Bitcoin Brushes $9,000 As Crypto Markets Continue Making Steady Gains

Bitcoin Brushes $9,000 As Crypto Markets Continue Making Steady Gains

Bitcoin (BTC) is on the cusp of $9,000, and Ethereum (ETH) is over $630, as the crypto markets continue to climb upwards today, April 22, according to data from Coin360.

coin360

BTC is currently trading at around $8,977, having broken $9,000 earlier today, up almost 2 percent over a 24 hour period to press time. According to CoinMarketCap, BTC dominance is around 38.4 percent, down from a monthly high around 44 percent.

Bitcoin Charts

ETH is up over 5 percent over a 24 hour period, trading at around $637 at press time, a level it last hit on March 14.

Ethereum Charts

Of the top ten coins on CoinMarketCap – which are all in the green today – Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and IOTA are up the most, up 9 and 10 percent on the day, respectively. BCH is trading for around $1,240, and IOTA around $2.08 at press time.

The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is nearing $400 bln, currently around $397 bln as of press time. The last time total market cap reached this price point was in early March.

Total Market Capitalization

This weekend has seen some potentially good news for crypto regulation. In India, a crypto company has filed a claim against the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) for their earlier decision to end dealings with crypto-related entities, claiming the ban is unconstitutional. RBI has until May 24 to respond to a notice, then reportedly issued by the High Court of Delhi.

Source: Cointelegraph

Three investors interested in co-op bank

Three investors are interested in the co-op bank, as the procedure to dispose of the state-controlled lender enters its final stretch, it was reported on Friday.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, by Monday April 23 the co-op bank is expected to wrap up presentations to prospective investors and any binding offers will be submitted by Monday, April 30.

Bank officials did not, however, rule out further consultations next week.

On March 19 the Cooperative Central Bank launched a tender for expression of interest offering two options – acquiring a controlling stake in the bank’s share capital, currently owned by the state, or acquiring assets and liabilities.

Two of the three potential investors are examining both options, the agency said, while the third is exclusively interested in the second.

Only Hellenic Bank has officially confirmed it is participating in the procedure. Any proposal would have to be approved by the EU’s Single Supervisory Mechanism, which oversees the co-op bank.

The state nationalised the co-op banks in 2013 through a €1.7 billion injection. Earlier this month it was forced to deposit €2.5bn in a bid to boost confidence amid rumours that sparked a run on the lender.

Source: CyprusMail

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EU push for ‘good’ part of Co-op to merge with local lender

The European Central Bank (ECB) seems to favour merging the performing operations of the Cyprus Cooperative Bank (CCB) with another Cypriot lender, Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said on Thursday.

He was responding to questions by MPs during a joint meeting of the House finance and watchdog committees on the future of the troubled Co-ops.

Responding to a question, Georgiades said that Frankfurt seems to be in support of merging of the ‘good’ part of CCB with another Cypriot bank.

In fact, he said, he does not rule out the possibility of the EU Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) pre-approving that plan over a proposal for the sale of the entire banking entity.

“I would not rule out, even if there are various proposals at the table, the preapproval by the supervisory entity of that choice, which would include merging with another bank,” Georgiades said.

He said the procedure to seek an investor for the CCB was according to the demand of the ECB to explore all options. Their final view would be made clear after the completion of the procedure. “I would even say that they will decide to a large extent who will be the preferred tender, and by their choice, the preference will probably arise”.

The head of the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC)’s supervision department, Yiangos Demetriou, told MPs that given the high capital requirements, the choice of a private investor to participate in the CCB capital is not on the table.

On the withdrawals of deposits from Co-op banks – following rumours prior to the presidential election of a possible new ‘haircut’ this time at the CCB – Georgiades said that they had peaked in two phases; between December 2017 and January 2018, but also at the end of March, forcing the state to deposit €2.5bn to stabilise the situation.

“I am under the impression that the deposits did not leave Cyprus, but they did not even go to banks,” he said.

CEO of the CCB, Nicholas Hadjiyiannis, said that outflows of deposits from the beginning of the year reached € 1.9bn, with the largest daily outflows being observed in the last days of March. Outflows in March, he said, amounted to €700m.

“Those days were a nightmare,” he said.

Under pressure from the SSM to raise provisions against bad loans depleting its capital, the CCB launched on March 19 a privatisation process offering potential investors two options, either acquiring the whole banking entity or acquiring its performing operations and a part of its banking network or its non-performing loans amounting to €6.2 billion or 60 per cent of its total loan book.

Cyprus bailed out the CCB in 2014 injecting €1.5bn using loans it received from the EU and the IMF as part of the €10 billion financial assistance programme. In 2015 the government injected an additional €0.17bn to boost the CCB’s capital.

