Contents 3 A Rapidly Emerging Market A look at Cyprus as a dynamic emerging market
37 Solid Advice, Flexible Solutions The Aspen Trust Group's philosophy is to tailor its services to meet the needs of its clients investing into Russia
6 The Business Champion A new era of shopping starts on the island as the Shacolas Group inaugurates the Mall of Cyprus
38 A Leading Russian Bank in Cyprus The Russian Commercial Bank in Cyprus provides a mix of global expertise and market intelligence to its international clients
9 A Villa by the Sea Quality Group's Enalia Beach Residences, one of the star real estate projects in Cyprus
39 The Trusted Business Advisor PricewaterhouseCoopers, aims to further strengthen its growth through its quality people, quality services and quality clients
15 A Hometown Hero Hassapis Land Developers looks to put Larnaca on the map by focusing on exclusive development projects
40 When Experience Makes a Difference Christos Mavrellis offers a wealth of experience for investors to tap into
16 Both Sides of the Coin Loizos Iordanou has positioned itself as a leader in both real estate construction and development
40 Quality and Reliability -- Certified CSC Christodoulou sets internationally recognized standards of excellence in accounting practices
18 Welcome Home Aristo Developers welcomes Russians in Cyprus by creating lifestyles rather than just homes
41 Advice You Don't Want to Go Without A selection of key business consultants in Cyprus
20 An Innovative Approach to Development Lanitis Development looks to bring top quality integrated resorts to the island
44 Cyprus Consolidates its Position as a Telecommunications Hub Cyprus is considered to be one of the most important telecommunications hubs in the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East
22 A Selection of Key Players in Real Estate Development Conversations with top executives from some of the key Cypriot real estate developers
44 A Sustained Commitment MTN Cyprus remains committed to enhancing its infrastructure to further develop mobile telephony on the island
28 A Global Bsuiness Center A look at Cyprus as a global business center for foreign investors
45 From Monopoly to Dynamic Competitor CYTA has re-engineered itself into a dynamic, flexible and customer-driven provider of communications solutions
31 Exceeding Expectations Andreas Neocleous & Co was the first Cyprus law firm to establish an office in Moscow and is dedicated to serving the growing Russian market
46 A True Friendship The Cyprus Tourism Organization is looking forward to strengthening Cyprus's friendship with Russia through the power of torurism
32 An Established Bank with Young Ideas The Laiki Group prepares its entrance to the Russian market
50 The Father of Cypriot Tourism Founded in 1935 by the late Mr. Louis Loizou, the Louis Group is one of the leading travel, tourism, cruising, hotel and catering groups in the Mediterranean
33 Providing the Link Deloitte & Touche provides insight regarding the advantages Cyprus has to offer to Russian investors
51 A Pioneer in the Luxury Hotel Business keeps Raising the Bar The Four Seasons Hotel keeps pushing ahead with upmarket amenities for its distinguished clientele in Limassol
34 The Most International of the Cypriot Banks Operating in Cyprus for more than 20 years, BNP Paribas is seeking to consolidate its market position by utilizing its extensive global network
52 Sixt Rent a Car Leads the Pack in the Cypriot Car Rental Business True to its German heritage, Sixt emphasizes service, product quality and customer satisfaction above all else
35 Bank of Cyprus Opens its First Branch in Russia The bank plans to open 15 branches during the next three years, capitalizing on solid relationships with existing clients in Russia
54 Rolling Out the Red Carpet Top Hoteliers in Cyprus Share their Views on Luxury Hospitality
36 Leading the Way in Financial Services Totalserve continues to provide tailor-made consultancy services on all matters related to international tax planning, corporate services and trusts
56 Aselection of hotels offering value for money in Cyprus Our selection of hotels offering value for money, and the people that manages them
Olga Arndt Country Manager FOCUS International
At first glance, it is easy to see that Cyprus is going through a very happy period in its economic history.While most of the international media has reported extensively on the country's upcoming adoption of the Euro in January 2008 and the sound macroeconomic performance that accompanies it, the most interesting stories come from the specific sectors of the economy. One only has to scan the local financial press to come across an endless stream of impressive headlines. After a stellar year 2006 that made Cyprus's stock market the world's best performer after Peru, the CSE General Index rose 27 percent during the first half of 2007--supported by the doubling in profits of CSE-listed companies during the same period. Despite these sky-rocketing prices, exciting investment opportunities remain in the bourse, as pointed out in an investment update published by Citigroup in September 2007 that recommended a buy target of 17 Euros per share for the Bank of Cyprus, implying an upside potential at the time of writing of 42 percent.The same analysts from Citigroup joined the ever-increasing numbers of international observers announcing that the booming Cypriot property market offers similar opportunities, as high-end