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Cyprus, a dynamically evolving destination for Investment Funds

30/05/2022 15:04

Cyprus is now considered a recognized destination for international Investment Funds. If the effort to develop the sector continues with prudence, as it is done until now, the medium-term goal, to increase the assets under management to €25 billion, is totally achievable. This was the main conclusion of the Cyprus Investment Funds Association (CIFA) Annual General Meeting which was held on May 26, 2022.
Completing 10 years of dynamic presence in Cyprus and numbering over 400 corporate and physical members from across the sector, CIFA has become the collective voice of companies and professionals in the field of asset and investment funds management.

The president of CIFA, Andreas Yiasemides, during his opening speech stated: "The benefits from the growth and development of the Investment Funds sector are many and remarkable. First of all, new, well-paid jobs emerge in a field that differs from the traditional professional service sector. New employment opportunities are created for both Cypriots and foreigners with a high level of education and skills". He further noted that "at a time when investments are particularly important for the sustainable development of the Cypriot economy, beyond 20% of the assets of the Investment Funds or capital over €2.5 billion, has been invested in various sectors of the domestic economy, such as Shipping, Renewable Energy, Education and Technology. With all the forecasts indicating that lending rates will increase in the coming years, Investment Funds can be an alternative pillar for financing businesses and greenfield projects."

During his welcoming speech at the General Meeting, the Minister of Finance, Mr. Constantinos Petrides, stressed the particular importance of the recent Financing Agreement with the European Investment Fund for the creation of the Cyprus Equity Fund, the first state-funded Capital Financing Fund in Cyprus. The State, he noted, will finance the Fund with the amount of €30 million, while the participation of private funds is expected to be quite important. The investment target of the new Fund will be mainly the young and innovative Cypriot companies. At the same time, he characterized the joint effort made by the government, the private sector and the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) over the last decade as particularly successful, which led to the rapid growth of the Investment Fund sector.

The Vice President of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, George Karatzias, noted that CySEC continues to pay great importance to the further promotion and development of the collective investment and asset management sector, as these investments contribute to the consolidation of Cyprus as a credible international financial services center within the European Union. He revealed that the bill for the regulation and operation of Cypriot companies providing administrative services (fund administrators) has been completed and has been handed over to the Ministry of Finance for the continuation of its legislative process. With its enactment in law, the companies that receive the assignment of such duties will have to be licensed and supervised by CySEC.

The Vice President of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Authority - Invest Cyprus, Spyros Vassiliou pointed out that the Authority is at the forefront of efforts to establish a modern and promising jurisdiction for Funds and fund management companies. Invest Cyprus aims, among other things, to achieve a pan-European scope and thus supports the ongoing efforts of the CySEC and the Ministry of Finance to upgrade the relevant regulatory framework. He pointed out that Invest Cyprus had taken the lead for the creation of CIFA and participated in numerous forums abroad, organizing joint missions with CIFA members.

Finally, an online discussion took place between John Sergides, CEO of MUFG Investor Services and Andreas Yiasemides. Mr. Sergides expressed the intention of the international group, which recently set up offices in Cyprus, to increase the number of employees in the island. He then referred to the procedures they followed for the establishment in Cyprus, emphasizing the professionalism and efficiency of the country and the professionals who contributed to this effort.

Maria Panagiotou, Secretary of the Board of the Association, coordinated the Meeting.