Source: CyprusMail

Business accelerator expands reach

Bank of Cyprus and Deloitte programme to aid aspiring entrepreneurs Accelerator Aris, A Really Inspiring Space, has grown with the addition of another team.

The latest team, Exal is about developing a decentralised e-commerce platform for small and medium enterprises backed-up by blockchain.

For this, as for its other six teams, Deloitte and the Bank of Cyprus provide support not only with offices but with their advice and guidance.

In this case, Deloitte Moscow is mentoring Exal to facilitate the successful launch of their product, because, as Monica Ioannidou, Aris director and head of Deloitte’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre, put it “we provide expertise, and when we can’t find it locally we find it from abroad.”

The Moscow branch has worked with blockchain for ten years, she explained.

Most times, the residents will get enough from the local team, which is based in a Limassol office.

“We are a dedicated team which provides office space and everyday assistance,” Ioannidou said.

The accelerator, so-called because it shortens the time a new business venture takes from an idea to a product, works with participants whose ideas are innovative and connected to technology.

At the moment, teams are involved in projects such as geological tourism, shipping and e-commerce.

There is no deadline, but an ongoing call for applications. “We encourage more teams to join. We are selective, but when we have accepted a team we keep supporting it. As projects need to be market relevant we help finding investors and customers with the expertise of our company and the bank,” the director said.

Teams are of two to five persons, one of whom must be present in the office every day.

Source: CyprusMail

Government aims to double industry’s share of GDP by 2030

The government on Monday announced the launch of a long-term industrial strategy policy, aiming to double industry’s share of gross domestic product by the year 2030.

The strategy was unveiled at a colloquium in Nicosia under the rubric ‘Designing the industry of the new era’.

“Our main objective, in implementing our new policy in cooperation with our industrialists, is to gradually raise industry’s contribution to GDP from 7.9 per cent where it stood in 2017, to 15 per cent by 2030,” commerce and energy minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said in the keynote address.

The colloquium was organised by the commerce ministry in collaboration with the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Keve) and the Employers and Industrialists Federation (OEV).

It was attended by European Commission officials.

According to official statistics, in 2017 the industrial sector (not including construction) accounted for 7.9 per cent of GDP and for 8.8 per cent of gainfully employed persons.

The new strategy, as outlined by Lakkotrypis, envisages the creation of a “robust, smart and technologically advanced industry with related services, helping to drive economic growth and prosperity.”

The strategy is based on seven pillars, among which sustainable development policies, ‘smart manufacturing’, digitisation, tapping into EU funds and reducing red tape.

Lakkotrypis said a workgroup has already been established, comprising ministry officials and members of Keve and OEV. It will hammer out an annual programme of actions and initiatives, and the overall policy is to be evaluated on a yearly basis.

Also speaking at the event was Mark Nicklas of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.

“The goal is to revitalise and re-industrialise all of Europe, and no country or region should be left behind,” Nicklas said.

In his State of the Union speech on September 13, 2017, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker unveiled the Commission’s Industrial Policy Strategy that aims at ‘empowering European industries to continue delivering sustainable growth and jobs.’

The EU’s strategy falls under the broader Agenda 2030, promulgated at a United Nations summit in 2015. Agenda 2030’s stated goal is to ‘transform the world’ by eradicating poverty and implementing sustainable development.

Source: CyprusMail

Attracting investor interest for Co-op Bank ‘a must’, financial ombudsman says

Attracting investor interest for the Cyprus Cooperative Bank is a must and a move everyone should contribute in, in order to shield the Cypriot economy, Financial Ombudsman Pavlos Ioannou has said.

Addressing the annual property exhibition, Ioannou said that accumulated non-performing loans were not just a result of the economic crisis but also “a creation of the behaviour of the bank’s main structure” According to him this is why “immediate action is needed.”

Cooperative credit institutions “are no longer cooperative,” he said.

The financial ombudsman, who also expressed his approval of a move by the ministry of finance to attract investor interest in the co-op, said the ministry’s recent steps “constitute well thought out and clever moves” which apart from having shielded the system from various uncertainties and insecurities would create the basis for the privatisation of the bank.

In his address he also noted that everyone should contribute in the effort to have a successful outcome.

Under pressure from the EU Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) to raise provisions against bad loans depleting its capital, the CCB launched on March 19 a privatisation process offering potential investors two options, either acquiring the whole banking entity or acquiring its performing operations and a part of its banking network or its non-performing loans amounting to €6.2 billion which amount to 60% of its total loan book.

Cyprus bailed out the CCB in 2014 injecting €1.5 billion using loans it received from the EU and the IMF as part of the €10 billion financial assistance programme. In 2015 the government injected an additional €0.17 billion to boost the CCB’s capital.

