Wilbur Ross: Opportunity to get out of this situation
Billionaire investor and self-confessed Trump supporter Wilbur Ross believes that Cyprus now has an opportunity to get out of its present situation, as long as it adopts more liberal policies and focuses on niche areas to attract new investors.
The single largest shareholder in Bank of Cyprus, who pumped more than EUR 400 mln when the bank was rescued for a second time in 2014, said that there are opportunities in shipping and ship-management, as well as tourism and the opening up of the Iranian market after the lifting of sanction.
Saying that the outcome of the Brexit referendum is yet to determine the future of the London-based markets, Ross, keynote speaker at the Harvard Club Cyprus event, said that “you have been through a horrible period and now seem to be doing well, with tourism reaching a record and deposits picking up.”
He also called on the Cypriot authorities to implement more liberal financial policies to attract companies that are considering to relocate from London due to the UK referendum to exit the EU.
Ross warned however that Cyprus should act swiftly as this window of opportunity may not be open for too long, as its main contenders, Dublin have a head Cyprus News Agency.
He said that due to the UK leave the EU vote, companies such as banks, insurance companies, hedge funds and equity funds are planning to relocate in a bid to maintain the European passport and continue operating in the EU.
“I think is a God-given opportunity but a very brief one because they are not going to sit around very long,” he said.
Furthermore, he said that Cyprus’ tourism sector, will be negatively affected in case the UK slips into recession. However, Ross noted this would affect the next tourism season, as tour operators have already booked their chartered flights for 2016. “This could be the next year’s problem,” he said. For Ross the biggest problem to business is the uncertainty until the divorce between the EU and UK is finalised which is expected to take two years.
“This two-year period will tend to paralyse business decisions, because businesses can cope with prosperity, can cope with adversity but is very very hard for business to cope with uncertainty,” he stressed. namely Frankfurt start, according to and the