President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has congratulated the Minister of Finance Harris Georgiades for the successful 10-year bond issuance, noting that after almost four years of contraction, Cypriot economy is returning to positive economic growth.
The Republic of Cyprus has raised €1 billion from the 10-year eurobond (EMTN) issued today, at a yield of 4.25%, “the lowest ever pricing for a 10-year bond for Cyprus”, as the Minister Georgiades said earlier today.
In his speech at an event organised for RCB Bank’s 20th Anniversary, President Anastasiades said that RCB is an international bank, which has become an integral part of the Cyprus banking sector and the country’s economy, but, most importantly, has provided tangible and substantial support to our country.
“Now that our economy is recovering and returning to growth, we can only applaud RCB’s expansion plan in the local market with the opening of new branches and the consequent creation of new jobs, as well as the increase in its loan portfolio to Cypriot businesses”, he added.
“The Cypriot economy is emerging out of its most challenging period to date. The last two years are a prime example of what can be achieved with vision, detailed planning and prudence. Hard work and the common effort of the public and the private sector can turn an economy in distress towards stability and prosperity”, he said.
President noted that “after almost four years of contraction, we are witnessing a return to positive economic growth from the beginning of this year, a growth that is projected to be maintained. The results are already visible. Last week, Fitch Ratings upgraded Cyprus’ economy by two notches, with a positive outlook, pointing out the positive fiscal performance and the return to growth”.
“We were successful in entering the credit markets today and I congratulate the Minister of Finance”, he added.
He also said that “substantial results have been achieved in the banking sector as well. The banks have been restructured and recapitalized and are refocusing their operations with a prudent risk-based approach to lending…Today however, confidence and stability have been restored and all restrictions and capital controls imposed in March 2013 have been abolished earlier than expected”.
“Obviously the banking sector has still challenges to face: The large number of non-performing loans and consequently the ability of banks to supply new credit to the economy. To this end, the improved legal framework on foreclosures and insolvency is now in force, and it is indeed a critical step towards tackling the high level of non-performing loans”, he added.
President stressed that “with a responsible fiscal policy visible through the performance of the public finances, with emphasis on investments, coupled with the targeted structural reforms that we are promoting, we are confident that the economy will be on solid ground in the medium and long term”.
“Such policies, to name a few, involve the fostering of the financial sector and the attraction of strategic partners/investors in the telecommunications and ports industries, the maintaining of a stable tax framework with added incentives for investments and the care for more vulnerable groups”, he concluded.
In his address at the event, Minister of Economic Development of the Russia Federation, Alexey Ulyukaev referred to the very good economic relations between Cyprus and Russia in the fields of trade and investment. He also referred to the very good cooperation and mutual trust existing between the two countries in dealing with the various challenges relating to the global and European economy.
President and Chairman of VTB Management Board Mr Andrey Kostin also addressed the event during which RCB Bank offered 10,000 euro to ten charity organizations in support of their charitable work.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY