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Audience to be polled on Cyprus as financial centre

Finance Minister Harris Georgiades

By George Christou

PARTICIPANTS in Tuesday’s special event in London, organised by Invest Cyprus and Bloomberg, will be polled on a range of issues regarding Cyprus as a financial centre.

There will be a voting keypad on all seats so that participants of the event, titled ‘Cyprus: a growing financial centre within the EU,’ could respond to questions relevant to each of the three panel discussions. Before the start of the sessions finance minister Harris Georgiades would give the keynote address.

Regarding the first panel discussion, on financial services, the audience would be polled on ‘How do you view Cyprus’ sovereign investment case,’  and ‘How do you view Cyprus’ banks investment case,’ with three response possibilities (positive, neutral, negative). Another question is ‘What is the biggest opportunity for the European economy,’ for which the response choices are ‘Brexit, electoral stability, capital markets union, financial regulations and migrant solution’.

The speakers in this session will be the CEOs of Bank of Cyprus, Hellenic Bank and Astrobank as well as the executive director members of the board of the Central Bank of Cyprus, Constantinos Herodotou, who will speak about the steps taken to ensure rigorous regulation and the results achieved.

The bank bosses will talk about the outlook of the Cyprus economy, the prospects of the financial services sector and the progress in dealing with NPLs, the biggest problem facing the island’s banks. Bank of Cyprus CEO, John Hourican will also discuss the plans following the flotation of the BoC on the London Stock Exchange.

Tax and regulatory services will be the subject of the second panel discussion, with the chairperson of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, Demetra Kalogirou answering questions and talking about the process and plans to further improve the regulatory framework – there are regulatory changes in the pipeline. Representatives of big auditing firms will also be on the panel.

Participants will use their voting keypad to answer on ‘How do you view Cyprus’ tax framework,’ among other things.

The President of Columbia Shipmanagement, Mark O’Neil, will be among the panellists of the third session on investment opportunities, discussing the prospective merger between Columbia and Marlow, which would mean the largest ship management company would be operating in Cyprus. He will also discuss the advantages of having an international HQ in Cyprus as well as the maritime cluster and its future.

Also joining this panel will be the L. Gene Kornegay, Country Manager and Vice President of Noble Energy International, Dov Ehrman, Chairman and CEO of PointRF Systems Plc and Dr Shadi Karam, President of Astrobank.

Having heard these speakers, participants would answer the big question on their voting keypad: ‘Would you invest in Cyprus?’ The results of the audience survey will be given at the end.

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