Cyprus bourse disagrees with deal fees proposal

NICOSIA – Cyprus’s stock exchange yesterday said it disagreed with Finance Ministry proposals to maintain a fee structure on bourse transactions. The Cyprus bourse charges a 0.15 percent fee to sellers on the value of each transaction. The fee has been applicable since 2000, but the rate has fallen significantly since its inception. «We do not think this fee is necessary,» Giorgos Koufaris, the bourse chairman, told parliament. «In other countries there is a taxation of gains from stock exchange transactions.» Koufaris said that a similar fee structure applied in Greece, where the two bourses have been linked through a common trading platform since last year. But he said: «The Athens Stock Exchange is calling for the abolition of this fee in Greece. «If it is abolished there, transactions will be carried out in Greece instead of Cyprus.» Finance Ministry representatives said the fee was an effective way of taxation at source. The Finance Ministry has submitted a bill to parliament extending the validity of the fee structure until December 31, 2009. Authorities introduced the fee in an attempt to tap into the profits many individuals made from a rise in share prices in 1999.