The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) has no official information from the Government about the possibility of possible privatization, as mentioned during today’s meeting of the parliamentary committee of finance, which examined the annual budget of this semi-governmental organization.
CSE President George Koufaris said that the Stock Exchange remains an important driver of economic growth and still has a key role in drawing funds for both the companies and the Government and providing investors with an alternative proposal for investments.
He noted that CSE has an important role to play nowadays particularly in the energy sector, as is the case in Norway and Israel, but also in large projects scheduled to be carried out on the island such as marinas, casinos and golf courses.
To achieve these goals, he added, CSE needs the support of all stakeholders and market players and mainly that of state officials and MPs.
Koufaris said that the role of the Stock Exchange is crucial and can play a more important role in the exploitation of gas reserves and in renewable energy sector “that’s why everybody’s support is needed, especially that of the Ministry of Finance and the House of Representatives”.
When MPs raised the possibility of privatization of the CSE, both CSE and Finance Ministry representatives told the House Committee that there is nothing specific on this issue, nor the Finance Ministry has informed the CSE Board on anything about this issue.
CSE Director General Nondas Metaxas said that in all European countries the Stock Exchange is considered a very important institution for the interests of the country itself and gave the example of the London Stock Exchange to say that the British Government has repeatedly stopped efforts by foreign investors to take over the London Stock Exchange.
Metaxas also said that although Greece’s Stock Exchange is considered private, state banks are participating in it and in fact it is controlled by the state.
Presenting the CSE budget, George Koufaris said that the 2013 budget provides for total expenditure of 7.8 million euros, while the budgeted revenue will amount to 6.6 million euros, operating expenditure to 6 million euros and the expected surplus to 3,000 euro.
The total development expenditure will amount to 1.7 million euros and be financed by equity capitals, while the reserve fund will remain at around 18.8 million euros, he concluded.
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