The banks they are ready to support the economy

The first signs from the market following the partial lifting of lockdown measures are very positive, Minister of Finance Constantinos Petrides said on Tuesday, adding that “we will emerge victorious from this uncertain battle.”
 
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Petrides discussed the situation of the economy with the CEOs of the Cypriot commercial banks after the launching of the government second support package that contains interest rate subsidies and VAT reductions for the tourist sector and guarantees to the European Investment Bank for cheap loans to the economy through local banks.
 
It was a very constructive discussions, we pass to the second phase, that of recovery, Petrides said in statements following the meeting adding “both the government and the banking sector will contribute with the means at their disposal towards that end.”
 
“Market sentiment is changing and this is very important,” Petrides said.
 
On the interest rate subsidy, Petrides said this is a very important assistance and what we said today is that while entering this second phase and with the change in sentiment of the people, the banks with their participation and by explaining these rapid procedures will do their part so that we all support the economy.”
 
“And we have every right to be really optimistic that we will manage to emerge victorious from this crisis.”
 
Responding to a question, Petrides said “the first signs concerning the market and the labour market following the partial lifting of restrictions are very positive and we have every right to be optimistic.”
 
Stating that there will be more data in the coming period, the Finance Minister added that “it seems the government’s measures have acted as a catalyst.”
 
He also noted that the growth registered in the last years have given the public finances and the private economy the resilience necessary to cope with the crisis.
 
“Of course, there are problems, currently our plans are more targeted but we are convinced we will emerge victorious from this uncertain battle, both the private sector, the state, the government and political parties. And this is the positive message we should give as we pass to the restart phase,” he concluded.
 
On his part, Ioannis Matsis, President of the Association of Cyprus Banks (ACB) assured that the banks have the intention, the liquidity and the capital buffers to support the economy.
 
Welcoming the government measures, Matsis said that measures such as interest rate subsidies and loans through the EIB will give the banks greater capacity to provide loans.
 
He also observed that since the relaxation of the lockdown measures and by monitoring credit and debit card movement and other data “we have seen the economy expanding rapidly.”
 
“Therefore, things seem better than our April estimates and we are very optimistic,” he said.
 
Asked on the role of the banks in the economic restart phase, Matsis said “as banks we have the will, the intention the liquidity and the capital adequacy to support the economy.”
 
“It would be beneficial for all, both the society, the economy and the banks alike, to proceed with (granting of) financing and liquidity,” he said, pointing out however that banks always need to assess the viability of the borrowers.
 
But Matsis noted that “the schemes announced by the government will bring increase volume (to the banks) and will be very helpful.”
 
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Total number of coronavirus cases announced by Cyprus authorities exceeds 1000, three new confirmed on Saturday
Cyprus authorities announced on Saturday three new confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases after conducting 1,699 lab tests. This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 1,002.
 
One of the persons found positive is Apollon FC football player Djordje Denic, who arrived to the island from Serbia three days ago and underwent a test at the football team’s initiative. The football club issued a press release announcing that the football player tested positive.
 
The other two cases concern people who came into contact with other two confirmed cases announced on June 29 and June 30, as they work with them. The first person found positive, out of these four cases, had come to Cyprus from the US.  The tests for the two persons announced as positive cases today were carried out at the initiative of the company which employees them.
 
A press release issued by the Ministry of Health said that all three positive cases announced on Saturday were detected out of 329 lab tests carried out at the private initiative.  
 
Moreover no positive cases were detected from 157 lab tests carried out in the framework of the programme for checking 10,000 employees who went back to work during phase B and C of easing restrictive measures, from 24 lab tests completed as part of the contact tracing programme, from 834 samples taken from passengers and repatriates, from 97 tests carried out by the Microbiological Labs of  the General Hospitals and from 249 lab tests completed as part of referrals from personal doctors and special groups screening through the public health centres.
 
One patient is currently being treated at Famagusta General Hospital which is the Covid-19 Reference Hospital.

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