prices are still not high by European standards. The number of tourists visiting the island, especially high-spenders from Russia, is reaching record-breaking levels. But to go beyond the headlines and give our readers a fresh perspective on Cyprus's economic boom, investment opportunities, and ever-evolving choices for tourism, we decided to spend five months on this beautiful island interviewing a selection of its key economic leaders in the private sector and government, experiencing first-hand the energy with which they are taking its economy to the next level and the enthusiasm with which they are consolidating their country's friendship and business partnership with Russia. The final product is this very first annual Who's Who Cyprus guide. We hope that our readers enjoy it as much as we enjoyed writing it--and that it encourages them to come to Cyprus to explore the innumerable business opportunities for themselves.We promise that the greatest business challenge they will find in this country is being able to concentrate on work in light of the endless number of opportunities for pleasurable leisure that Cyprus has to offer.
Country Manager: Olga Arndt e-mail: email@example.com Editor and Contributing Writer: Alan Furth e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Burjuman Tower, 18th floor P.O. Box 43659, Dubai, U.A.E. Tel: + 971 (0) 4 509 6690 Fax: + 971 (0) 4 509 6797
Contributing Writers: Matthew Firestone Tim Hiscock Antonis P. Loizou Editorial Coordinators: Naser Ashour Ameer Saleh Mohamed Berray Design: Javier Dumont
A Rapidly Emerging Market ollowing its ascension into the European Union, Cyprus has reported a wide range of positive economic indicators, which places the country on the list of the world's most rapidly emerging markets for foreign investors
Investing in a Time of Market Uncertainty Although the major stock indexes from New York to London and Hong Kong to Tokyo are reporting record highs at the time of writing, the recent sub-prime mortgage crisis in the United States and the resulting global economic turbulence have put investors on edge. As a result, an increasing number of investors are moving away from traditional markets, and hedging their bets on a number of emerging markets around the world. These days, the buzz in the investment world is centered firmly on the
ascension into the European Union number of socioeconomic factors. (EU). For instance, Cypriots enjoy excellent housing conditions, a pollution-free environment and a relatively low Analyzing the Economy of crime rate, which might indicate that Cyprus the quality of life on the island is betAlthough economic forecasts do ter than that reflected by the per not always predict actual market per- capita income indicator alone. formance, an analysis of several key In fact, the economy is operating indicators suggests that investing in Cyprus is a wise decision. Specifically, at near full employment, with an As a result, cautious investors are data on economic growth, fiscal unemployment rate of around 4.3 searching for emerging markets that deficit, stock prices and foreign direct percent for the end of 2007 accordhave the potential for lucrative gains investment (FDI) flows offer strong ing to IMF forecasts. Inflation has also while simultaneously offering an evidence that Cyprus has solid poten- been relatively modest, with the IMF acceptable degree of risk. One such tial as a rapidly emerging market. forecasting a figure of 2.2 and 3 peremerging market is Cyprus, which has cent for the end of 2007 and 2008, reported a wide range of positive The Cypriot economy is based on respectively. economic indicators following its a free enterprise system with the private sector being the Adopting the Euro and its backbone of economic Implications activity. Currently, the H.E. Michalis Sarris, Starting in January of 2008, Cyprus government is pursuing Minister of Finance, an economic policy will abandon its current currency, the agenda aimed at pro- Cypriot pound, and formally adopt Republic of Cyprus moting and maintaining the Euro. Although this is something favorable investment of a controversial issue in Cyprus at conditions and sup- the moment, Honorable Minister porting private initia- Michalis Sarris, who serves as the tive. Per capita gross Cypriot Minister of Finance, is all domestic product together optimistic about the (GDP) is one of the impending transition. highest in the According to Hon. Minister Sarris: Mediterranean at 17,500 US Dollars, and "The Ministry believes that macroin recent years the economic stability, which passes economy has been through a fiscal consolidation and a growing at an average sensible monetary policy, has to underpin economic development and rate of 3.4 percent. economic growth. As a result, we It is extremely diffi- have made strides towards making cult to quantify the sure that our expenditures grow at a quality of life in a par- slower pace than our revenues, and ticular country, but it is have made intelligent prioritizations possible to make gen- focusing on developmental and social eralizations based on a expenditures." soaring stock prices in China and India, which have attracted a whole slew of new investors into the arena. However, despite the fact that fortunes are being made in record time, analysts are beginning to warn investors that a slide in the market is inevitable, and that the recent explosive growth in Asia is not guaranteed to be sustainable.
