Posts by tag: Russia

Archives April 21, 2013 posted by

Cypriot-based firm takes on Germany over pre-war bonds

A CYPRUS-BASED company, Mortimer Offshore Services, is engaged in a lengthy legal battle in the US over pre-World War II German Gold Bonds the company says are worth around $9 billion.
According to Avraam HadjiGiovannis, a Business Engineer Consultant who is close to the proceedings, the bonds were bought in the open market from American citizens who had been buying the debt for years over the last century.
These particular bonds, issued by Lee Higginson Trust Company, and printed by the American Bank Note Company, were traded on the US stock exchange. Mortimer began buying up the bonds in the nineties but says Germany refuses to allow encashment.

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Archives April 21, 2013 posted by

Those in tourism still see hope in Russian market

THE ECONOMIC crisis seen in Cyprus over the last month will most certainly impact upon the eastern promise of a growing Russian tourism market though opinions within the industry appear to differ over the degree.
One tourism operator who did not wish to be named said he was in Russia recently visiting tour operators and was implored by companies there to pass on the message to the Cyprus authorities to counteract the negative marketing enacted against the country.
“Unfortunately, our competitors are capitalising on our situation, saying we have strikes, people are screaming in the streets and there is general upset and insecurity here. Bookings are down and people are scared,” he said.

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Archives April 2, 2013 posted by

Food pours in at solidarity concert

PEOPLE from across the island yesterday gathered at the Constanza moat in Nicosia for ‘CyprusAid – People for People’, a free music concert in return for food and useful items to be handed out to community markets in the country.
The event started at 4pm and was due to finish at midnight, with 50 artists and volunteers giving their time for free and CyTA live streaming the performances.
Even before CyprusAid was due to start, volunteers were already busy sorting items – baby food, long life milk, coffee, lentils, pasta, etc –  that people had started bringing in.
By 4pm all hands were busy, scribbling down how many boxes they had already filled up and trying to separate their items into categories. Dozens of boxes were already full.

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Archives March 26, 2013 posted by

Popular Bank board thought EU would not let it fail

THE board of collapsed Cyprus Popular Bank thought Europe would never let the ailing lender fail, its departed vice chairman said in his first interview since stepping down on Friday.

Chris Pavlou, a Cypriot-born banker, had joined the board of Cyprus Popular, also known as Laiki, in December 2011 and was put in charge of helping the bank sort out its troubled operations. He had spent more than 30 years working for banks overseas including HSBC and Barclays.

Cyprus ultimately agreed to close Laiki, the second-largest bank, and transfer deposits under €100,000 into its competitor, a move that will cost thousands of employees their jobs and could wipe out all deposits above €100,000.

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Archives March 23, 2013 posted by

The Russians are our friends: famous last words from Demetris Christofias

ON A HOT morning in July last year, Cypriot President Demetris Christofias sat with a group of journalists on the stage of the sleekly modern National Theatre in Nicosia and beamed as he talked about his warm ties with Russia.

The communist party leader, who met his wife and earned his doctorate in Moscow, told the Brussels-based reporters that Cyprus could easily overcome its financial troubles with help from both Russia and the European Union.

“The Russians, as good friends of Cyprus, want to take care of us,” he said breezily, dismissing a question with a wave of his hand and smiling, his dark eyebrows rising with amusement towards his thick grey hair.

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Archives March 22, 2013 posted by

S&P send Cyprus deeper into junk

STANDARD & Poor’s cut the sovereign long-term foreign currency credit rating on Cyprus deeper into junk status on Thursday, lowering the rating to CCC from CCC-plus as the country struggles with a banking crisis.
“We believe that in the absence of a credible alternative source of capital and fiscal financing, the risk of a disorderly credit event is rising,” S&P said in its statement. It added: “The downgrade mainly reflects our view of the acute problems in Cyprus’  banking sector”, noting that since early 2012, Cyprus’ domestic banks have repeatedly suffered losses because of write-downs on their holdings of Greek government bonds and credit losses on their Greek and domestic private-sector loans.

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Archives March 21, 2013 posted by

How did the geniuses who designed this bailout get it so wrong?

COULD a failed bank robbery in Cyprus cause the collapse of the euro? It’s hard to imagine how anything that happens in Cyprus, with less than one million people, could bring down the common currency shared by three hundred million Europeans, but there are few human behaviours as infectious as a run on the banks.

Strictly speaking, the Greek-Cypriots are not having a bank run, because their banks have all been closed since last Saturday and the cash machines will only give out 500 euros per customer. But there would certainly be a nationwide bank run if they reopened the banks without strict limits on cash withdrawals and transfers overseas.

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Archives March 21, 2013 posted by

Bank industry chief warns Cypriot banks must reopen in days

A SOLUTION must be found to reopen Cypriot banks within days before it is “too late”, one of Europe’s top bankers warned yesterday, saying he feared the island’s problems risked knocking confidence across the region.

“Everything needs to be solved very quickly. This is a matter of a very few days before it gets too late,” Christian Clausen, president of lobby group the European Banking Federation told Reuters in an interview.

“Speed is extremely important,” said Clausen, who is also chief executive of Nordea Group, the Nordic region’s biggest lender.

Clausen’s comments were echoed by Hung Tran, deputy managing director of the Institute of International Finance, a global bank lobby group.

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Archives March 21, 2013 posted by

Sarris: nothing concrete from Moscow visit

FINANCE Minister Michalis Sarris has vowed to stay in Moscow to reach an agreement on ways to help Cyprus out of the quagmire, after yesterday’s meetings proved inconclusive. 

Sarris went to Moscow on Tuesday evening ahead of the Cypriot parliament’s rejection of the revised draft bill regarding a one-off bank levy on deposits. 

Russian assistance had become the great eastern hope of many Cypriots following rejection of the troika’s hard-hitting measures to ‘rescue’ Cyprus, which involved an unprecedented hit to depositors, including small insured savers.

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Archives March 21, 2013 posted by

Our View: Russia has no moral, legal or political obligation to save our insolvent banks

IN THE LAST four days, we have been hearing and reading an array of rumours about how the Russians would step in with their billions and spare Cyprus having to agree to the odious levy on deposits that is a condition for the EU bailout. So far not a single one of these rumours has proved to have any basis in reality, but the production was unaffected.

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