While many of the world's smaller nations are wondering how they will cope with the slowing US economy, the tiny eastern Mediterranean island state of Cyprus has been able to escape that anguish. At the start of 2008, Cypriots took one final look at their national currency, the Cypriot pound, and adopted the euro. Cyprus' finance ministry certainly paints a rosy picture for the island's future economic development. According to figures released by the ministry, tourist arrivals will increase by 2% and per capita tourist spending by around 1% a year in real terms. The decline in tourism's contribution to GDP is a healthy sign, illustrating the fact that the Cypriot economy is becoming more balanced. There is heavy dependence on the banking sector on the Cyprus Stock Exchange, with the three banks (Marfin Popular Bank, Bank of Cyprus, Hellenic Bank) listed on the main market accounting for 91% of its capitalization or 74% of all listed companies' capitalization.
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