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New housing loans from the Bank of Cyprus, progress on Immovable Property Tax collection and a World Cup probe into a land deal involving a member of FIFA’s executive committee.

THE BANK of Cyprus has introduced a new housing loan scheme aimed at permanent residents of the island for the purpose of buying a house as a permanent or holiday residence.

The scheme provides for a loan of up to €200,000 at an interest rate of 4.75% with a repayment period of 10 to 40 years.

It offers the right to suspend instalments of a maximum of two monthly instalments a year and 24 suspended instalments in total over the duration of the loan and a grace period of up to 24 months on capital – or up to 24 months on capital and interest if the house is under construction.

There is also a reward for consistent repayment with a lower monthly instalment every 13 months, provided that all 12 previous instalments had been paid on the due date.

The Bank is also offering a discount of 0.25% on the interest rate is the residence is purchased from a developer who is client of the bank and the construction has been financed by the bank.

Immovable Property Tax collection

CHIEF Revenue Officer, Mrs Liana Charalambous Tanou, has reported that the Inland Revenue Department completed the task of sending out Immovable Property Tax notices to known addresses days ago.

However a number of people have complained that they have not received their bill (considering that around 200,000 tax notices have been sent out, this is hardly surprising bearing in mind the often reported problems with Christmas mail deliveries).

Mrs Charalambous has urged people who have not received their tax notices to visit their Inland Revenue Department office and settle their IPT in person. Those paying after 15th November will be charged a 10% penalty plus a pro-rata 4.75% annual interest rate charge.

As of last Friday approximately €31 million Immovable Property Tax had been collected.

FIFA land deal investigation

AMERICAN lawyer Michael Garcia will be looking into a £27 million land deal in Cyprus involving a member of FIFA’s executive committee and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund.

This is one of several lines of inquiry into allegations of World Cup corruption being investigated by Garcia, the chief investigator of FIFA’s ethics committee.

He will be looking into the way Executive Committee member Marios Lefkaritis became involved in several trade deals with Qatar regarding oil and land.

Lefkaritis was one of 22 FIFA executive committee members who voted on the locations of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments in December 2010, and voted for Qatar for 2022.

In 2011 a plot of land reported to be owned by the Lefkaritis family in Cyprus was sold to Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Investment Authority, for €32 million.

One of Garcia’s tasks is to investigate whether there was any ethical violation by any party involved in bidding for the two World Cups – especially violations involving Executive Committee voters.

Yesterday Mr Lefkaritis vehemently denied any wrong-doing following the report that first appeared in the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper.

Readers' comments

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  • steve says:

    Here we go again. Cheap mortgages for residents, discount if you do not default. What is the use of it all if you are never going to own it or even move into it if its a new build. Get the title deeds issue sorted out and all the corrupt lawyers, bankers and developers and then look at cheap mortgages. Seems like its the wrong way round going down this route

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