“In January 2008 Cyprus will formally adopt the Euro”
He continues: "We also believe that the benefits from the membership of the Euro zone are substantial for both the business community and for ordinary citizens. For a small open economy like us in a world with all kinds of imbalances and volatility, we can look forward, after the adoption of the Euro, to currency stability. Although Spain, Italy and Portugal faced challenges after the adoption of the Euro, we are in a better situation since we will be transitioning to a better currency."
Assessing the Cypriot Stock Market and FDI Flows Since 1996, approximately one hundred and fifty companies have shares listed on the Cypriot Stock Exchange (CSE). The exchange is monitored and regulated by the Council of the Stock Exchange, and at present a fully computerized on-line trading, clearing and settlement system is in operation. During the first half of 2007, the combined profit of CSE listed companies more than doubled to reach a
“During the first half of
2007, the combined profit of CSE listed companies more than doubled to reach a value of over 880 million Euros” 4
order to maintain its dynamism. At present, we are focusing on reducing the cost of business by establishing more streamlined regulations and reducing unnecessary bureaucracy requirements. It is our hope that this liberalization will improve partnerships between the public and private In regards to foreign direct invest- sectors, which inevitably results in ment flows, there has been a contin- greater flexibility and productivity for uous and sustained upward trend everyone involved." since 2004, with annual total revenues reaching 2.55 billion Euros in year Following the collapse of the 2005. Although the vast majority of Soviet Union, there has also been a Cyprus-bound FDI flows originated huge increase in the number of from other European countries, there Russian entrepreneurs pursuing has also been a slow and steady lucrative ventures in Cyprus. increase in Russian investment. Considering the historical, political Russian financial investment on the and cultural connections between other hand, has been substantial over both countries, this strengthening the last decade and continues on a relationship is also influencing the strong upward trend (see below). rapidly changing nature of the Cypriot economy. Hon. Minister Sarris is quick to put the economic data into perspective: According to Hon. Minister Sarris: "FDI brings with it technology and "In recent years, we have seen an good quality jobs that go hand in increasing number of Russians bankhand with a well educated popula- ing here in Cyprus, which has tion. It also helps to foster growth, prompted us to take the necessary create services and materialize mod- steps to privatize banks so that they ern approaches that are succinct with can expand their operations and a high-income economy." improve their investment services. value of over 880 million Euros.These numbers, combined with the fact that there was a 27 percent increase in the general index, is significant evidence to suggest that the profitability outlook of the CSE is all together bullish.
â€œIn recent years, we have seen an increasing number of Russians banking in Cyprusâ€?
