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Fund managers inflow could increase due to Brexit, CIFA President says

According to Bank of Cyprus' major shareholder, Wilbur Ross, Cyprus can attract fund managers following the Brexit vote

Cyprus could attract investment fund managers following the UK decision to leave the EU, Cyprus’ Investment Funds Association President, Angelos Gregoriades has told CΝΑ.

The decision for Brexit sparked uncertainty in the fund managers sector in London with managers exploring the possibility of relocating to other EU member-states in a bid to continue operating within the EU under the European passport.

The Bank of Cyprus major shareholder, Wilbur Ross, recently stated that Cyprus could attract fund managers but noted that Dublin and Frankfurt do have the advantage at this moment.

However, speaking to CNA, Gregoriades said he was cautious about Cyprus attracting fund managers already operating in London, noting that the island could attract new fund managers who following Brexit would opt to set up their business in an EU member-state rather than the UK.

“The benefits could come mainly from new funds,” he said.

Access from UK-based funds is often already structured through the so-called European Gateway Hubs (Dublin, Luxembourg and Malta), arrangements expected by experts to remain largely unchanged following the leave vote.

Cyprus has transposed into national law all relevant asset managers regulations and directives, such as Undertakings For The Collective Investment Of Transferable Securities (UCITS), Markets in Financial Instruments (MiFiD) Directive and the Directives for Alternative Investment Fund Managers.

However, Gregoriades pointed out that Cyprus could become even more attractive when new provisions are incorporated in the legislation.

“We should be ready. These bills are expected to be finalised within the current month and undergo legal vetting. I hope they could be tabled to the Parliament for approval by September or October,” he added.

The CIFA President also underlined the need for constant education and expertise to sustain the sector.

“This should be a priority,” he went on to say.

Furthermore, Gregoriades said it is too premature to predict the full extent of the Brexit’s impact on asset managers. Negotiations between London and Brussels have yet to begin and are expected to take two years after triggering article 50 of the EU Lisbon Treaty.

The final impact on asset managers, he said, will depend on whether Britain will be described as a “third country” or whether it will enjoy similar status as that of Norway or Switzerland.

CNA

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