In December 2017 the CCB’s capital amounted to €1.1 billion

Source: CyprusMail



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Tax department sends online details to payers

The tax department said on Friday it has mailed taxpayers their individual numbers necessary to register online to pay income and defence tax.

All tax returns starting from 2017 will have to be submitted online through TAXISnet.

Numbers have been sent by post to all active taxpayers registered with the department who are not TAXISnet users.

The department urged taxpayers to register in time on: https://taxisnet.mof.gov.cy

Information on the electronic submission of the income tax return for 2017, as well

as instructions on how to register, will be uploaded on the department’s website (www.mof.gov.cy/tax) at a later stage.

Information and guidance is available on the following contact telephone numbers:

Nicosia 22446215/Limassol 25803717/Larnaca 24803590/Paphos 26804398/Ammohostos 23811856.

Source: CyprusMail

Cyprus to boost collaboration on start-ups with Russia

A high-powered Cypriot delegation is in Russia to accelerate the exchange of technologies and boost collaboration on innovation and start-ups. The team will also promote opportunities for Russian investment in Cyprus in research and development, technology, biomedicine and health, education, and energy.

Formalising these aims, Invest Cyprus signed a memorandum of cooperation in Moscow on March 1st with the management of the Skolkovo Innovation Centre. This is sprawling science tech business hub near the Russian capital that is home to hundreds of start-ups and to more than 30,000 researchers. The protocol was inked by Invest Cyprus board member, Kyriakos Kokkinos, and Oleg Dubnov, vice-president and executive director of the energy cluster of Skolkovo Foundation.

The aim is to boost co-operation between the two countries’ governments, businesses and research centres. This is reflected in the composition of the 17-strong Cypriot delegation, which includes representatives from the private sector and leading academics.

The two-day visit begins with a meeting on trade and economic co-operation at Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development in Moscow, with officials and companies from each country giving presentations.

Cyprus and Russia have long enjoyed friendly relations at all levels – political, business and people to people. Russian investment is helping to drive the island’s strong economic growth. In turn, the EU’s easternmost member provides Russian enterprises with a gateway to the bloc, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.

President Anastasiades laid the groundwork for the visit last October when he hosted a dinner in Moscow for sixty of Russia’s most influential and wealthiest entrepreneurs. He assured them that his government would strive to promote measures that would constantly improve the appeal of Cyprus’ investment environment.

Weeks earlier, Cyprus and Russia signed a protocol in Nicosia outlining the possibilities and prospects for expanding cooperation in innovation, industry, medical services, transport, telecoms and information technology.

All these are core areas at Skolkovo, where the Cypriot delegation spent a second day. CIPA delegates, including board member Kyriacos Kokkinos, were to meet directors from these various spheres of activity to examine and discuss the potential for cooperation and for gaining more know-how and expertise in innovation.

The Skolkovo trip also gives the Cypriot party the opportunity to promote the island’s advantages as a base for Russian start-ups. Apart from the island’s EU membership and strategic location, operational costs are substantially lower than in mainland Europe and Cyprus has a competitive, EU-approved tax regime.

A further incentive came last year with the introduction of a fast track visa scheme for non-EU nationals who launch innovative start-ups with high growth potential. Cyprus is already home to a rapidly-growing expatriate and local tech community, with ‘incubators’ and accelerators to provide support.

The Cypriot delegation’s composition reflected the mission’s purpose and interests. It includes representatives from Cyta’s Innovation and Idea Development Centre, the Cyprus and Limassol Chambers of Commerce and Industry, which represent the business community, from public and private universities, and companies from the private sector, including Remedica.

Most Russians they will meet know of the island from friends or relatives in Cyprus, which is home to a flourishing 40,000-strong Russian-speaking business community that sees the island as a reliable partner. Many students from Russian-speaking countries attend universities and medical schools in Cyprus and sun-loving Russian tourists are flocking to the island in ever-growing numbers. They made up nearly a third of last year’s record 3.6 million visitors.

Economic ties date back decades to when Cyprus swapped wine in bulk with the Soviet Union in return for tractors. Russian businessmen arrived in Cyprus in the early 1990s after the collapse of communism. The island provided a first step into the capitalist world. Their path was smoothed by cultural, historical and Orthodox Christian ties, making Cyprus a home from home. Cyprus’ EU membership in 2004 magnified the island’s attractions as a base for Russian enterprises.

Most Russians doing business in Cyprus stayed after the 2013 bail-in, even though many lost uninsured bank deposits. Russian foreign direct investment continued unabated, helping Cyprus to record a remarkable 9.1 per cent growth in foreign direct investment in 2016 and a further 6 per growth in 2017.

Source: CyprusMail

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