Thus far, we have been pleased with Transitioning of Key Economic the results, especially considering the Sectors fact that a number of existing Russian banks have already indicated that they In recent years, the Cypriot econ- would like to establish a presence in omy has transitioned from a tradi- Cyprus.â€? tional construction and tourismbased economy to other more proHe adds: "We have also seen an ductive areas, which has resulted in increasing number of Russians buying the modernization of the public sec- second homes here in Cyprus, which tor. This transformation is being her- is a testament to the common culturalded by Hon. Minister Sarris, who al values and strong economic ties believes that Cyprus must continue that we share. Since we believe that to modernize in order to participate there is room on the island for a to a greater extent in the new global- greater number of investors, we are ized world. working alongside developers to advertise the merits of Cyprus to He explains: "We believe that an overseas potential partners and economy like ours has to adapt in home-buyers."
The Business Champion
he Shacolas Group of Companies, which is the largest trading, distribution and retail group in Cyprus, has single-handedly transformed the island's economic, commercial and cultural landscapes
Nicolas K. Shacolas, Chairman, Shacolas Group
With over 9,000 employees, the Shacolas Group is the largest employto Retail Tycoon er in Cyprus after the government, and is involved in a wide range of busiMr. Nicolas K. Shacolas, a promi- ness sectors across the island. nent Cypriot businessman, is the founder, owner and Chairman of the Without a doubt, the Shacolas Shacolas Group of Companies, the Group is the undisputed business largest trading, distribution and retail champion in the country. Mr. Shacolas group in Cyprus, with an annual has been engaged in business since turnover exceeding 700 million Euros. 1953, and today his group is years
From Agro Entrepreneur
ahead of the competition. Shacolas himself, at almost 80 years of age, is an energetic, hands-on, no-nonsense business leader full of enthusiasm for the economic future of Cyprus. The resume of Mr. Shacolas is a testament to the strength of his company, as well as the potential for one man to revolutionize the business environment of his country.
The humble origins of Mr. Shacolas lie in agricultural export, though following the incorporation of his first overseas company in London in 1963, he ventured into shipping, insurance, investing and real estate. Since then, the Shacolas Group's international trading activities have spread to a wide range of countries including Greece, Nigeria, the Arabian Gulf and Russia.
The Mall of Cyprus
Mr. Shacolas has also brought strength, stability and success to his company by bridging the gaps between the leading industries in Cyprus.
the country's largest commercial real estate company, Ermes Department Stores Plc, the country's largest retail organization, Hermes Airports Ltd, the country's major airports operator and CTC-Ari Airports Ltd, the
To date, the Shacolas Group has been one of the great benefactors, donors and sponsors for various projects and activities on the island.To date, the group has been particularly active in promoting Cyprus on the international
â€œIt is important to have craetive imagination, but without hard work and teamwork, one cannot achieve anything"
Today, the Shacolas Group has major stakes in a number of public and private companies including Cyprus Trading Corporation Plc, the country's largest trading organization, Woolworth (Cyprus) Properties Plc,
country's major airports retail opera- stage, establishing museums, educational and cultural centers on the island, tor. and funding scholarships for the brightMr. Shacolas is just as passionate est Cypriot students. Mr. Shacolas has about success in business as he is about also contributed heavily to relief projsocial responsibility. ects throughout the world that range
from earthquakes and fires in Greece to the 2005 tsunami in South East Asia. Although it is hard to summarize his long and impressive career, Mr. Shacolas offers these succinct words: "It is important to have creative imagination. I believe that I am a creator and a visionary, and it is very natural for me to convert my imagination into reality. At the same time though, I am a hard worker, and I believe in methodology and consistency. Without hard work and teamwork, one cannot achieve anything."
Landmark Projects Currently, the Shacolas Group is involved in three landmark projects on the island, namely the Mall of Cyprus, the building and operation of the Larnaca and Pafos airports, and development of Limni as a resort and golfing destination.
