The BestInvest Cyprus conference and exhibition took place in Limassol from 18-19 October 2015. The event was attended by over 160 participants, including investment funds, banks, venture capital funds, individual investors and project sponsors.
The event began with an Exhibition of 26 Investment Projects. Attending the exhibition were exhibitors from different economic segments, such as Pafilia Developers, the CYPV Energy Company, Oesterreichischer Lloyd Shipping Company, Zap!, Leptos Estates, CYFIELD and other firms.
The exhibition was opened by Minister Yiorgos Lakotryppis, Minister of Commerce, Energy and Tourism, who affirmed that despite the difficult economic crisis of 2013, the Cyprus government was determined to create a more attractive regulatory environment for foreign and domestic investments, and was particularly interested in promoting investments in shipping, energy and tourism.
Projects that attracted attention at the Exhibition included Pafilia’s planned 36-story development in Limassol, as well as Zap!’s innovative website designer.
The BestInvest Conference was inaugurated by Mayor of Limassol, Andreas Christou. Limassol is the site of some of the major inward investments in Cyprus. Keynote projects include the purchase and total renovation of the Meridien Hotel as well as keynote property projects such as Del Mar, ONE and others.
First Plenary Session
The first morning plenary session provided delegates with an overview of the major policy initiatives underway in Cyprus. The speakers included:
HE Mr. Constantinos Petrides, Deputy Minister to the President of Cyprus
Sir Christopher Pissarides, Chairman, Economic Council of Cyprus
Mr. Constantinos Herodotou, State Commissioner on Privatisations
Mr. Constantinos Messios, Director, CD Messios LLC
Mrs. Demetra Kalogerou, Chairwoman, Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission
Mr. Thomas Kazakos, Director General of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber
Some key findings from the morning plenary session included:
The Cyprus economy is recovering. GDP growth is expected to be positive in 2016. Cyprus will shortly launch its first private sector bond offering.
Since beginning its investment promotion campaign to attract international investment funds, Cyprus has attracted over 200 funds.
Since beginning its investor citizenship programme, Cyprus has attracted over € 2 billion in investment relating to this programme.
Major privatisations are being prepared, including the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA), the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC), the Port of Limassol and state property assets.
An international tender for the development of the Cyprus Casino has been launched. There are several other initiatives underway, including the development of the Paralimni Marina.
Second Plenary Session
The second plenary session focussed on new sources of finance in Cyprus, and methods of protecting investments in Cyprus. With the 2013 Cyprus bail-in fresh in investors’ minds, investors are understandably cautious about renewed investments in Cyprus. The session addressed a number of strategies and commitments for protecting investments in Cyprus. The keynote speakers were:
Dr. Libor Krkoska, European Bank for Reconstruction & Development
Dr. Vladimir Zrazhewsky, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, RCB Bank
Mr. Andreas Sofocleous, Chief Executive Officer, A. Sofocleous & Co LLC
Mr. Angelos Gregoriades, President, Cyprus Investment Fund Association
Mr. Alexander Shkuratov, Managing Director, Pride Capital
Mr. Andreas Koupparis, Chairman, Cyprus Business Angel Network
Mr. Dmitry Morozov, Chairman, CYPV Group
Key findings include:
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is present in both Greece and Cyprus. It has already participated in the recapitalisation of Bank of Cyprus and Hellenic Bank, and has several other projects under study. The EBRD offers a mix a debt and equity financing, as well as trade finance.
RCB Bank has developed into the second-largest Cyprus bank by assets, and has no non-performing loans (NPL). The bank is already present in over 50 countries and is ready to invest.
Investment funding from private equity and angel investors is available in Cyprus. Both categories of funding have clearly-defined credit criteria, and are targeting specific sectors.
The structuring of investments via an investment fund, together with the advantages of the Cyprus Investor Citizenship Programme, provide a power combination for investors in Cyprus.
Afternoon Thematic Sessions
Four thematic sessions were held in the afternoon: Property, Renewable Investments, Tourism and Technology / Shipping. The objective of the thematic sessions was to gain an overview of trends in each domain by high qualified speakers, who could also be approached by potential investors or other interested partners after the session. The mix of views and opinions was indeed impressive. The speakers included:
Mr. Pambos Solomonides, Managing Director of MICE & More, and Partner in Navigator Consulting Group;
Mr. Zacharias Ioannides, Director General, Cyprus Hotel Association
Mrs. Victoria Ksenodohkova, Director, Prometheus Travel
Mr. George Leptos, President of Leptos Estates
Mrs Lyra Amvrosidou, CEO, Property Gallery Developers and Constructors
Dr. Nicos Michaelas, Managing Director, Demetra Investments
Renewable Energy Investments
Mr. George Georgiou, CEO, CYPV Energy
Mr. Andreas Georgallis, COO, Elements Capital Partners
Mr. Christos Zivanas, Technical Director, Petrolina Solar
Technology and Shipping Investments
Mr. Valeriy Romanyuk, Vice President, Russian Investment Agency
Mr. Christos Symeou, Founder, Blupath
Captain Eberhard Koch, Chairman and CEO of Oesterreichischer Lloyd Seereederei
Presentation of the Investment Migration Council
Mr. Bruno L’ecuyer presented the operations of the newly-formed Investment Migration Council. The IMC brings together the leading stakeholders in the field and giving the industry a voice. The IMC sets the standards on a global level and interacts with other professional associations, governments and international organisations in relation to investment migration. The IMC helps to improve public understanding of the issues faced by clients and governments in this area and promotes education and high professional standards among its members.
The BestInvest Cyprus conference closed with a panel discussion featuring HE Harris Georgiades, Minister of Finance of Cyprus, and HE Dr. George Vassiliou, former President of Cyprus, who discussed the economic strategy of Cyprus in light of recent developments and policy commitments.
Over 160 participants attended the BestInvest Cyprus conference. We were particularly honoured by the presence of funds, financial-industrial holdings and financial institutions such as:
European Bank for Reconstruction & Development
Russian Investment Agency
National Bank of Greece
RCB Bank Ltd.
IBL Bank Cyprus
Otkritie Capital Cyprus
Treppides Fund Services
Elements Capital Partners
Cyprus Business Angels Network
WS Financial and Investor Services
Pelais Wealth Management
KMG Capital Markets
AS Expo Bank
For further information, please contact:
Navigator Consulting Partners LLP