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Cyprus Stock Exchange privatisation: Announcement in two weeks

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Privatisation announcement in two weeks.

The firm that will manage the privatisation of the Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) will be announced in two weeks, Board Chairman Marinos Christodoulides said on Wednesday.

A consultive firm will be selected in two weeks as the advisor for the privatisation process, he said.

The announcement came after Christodoulides, along with a delegation from the CSE, met with Cyprus finance minister Constantinos Petridis.

Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, Petridis said: “We are in close contact and in close collaboration, and we have discussed the CSE’s strategic development plan which includes  privatisation and finding a strategic investor by the end of 2022. Finding a strategic investor, will be decisive in developing the stock market as an alternative and additional platform for finance for the economy and businesses alike.”

Petridis also announced that the ministry was considering offering incentives to companies that list on the stock market.

The Minister and the CSE Chairman called on companies to consider joining the stock market, as an alternative source of financing on the backdrop of the Covid pandemic.

Questioned about the danger of another stock market crash such as Cyprus experienced in 1999, both the minister and the CSE chairman agreed that today’s CSE, in terms of regulation and supervision cannot be compared with the 1999 stock market and the conditions that led to the crash.

“The tool is there, liquidity is there, we are working with the CSE Board so that the stock market could be used by businesses as an alternative source of financing and we are working towards that direction both through incentives and the finding of a strategic investor,” Petrides insisted.

Christodoulides had announced several months ago that the CSE intends to create a new market for SMEs. On Wednesday, he said that regulatory requirements will be less demanding at this market compared with the other markets under the supervision of the CSE.  “This will enable SMEs to join the CSE and then to enter larger and more demanding markets.”

He noted that the CSE’s request to establish an SMEs market is currently under examination by the regulator, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).

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