Mr. Shacolas, in company of top-level buisness and government personalities, rings the bells for the opening of the Mall of Cyprus, and the start of a new era in Cypriot shopping
The Mall of Cyprus, which had its grand opening on September 27th 2007, symbolizes a new era for shopping in Cyprus. Hosting the world's best brand names in retail and fashion, the project is the result of twenty-six years of planning, development and construction. At the official launch of operations of the Mall of Cyprus, Mr. Shacolas stated: "The idea came to me while on a visit to Canada in 1981 where I was impressed by the shopping malls there. After I came back to Cyprus, I immediately started work on the project." He also added: "The Mall of Cyprus is a dream come true." The Mall of Cyprus is the flagship of the Shacolas Emporium Park, which spans a total area of 106,035 square meters, and will eventually house dozens of cafes, restaurants and retail shops as well as a Multiplex cinema, children's play area and covered parking. Currently, the Mall of Cyprus is home to the first ever Carrefour in Nicosia and IKEA on the island. A perfectionist by nature, Mr. Shacolas has high expectations for the future of the Mall of Cyprus. "We hope that the Cypriot government will grant extended working hours for the mall, especially the capacity to stay open on Sundays. We hope that these extra hours will allow the people of Cyprus and visitors from abroad to utilize the mall to its fullest. By the end of 2008, we plan to organize shopping trips from Russia and other neighboring countries, and to also give foreign visitors special packages for luxury weekends. In fact, we believe that in a few years' time, Russia will be the largest supporter of Cyprus in many fields, including tourism."
2031. According to Mr. Shacolas, "We believe that airport operations are mainly a retail business since the primary source of income is derived from advertising space, retail shops, bars and restaurants. As the largest retailers in Cyprus, we have a great deal of experience in the retail business, which is why we developed the ambition to build airports."
Model for the new Larnaca International Airport, which will be ready to operate by the end of 2009
Mr. Shacolas continues: "The new airports will cost 700 million Euros, and they are currently the largest and the most important projects in Cyprus. Since the government didn't have the resources to launch a project of this caliber, they would have been forced to incur a debt, which would have contradicted the strict fiscal requirements for entry into the European Union. Although we will eventually take full control of the airports, we estimate that they will generate as much as 2.5 billion Euros income for the Cypriot government. Clearly, it's a win-win agreement for both parties." The third landmark project of the Shacolas Group is the development of Chrysochou Bay on the northwest coast of Cyprus as a resort and golfing destination. Dubbed the "Limni Project," the Shacolas Group is currently laying out plans to develop three million square meters of property that extends from the coastline to the pine-forested hillsides. Given the popularity of Cyprus as a tourist destination, the group has decided to create a high quality, integrated mixed-use resort development that will include a five-star hotel, luxury villas, a developed beachfront and two premier golf courses designed and signed by Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.
Recently, the Shacolas Group signed an agreement with the Cypriot government to build new Needless to say, Mr. Shacolas is airports in Pafos and Larnaca (openincredibly enthusiastic about the ings are scheduled for 2008 and 2009 respectively), while concurrently Limni Project. "Now that we have operating the existing airports until been granted permission from the government to construct two golf
courses at Limni, we are aiming to put this location on the map.We are employing the best golf professionals in the world, and we are paying them premium fees so they will construct
"We believe that airport operations are mainly a retail business"
for us the best golf courses in Europe." Given their lengthy history stretching back to the 1950s, as well as their current plans to further develop the island, it's not hard to understand why the Shacolas Group of Companies continues to singlehandedly transform the economic, commercial and cultural landscapes of Cyprus.
Russian Buyers in the Cypriot Real Estate Market By Antonis P. Loizou
yprus is quite attractive for Russian real estate investors and this came about for many reasons. The very good relations that the two countries have since 40 years ago, a common religion, the most favorable (for Cyprus) double taxation treaty with Russia, the existing low taxation system in Cyprus, the regular flights and a strong tourist number (120,000 p.a.) which is ever increasing, are the main
attracts 60 percent of all Russian investors/livers. The town's cosmopolitan environment, with its numerous luxurious hotels, the existence of a Russian church and schools, as well as the English speaking ones, facilitate the Russians to live mainly in Limassol, which is also the center of the offshore business in Cyprus. In terms of the real estate market buys, the Russians can be divided
Foreign Buyers of Property in Cyprus, percentage of demand in terms of location Paphos
plusses. The Russians' favorite place mainly in three broad categories. of living-investment is the seaside The very top end, with a budget of town of Limassol, which practically around 1 -3 million Cypriot pounds
Russian Buyers and Others by Location (main layers) PAPHOS
A Villa by the Sea E
nalia Beach Residences, the latest project by the Quality Group, sets the standard on the island for unparalleled luxury and ocean-side living
Savvas Kakos, Managing Director, Quality Group
he Quality Group, one of the most respected property developers in Cyprus, built its performance on years of experience through an uncompromising approach to quality. The Quality Group offers an extensive portfolio of contemporary, freehold housing and luxury lifestyle concepts, all with guaranteed Title Deeds in enviable locations. Mr. Savvas Kakos serves as the managing director of the Quality Group. "The Quality Group was established in 1991 under the name Savvas Kakos and Associates. In 1999, in order to fulfill our vision, we empowered the company with new brains and resources, and we also gave shares to key people in our team. Thus, in 2001, the name was changed to the Quality Group."
