10,767, and 4,464 people, respectively.

The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) ended Monday, June 17 with losses.

The general Cyprus Stock Market Index was at 162.47 points at 12:50 during the day, reflecting a decrease of 0.36 per cent over the previous day of trading.

The FTSE / CySE 20 Index was at 98.80 points, representing a drop of 0.37 per cent.

The total value of transactions came up to €34,089, until the aforementioned time during trading.

In terms of the sub-indexes, the main, investment firm and hotel indexes fell by 0.64 per cent, 2.62 per cent and 0.84 per cent respectively. The alternative index rose by 0.02 per cent.

The biggest investment interest was attracted by the Bank of Cyprus (+0.24 per cent), Hellenic Bank (no change), Demetra Holdings (-2.65 per cent), Constantinou Bros (-5.26 per cent), and Petrolina Holdings (+0.55 per cent).

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