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Flu Virus Kills One, Two Serious Cases, Rises By 41% - Health Ministry

The incidents of influenza virus has risen by 41% since the end of December, and one patient - who had a number of other health problems - has died of the disease, said the Health Ministry.

Limassol Port Privatisation Going Well - Minister

limassol ports privatisation marios demetriadesPlans for privatisation of the Limassol Ports Authority are going well, said Transport Minister Marios Demetriades, who most-recently oversaw the closure of Cyprus Airways following the European Commission's decision that the state-owned company would have to return millions of euros in state aid.

The minister has had a meeting with the Troika about the privatisation, he said.

Privatisation of state-owned companies was a condition of the 10-billion-euro bailout from the Troika, but more importantly, has become a necessity given the economic recession, lower tax revenues from economic activity, and the high cost of running such companies.

More of the Same from the FOMC - Analyst

jameel ahmadWritten by Jameel Ahmad, Chief Market Analyst at FXTM.

To sum up, there were no surprises from the FOMC statement yesterday evening. Throughout previous statements, “more of the same” has been the underlying tone and yesterday evening’s statement basically repeated the same message.

There is no doubting the US labour market is making consistent progress while inflation expectations have always been something the Fed have seen as a priority, and it will continue to monitor potential inflation risks closely over the coming months.

Noble Energy Moving Ahead with Cyprus Natural Gas Development

US energy company Noble Energy has submitted its natural gas development plans to the government and will be moving ahead to exploit the reserves it discovered in the Aphrodite field, said Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis.

Meetings are being held at the technical level, he added.

If the government agrees with the plans, it will mean that Noble Energy can essentially license the entire prospects for natural gas in the field, said Lakkotrypis.

Cyprus Objects to New Russian Sanctions

cyprus russia sanctionsCyprus has followed Greece in objecting to a new round of EU sanctions on Russia, with government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides telling state radio that European Council President Donald Tusk's proposed measures had no prior consultation or reasonable time for member states to respond.

The government is dissatisfied on the procedure and the substance of the proposals, said the spokesman. The issue will be discussed at thelevel of the permanent representation of the European Commission in Cyprus and at the extraordinary meeting of foreign ministers, he said.

New Greek PM Tsipras Ruffles EU Feathers Over Russia Sanctions, Privatisation Cancellations

New Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has ruffled the EU and US' feathers with his objection to sanctions on Russian officials over the annexation of Crimea and Sebastopol. In a move that is likely to sell well in this region, where Greece and Cyprus are Russia's traditional allies, Tsipras said that the EU did not get Greece's consent for sanctions.

Fiscal discipline out the door?

Meanwhile, members of his new Cabinet are busy reversing bailout policies that were passed into law over the last four years. Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis said there would be an immediate halt to the privatisation of the state electricity authority, and that cheaper power prices would be implemented, reports To Vima.

USD weakens ahead of FOMC statement - Analyst

Written by Jameel Ahmad, Chief Market Analyst at FXTM.

Leading up to this evening’s eagerly anticipated FOMC statement, traders took the opportunity to close some USD positions on Tuesday afternoon. Investors are showing some concerns ahead of the FOMC statement that the Federal Reserve will delay raising US interest rates until much later this year than they originally hoped for, although any optimism that the Federal Reserve will hike rates as early as March/April was always wishful thinking to be honest.

TOTAL's Future in Cyprus Hydrocarbon Search Remains Uncertain

total gas cyprusFrench energy giant TOTAL's future in the search for hydrocarbons in the seas around Cyprus remains uncertain, although Attorney-general Costas Clerides said that an amendment to the company's contract with the government can be made, and there were reassurances from Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis that there could be a deal to explore Plot 11.

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