after-sales service divisions. In short, our company is composed of qualified staff that runs the company's operations from the moment of buying a plot to the time of finishing the business." The latest project of the Quality Group is the Enalia Beach Residences (www.qualitydevelopments.com), an exclusive community of just sixteen ocean-side villas offering the highest standards of luxury, privacy and resort amenities. The name "Enalia" means "land on the water" in ancient Greek, a concept that serves as the guiding philosophy of the project.
Offering a proven model of â€œonestop shopping,â€? the Quality Group guides investors through each stage from ground-breaking and construction to move-in and property maintenance. Clients are further rewarded through unrivalled customer service and after-sales benefits, including mortgage and investment schemes, property management, rentals and lifestyle programs. Kakos explains: "Our team is made up of graphic designers, marketers, civil engineers and sales persons, and divided into property management, quality management and 12
Built on one of the island's most scenic beaches, each villa will serve as an oasis of serenity perched on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. Each of the sixteen villas will boast a unique interior design scheme that was selected and implemented by the renowned Greek designer Angelos Angelopoulos. Although the interior designs of the villas defy categorization, the overall scheme is modern and contemporary with a sophisticated attention to minute details and overall elegance. Each villa will have four floors: the
first floor is a basement that sits one meter above ground to ensure natural ventilation. The basement floor can be converted for different uses depending on the needs of the client. For example, the space can easily serve as a storage area, a guest bedroom, a workspace or even as a home cinema. The second level of the villa has a kitchen, dining area and storage area, while the third floor is the main living and sleeping space. The top floor is an open area with enough space to organize barbecues, cocktail parties or whatever it is that your imagina-
ed on hills, offering attractive sea views, or very near the beach. This price range refers to villas with private gardens and pools, 3-4 bedrooms and around 120-150 square meters. The third category referes to a budget of around 200,000 Cypriot pounds (340,000 Euros) whose interest is mainly for apartments, having approximately 130-150 square meters, of a 3-bedroom capacity.
(1.7 - 5.1 million Euros) is interested primarily in right-on-the-beach property. This price range refers to luxu-
The Russian market deviates considerably and there are sales at around 7 million Cypriot pounds for homes (very limited) and buyers also for lower priced units (around 150,000 Cypriot pounds). The prices quoted above mainly refer to new accommodation, with second-hand units priced at around 25 percent less. A number of Russian investors have teamed up with local business people and have undertaken property development, whereas others are buying land as an investment. Opportunities for investment in the market are there and the Cypriot real estate market has shown an annual appreciation in terms of land of around 12 percent p.a., projected to continue at a rate of 10-12 percent p.a. over the next few years. Similarly, are expected for an extent of around 400-600 square increases meters. The second category is that house/apartments, with a recorded of the 300-400 thousand Cypriot annual increase of 10 percent over
ment. Also the Larnaca Port will have a building development of around 200,000 square meters, in addition to the cruise port and marina (tenders are under consideration).At the same time, there are at present six golf courses which have received an initial permit issue, and each golf course will include development of around 100,000 square meters of buildings for sale. All these projects require extensive private investment, whereas others could be sold outright for a profit, as on paper projects once the final permit is obtained. These projects are most suitable for an extended cash investor and they are directed mainly towards the foreign market. Although the second home is a competitive market, Cyprus attracts a total value of real estate sales to a figure of approximately 700 million p.a. According to the Central Bank the main buyers are British, with 7 percent of buyers from the total from Russia (but of a much higher budget than the average). In terms of living, Famagusta region has the best beaches, but its tourist season is limited to 4-6 months, whereas in Paphos and Limassol it is all the year round, with Larnaca region having a summer peri-
Indicative Prices of New Accomodation of Prime Interest for the Russian Buyer PRICES
VILLAS ON BEACH
VILLAS OFF BEACH
APTS ON BEACH
APTS OFF BEACH
