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market in Cyprus over the last few years. Trading in them involves making a prediction regarding the modification of the price of an asset at a certain period of the day and is considered a high risk financial investment,” Kalogerou explains. “Due to the growing interest in binary options, we’ve proceeded to accommodate them under MiFID so that they can only be offered by authorized and supervised investment firms.”


Simplifying administrative procedures


It is not only the financial regulation that benefits investors, says Phidias Pilides, but a business


structure which is efficient and non-prejudicial. “What needs to be stressed in particular, is that the liberal foreign investment regime, is facilitated by simplified administrative procedures, while bureaucratic intervention has been reduced and no limitations apply in most sectors of the economy concerning the minimum level of investment and the overseas’ participation percentage. Consequently, overseas companies have the opportunity of investing and establishing business in Cyprus on equal terms with local investors. Virtually no distinction is made between overseas and Cypriot companies,” he explains.


Apart from the regulators role in facilitating licensing, Pilides also points to geographic advantages. “Our Chamber is convinced that Cyprus, being the only EU member in this part of the world, is the natural link between Europe and the Middle East and is ideally placed to play the role of a bridge in as far as trade, investment and other forms of business cooperation is concerned,” he argues.


Phidias Pilides


“I’d say that Cyprus offers an ideal investment framework combined with modern and efficient legal, accounting, banking, financial and insurance services,”


It is a viewpoint Platis agrees with. “Cyprus is indeed extremely attractive for Brokers who wish to provide the necessary gateway to the Middle East. One needs to also bear in mind that quite a substantial amount of today’s FX business (retail, professional and institutional) are of Middle Eastern origin, so the establishment of gateways there, via the Cyprus jurisdiction is also preferential.”


“Tis is also aided by the fact that Capital Markets regulations in the Middle East are not as


Dr. Stelios Platis


“I’d say that CySEC’s experience on regulatory issues and understanding the mechanics of the forex business is now certainly better than most other European jurisdictions.”


favourable for FX Brokerages, so Cyprus serves the registration and regulatory adherence gateway for that region’s access,” he adds.


Conclusion


“I’d say the future outlook for the country is rosy,” says Georgiades. “It is clearly heading towards becoming one of the world’s leading financial centres and a prominent destination for institutions interested in the FX industry. Since we’ve been in Cyprus over the last 12 years we have also observed the evolution of local policies and note that political and economic changes have been aimed at strengthening the position of Cyprus to attract more foreign investment.”


INSTITUTIONAL FX SERVICES - THE BROKERS HANDBOOK 2012/2013 | 49


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