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Fitch discusses Cyprus settlement with FinMin

05/02/2003 13:58
Finance Minister, Takis Clerides, met with representatives of Fitch Ratings on Wednesday morning within the framework of the agency's visit to evaluate the Cyprus economy.

The two sides reviewed the development of Cyprus economy in comparison with the international and European economy, analyzed the developments in 2003 as well as the prospects for the years to follow, while Fitch expressed its interest with regard to the economic conditions after a political settlement of the Cyprus conflict.

The Finance Minister confirmed the government’s commitment to eliminate fiscal deficit until 2005 (as per the Pre-accession Economic Program) and its willingness to join the EMU after its full accession in the EU.

Meanwhile, officials from the Finance Ministry, the Bank of Cyprus and the Programming Office had contacts with the Fitch representatives yesterday to inform them about the Cyprus economy.

According to a FinMin announcement, “Fitch had evaluated Cyprus economy last year as well, taking into account the economic data for 2001 and the prospects for 2002. Fitch’s report was the most favourable of all comparable ratings by international agencies”.

The International credit rating agency also announced the downgrading of the Bank of Cyprus’ ratings, citing high labour costs, uncertainty over the economic outlook and bad debts. Specifically, Fitch downgraded BOC’s long term rating from A to A-, its short term rating from F1 to F2 and its individual Rating from C to C/D. The agency left the bank’s support rating unchanged at 2.