rious accommodation with parking, pounds (510-680 thousand Euros) the recent years, with a projected garden and pool, 4-5 bedrooms and with buyers interested in villas situat- appreciation of around 7-8 percent p.a. Beach land and beach units are expected to show a higher appreciation than inland properties, due to the shortage of beach land. For the “serious” (in terms of cash) investors, Cyprus is now offering added real estate market opportunities. There are three marinas at the stage of tenders, and in addition to the marina development activity, these projects include extensive building develop-
“Competition will cause
numerous local developers to seek cooperation with foreign investors"
od (for outside the town) of around 6 months. The market is changing and the described projects/competition will cause numerous local potential developers to seek cooperation with investors from abroad. To the plusses of the island, the two new airports of Larnaca and Pafos, now under development, as well as the constant infrastructure improvement, must be noted.
tion can create. Each of the floors boasts sweeping sea views and extended balconies, which give the sensation that the entire house is floating on the water. The materials used in the project are of the highest quality, and they ensure maximum comfort, durability and aesthetic value.The villas are also connected to a centralized satellite music and television system, which will allow residents to tune into any radio or TV channel in any part of the world. The houses were designed with the simple but crucial idea that each resident should be allotted absolute privacy from their neighbors. As a result, the villas are scattered and well-spaced amongst impeccably manicured gardens of tropical plants and flowers that are fed by a freshwater stream. If a particular house decides to host a private party, they are insulated from the eyes and ears of their neighbors.
can accommodate approximately already our expectations have been As a residential development one hundred cars for residents and exceeded. Our beach location is the most expensive and prestigious on however, there is an ample amount of visitors. the island at the moment, and I think luxury resort facilities on site aimed Mr. Savvas Kakos also serves as that in the coming years, this properat fostering a communal atmosphere. the project head for the Enalia Beach ty will be the star landmark of the Although four of the villas also have their own private pools, all residents Residences. "Our aim is to set the Mediterranean Sea. Upon compleand their guests can congregate in standard on the island for unparal- tion, the Enalia Beach Residences will the 240 square-meter freeform pool. leled luxury and ocean-side living.We be entered into an international Other amenities include bars, restau- want to offer residents an exclusive competition for the best beach villas rants, a state-of-the-art fitness area villa in a pristine location that will in the world, and we are fairly confiand a multi-purpose court that can enable people to experience a dent that the project will stand out be used for volleyball, tennis, and sophisticated level of both pleasure amongst the competition." football. In short, there is always and relaxation. Because Enalia Beach Kakos goes on: "The finishing date something to do at every time of the Residences will offer both private and communal services, we consider of the project is expected to be day. residents to be buyers of a lifestyle, sometime during the summer of 2009, though we are still working out Security at Enalia is extremely not just buyers of a house. " some of the finer details of the tight, and only residents can enter To date, Kakos is extremely satis- design.As a result, at present we have into the premises. There is also an fied with the pace and the outcome not started selling the villas because electronic button at every villa that residents can press to open the gates of the project. "We put all of our we want to give the correct picture should they have guests. Finally, there time and resources into constructing to people upon completion of our is an underground parking lot that the Enalia Beach Residences, and design. However, we estimate that
the starting price for a villa in the Enalia Beach Residences will be about 750,000 Cypriot pounds. For some of our larger and more luxurious villas, the top end of the range will be approximately 2 million Cypriot pounds." Of course, Kakos is confident that the villas are not just an amazing place to live, but also a lucrative investment. "The price of property on the island has almost tripled over the past few years. For instance, following the construction of the new airport, Cyprus is establishing itself as a major commercial and residential centre much like Dubai. With that said, we on the island believe that Cyprus is a much more sustainable business location than Dubai, especially considering that it's much cheaper for foreign investors to buy commercial and residential property here."
