“Let’s talk busi­ness” IIn­nvveesst­toorrss kkeeeenn iinn mmaal­l­llss,, VVeen­nu­uss RRooc­ckk ppr­roo­j­jeec­ctt

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Ma­jor for­eign in­vestors are keen to pump mil­lions into the Cyprus econ­omy, both to join pri­vate sec­tor projects, as well as take part in the is­land’s pri­vati­sa­tion pro­gramme.

News re­ports sug­gest that the in­vestors and fund man­agers from the likes of Gold­man Sachs, Bank of Amer­ica, So­ci­ete Gen­erale, HSBC and at least 15 funds from the Arab world, lis­tened to a pa­rade of gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials dur­ing the two-day Cyprus In­vestors Sum­mit, try­ing to per­suade them about sta­bil­ity, a re­cov­er­ing econ­omy and com­pli­ance with de­mands of in­ter­na­tional lenders.

An­tenna TV re­ported that fol­low­ing the early-morn­ing of­fi­cial ses­sion on Tues­day, for­eign in­vestors ex­pressed in­ter­est in the Mall of Cyprus in Ni­cosia and the Limni Bay Re­sort, both op­er­ated by the Sha­co­las Group, the Venus Rock re­sort in Paphos, the Ni­cosia City Mall in Lakatamia, as well as other mostly prop­erty re­lated projects.

The in­vestors, that in­cluded Mo­hammed Elqe­heisi from Saudi Ara­bia and Colin Wright from the Buena Vista Group, will view some of th­ese projects on Wed­nes­day.

Other projects pre­sented at the sum­mit in­clude the Makro­nisos Ma­rina, Lord By­ron Tower, San­darosa Tower, Neapo­lis Eco City in Paphos, Vasa Gold Re­sort, Mace­donitissa States, Pafilia Tower and Li­mas­sol Land­mark, St El­iz­a­beth Gold Re­sort, Elea Es­tates, Pav­il­ion Busi­ness Cen­ter and the Del­mar in Li­mas­sol.

In all, the or­gan­iser Cyprus In­vest­ment Pro­mo­tion Agency (CIPA) pre­sented 18 ma­jor projects, while dur­ing their pre­sen­ta­tions, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Haris Ge­or­giades and Pri­vati­sa­tions Com­mis­sioner Con­stanti­nos Herodotou talked about the gov­ern­ment’s roadmap to sell state-owned com­pa­nies such as telco Cyta, power com­pany EAC and prime prop­er­ties, as well as man­age­ment deals for the ports and a su­per li­cense for an in­te­grated casino re­sort.

Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades ad­dressed the del­e­gates dur­ing the of­fi­cial din­ner on Mon­day night.

On Tues­day, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Ge­or­giades said that the fun­da­men­tals of the Cypriot econ­omy had im­proved sig­nif­i­cantly and the foun­da­tions have been laid for a more sus­tain­able growth model.

“Thanks to the mea­sures taken by the gov­ern­ment, the over­all fis­cal deficit and ex­ces­sive deficits for 2014 have been elim­i­nated. Some re­ferred to this as aus­ter­ity. I call it a bal­anced bud­get. And this, of course, re­flects pos­i­tively on the over­all public debt which is now on a down­ward path.”

He added that “this com­bi­na­tion of eco­nomic re­cov­ery and fis­cal con­sol­i­da­tion has also been in­stru­men­tal when it comes to meet­ing yet an­other key pol­icy ob­jec­tive which is the restora­tion of in­ter­na­tional con­fi­dence and sus­tain­able ac­cess to in­ter­na­tional cap­i­tal mar­kets.”

Ge­or­giades said that the per­cep­tion that fis­cal con­sol­i­da­tion al­ways leads to a deep­en­ing re­ces­sion and ris­ing un­em­ploy­ment is in­cor­rect. In fact, he added, we have showed that eco­nomic re­cov­ery does not al­ways re­quire a con­tin­u­ous in­crease of public spend­ing.

As he said, in­stead of deal­ing with the “aus­ter­ity or growth” dilemma, “we would be more pro­duc­tive if we en­sure that fis­cal con­sol­i­da­tion and eco­nomic growth go hand in hand.”

“We are determined to con­tinue in this di­rec­tion,” he con­cluded.

En­ergy, Com­merce and Tourism Min­is­ter Yior­gos Lakkotrypis elab­o­rated on the gov­ern­ment’s plans for tourism and en­ergy, adding that 2015 will be a year of growth.

He ex­pressed the hope that ef­forts would yield re­sults and for­eign in­vest­ments would come to Cyprus.

John Houri­can, CEO of Bank of Cyprus, the gold spon­sor of the sum­mit, said that the bank is ready to sup­port the large scale projects, adding that “this sum­mit marks the point of flux for op­por­tu­nity in Cyprus. More sta­ble, with ma­tur­ing con­di­tions, and a sta­ble re­cov­ery, the is­land can now talk about fu­ture prospects with­out be­ing haunted by past events. We are now only look­ing for­ward.”

Re­cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion of the Bank of Cyprus, fol­low­ing a EUR 1 bln share cap­i­tal in­crease in Au­gust 2014, marked a tan­gi­ble “seal of ap­proval” for the path to­wards the econ­omy’s over­all re­cov­ery, Houri­can said.

“In the largest FDI inflow in the coun­try’s his­tory, we at­tracted world class in­vest­ment, driv­ing home the bank’s own re­cov­ery from the events of last year, but also se­cur­ing that Cyprus is now on a re­cov­ery path from which it can­not, and will not, stray.”

CIPA Direc­tor Gen­eral Charis Pa­pachar­alam­bous, CIPA Chair­man Christodou­los An­gas­tin­i­o­tis, Cen­tral Bank Gover­nor Chrys­talla Ge­orghadji, Direc­tor of the Wealth, Bro­ker­age and As­set Man­age­ment at the Bank of Cyprus Costas Ar­gyrides and Pres­i­dent of the Cyprus In­vest­ment Funds As­so­ci­a­tion (CIFA) An­ge­los Gre­go­ri­ades were also among the speak­ers of the Sum­mit.

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