Baker Tilly Cyprus held its first annual restructuring summit in the Hilton Park Hotel, Nicosia on 14 March 2019. The theme of the summit was “Now, for tomorrow” and welcomed international and local restructuring professionals and advisors with members of the secured creditor and debt servicing community also in attendance.
Against the backdrop of significant global uncertainty, consolidation in the Cyprus banking sector and the recent major portfolio sale by Bank of Cyprus, this key event brought together banking professionals, company directors and restructuring specialists for an informative morning highlighting crucial issues that are required for Cyprus to fast-track economic recovery. Drawing on the expertise of panellists and focussing on international best practice, the conference provided practical tips in the areas of:
- Debt restructuring
- Maximising value for all stakeholders
- Overcoming the unique challenges in restructuring a family owned business.
Panellists on the day for discussions were:
- Mr Christodoulos Agkastiniotis, President of the Cyprus Chambers of Commerce and Industry
- Mr Kieran Lawlor, Director of Lapithus loan servicing agent for Apollo who recently acquired a large non-performing loan portfolio from Bank of Cyprus
- Ms Andrea Jake, Head of the Recovery and Restructuring Department in Bank of Cyprus
- Mr George Papageorgiou, Head of the Restructuring Banking Unit in AstroBank
- Mr George Pamboridis of Pamboridis LLC and former Minister of Health
- Mr George Karotsakis, Former Head of the Insolvency Service of Cyprus
- Mr Gary McCarthy SC, leading senior counsel from Ireland
- Mr Neofytos Neofytou, Head of Tax in Baker Tilly South East Europe
Giving his keynote address and drawing on his international experience, Mr Neil Hughes Managing Partner of Baker Tilly Corporate Recovery Cyprus and Baker Tilly Ireland outlined the five important issues facing the recovery of the Cypriot economy.
1. Optimism about the future and recovery of the economy.
2. Unrealistic expectations from stakeholders who have no economic interest in the loans
3. The phenomenon of uncollectible balances and grabbing control of the issue
4. The problems of Cyprus are not unique and are common in all jurisdictions in Europe
5. International experience of portfolio loan sales and the opportunity this presents for borrowers with non-performing loans.
Speaking at the event, Mr Marios Klitou, CEO of Baker Tilly South East Europe, welcomed the opportunity to bring all delegates together to share their views and proposed solutions on how to deal with the significant problem of the non-performing Cypriot loans.
The overriding message from the summit is that Cyprus should be optimistic about its future and work on measures to put the bank’s capital back to work.