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Daily Press Review – 20/6/2019

Hellenic Bank Masters Tennis Academy underway

The island-wide tournament “Hellenic Bank Masters Tennis Academy” is currently underway and is organised by the Academy with the same name in Strovolos. The Grade 1 category tournament holds matches for 16 different age groups, Men/Women, Singles/Doubles, and a total of 150 tennis players are participating (190 entries). During the long weekend, including the Monday holiday, the marches were held both in the morning and the afternoon, with the exception of Sunday afternoon, when the matches were postponed due to bad weather. From Tuesday onwards, the matches are held both in the afternoon and evening, while the category finals are scheduled for Sunday, 23 June.

 

More than 50% of bank deposits are guaranteed

Haravgi reports that more than half of bank deposits are guaranteed since they are covered by the Deposit Guarantee and Resolution of Credit and Other Institutions Scheme. According to information by the European Banking Authority (EBA), as of the end of 2018, the total number of guaranteed deposits amounted to €23.01b, compared with €16.80b in the previous year. This increase was caused by the transfer of Co-op deposits to Hellenic Bank. It should be noted that the Co-op’s deposits were guaranteed under the previous system, but were covered by a different scheme. After a part of the Co-op’s business was transferred to Hellenic Bank, the deposits in question were introduced in the Deposit Guarantee Scheme of the banks. As of the end of 2017, the guaranteed deposits of the Co-op amounted to €9.4b. According to Central Bank data, at the end of 2018, the total number of deposits in the banks amounted to €47.86b. This means that more than 50% of deposits are guaranteed.

 

Alpha Bank hasn’t reached a deal with Altamira yet

Phileleftheros reports that talks between Alpha Bank Cyprus and the candidate company that will take up the management of its NPLs is still ongoing. However, publications in the Greek press, report that Altamira has won over Pepper and APS. As they report, the agreement, which concerns the assignment of the management of NPEs worth €3.8b, of which €2b have been transferred to a Special Purpose Vehicle, is expected to be finalised between 15-31 July. The Cypriot Altamira which was set up in end-2017, took up the management of the former Co-op’s NPLs. The author goes on to argue that in the case of an Alpha Bank-Altamira deal, Altamira will become the biggest NPLs servicer with a portfolio worth around €11b. If the deal is finalised, it is very likely that Altamira will create another company.

 

DP World exposed by the investigation Committee

The probe into the Cyprus Ports authority, which was published yesterday by Phileleftheros, exposed complaints concerning DP World. This controversy appears to be the reason for the “fight” between the Cyprus Ports Authority and the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works.

 

Foreign delegates arrive for 4th International Investors Summit

More than 150 international delegates, from more than 20 countries, are expected to arrive to Cyprus in the next few days, so as to participate in the 4th Cyprus International Investors Summit, which is organised by Invest Cyprus. The conference, is scheduled to take place between 27-29 June 2019, at Parklane Spa & Resort, in Limassol. Invest Cyprus, the Minister of Finance and the chief Economist for Research and Innovation, will present the developments in their sector. At the same time, the Deputy Minister of Shipping Natasa Pilidou and the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Savvas Perdios will attend the conference part of the summit, so as to present the example of Cyprus through a discussion with Mark O’Neil, President of Columbia Columbia Shipmanagement and Andy Choy, President of ICR Cyprus Group/ Property President, Altira Macau και Mocha Clubs.

 

Increased annual income for state doctors

Phileleftheros reports that OKYPY has put forward a proposal to increase the income of general practitioners (GPs for adults and paediatricians for children) by €30.000 per year. This sum will be added on the annual salary of state doctors (on average their estimated salary is around €60.000 – €80.000 annually) and will be contingent on the number of patients that they will have registered on their catalogues. PASYDY stated that this proposal was accepted by them, however, they set a few conditions on specific issues. Politis reports that OKYPY has a double purpose; to encourage higher-quality health services in the GHS framework and stop the outflow of doctors from state hospitals. An Ad-Hoc committee is examining the additional income proposal for specialized doctors as well as GPs. The schedule and opening hours of hospitals and health centres are also being examined by the organisation. On Monday, PASYKI will hold a general meeting where they will discuss matters across the board.

 

PASYKI complains about reform delays in state hospitals

The Pancyprian Federation of State Doctors (PASYKI) is still complaining about the long delay in strengthening and reorganising state hospitals. Soteris Koumas, its president, reiterated his warnings about the number of doctors who quit state hospitals and join GHS as private practitioners. According to Mr. Koumas, 30 doctors of various specializations quit the public sector, and OKYPY is still employing doctors according to 2018 needs, without taking into consideration the gaps and needs created by the latest developments in the healthcare sector. Mr. Koumas highlighted “doctors do not only care for financial motives. It is not only about money, but it’s the work environment in general that leads them to the decision to quit; if this is not improved soon, the outflow of state doctors will not cease”.

 

Confusion between the old system and GHS

Confusion, wrong charges and even overcharges of GHS beneficiaries are being observed in state hospitals. It can be easily inferred that operators of state hospitals have not yet been completely familiarized with the system. OKYPY is monitoring this issue daily, reminding state hospital operators that as of 1 June, they shouldn’t be distinguishing patients in beneficiaries and not beneficiaries. According to previous complaints, some patients were also wrongly overcharged based on previous fees rather than the new GHS fees.