A Hometown Hero
assapis Land Developers looks to put Larnaca on the map by focusing on exclusive development projects
Mr George Hassapis, Chief Executive Officer, Hassapis Land Developers
ith twenty years of experience on the island, Hassapis Land Developers strives to bring buyers one step closer to their vision of a home in the warm Mediterranean sun. Established in 1987, Hassapis Land Developers has garnered a well-earned reputation as a group that designs and builds attractive, comfortable and high quality homes in Cyprus.Whether they're building a stylish villa or a luxury hotel, Hassapis Land Developers always adheres to a rigorous step-by-step process, which demonstrates sound business practices combined with serious efforts to respond to market demands. The founder and CEO of Hassapis Land Developers is Mr. George Hassapis, a hometown hero who wants to share the beauty of Larnaca with the rest of the world. "If you take a walk around Larnaca, you will agree with me that it's one of the most beautiful spots on the island. However, I can honestly say that we are still very much behind Nicosia, Pafos, and Limassol in terms of infrastructural development. But this has advantages for investors, especially since the time is now to put Larnaca on the map."
Larnaca. "Firstly, our customers can attain a property for a reasonable price compared to other areas.The price difference between us and Limassol is as high as 20-30 percent for the same plot size. I think this is great margin considering the quality of the products that we offer here."
Larnaca, all of which are high-profile investment properties." For Russian investors choosing a location in Cyprus, Hassapis offers this bit of advice: "The reason why I think people should consider Larnaca as opposed to other areas such as Limassol is that we have an abundance
ects like golf courses, Dubai-style residential towers and resort hotels. We have a number of these types of projects in the pipeline, all of which are open to whole or partial investors. However, we are looking for the right type of partners -- the right partner is not just somebody who has the money, but someone with the right expertise
"The time is now to put Larnaca on the map"
"Land can be 30 percent cheaper in Larnaca than Limassol for the same plot size"
Hassapis continues: "There are three classes of major projects currently taking place that will improve the face of Larnaca: a series of golf courses, a new regional airport and a complex of marinas. At the moment, there is a serious restructuring of Larnaca going on, and because of these baseline projects, any If you spend a few minutes convers- new project coming into Larnaca will ing with Hassapis, it's not hard to share benefit greatly. As a result, we have conin his optimism for the future of structed a total of 2,000 units in
of land here. Unlike other heavily devel- who shares our long-term vision of oped areas on the island, Larnaca still Larnaca." boasts virgin land, which has the potential to be adapted to the individual In the end, Hassapis offers a clear needs of the customer." and simple philosophy that Hassapis Land Developers adheres to: "Land In regards to the future of Russian- development is a privilege and a Cypriot collaboration, Hassapis is all responsibility.The privilege lies in offertogether optimistic. "Our future collab- ing people the home they have always orations with the Russian market will wanted. The responsibility is to make be mainly in the areas of exclusive proj- sure that their investment is justified."
Hassapis Land Developers 2nd Floor Millenium Lion House - 1 Georgiou Aradippioti 6016 Larnaka, Cyprus Tel: + 357 2481 5488 - email@example.com - firstname.lastname@example.org www.hassapis.net
Both Sides of the Coin Mr. Loizos Iordanou, Managing Director, Loizos Iordanou Constructions Ltd
oizos Iordanou has positioned itself as a market leader in both real estate construction and development in Cyprus
oizos Iordanou Constructions Ltd has been a highly respected name in real estate construction and development in Cyprus since its establishment in 1991. During nearly 17 years of service, the company has earned an enviable reputation for innovation, reliability and integrity, and has a formidable track record of engineering and producing a range of high profile projects.The firm’s portfolio is a testament to their work in a wide range of markets including large contracts to build infrastructure projects, as well as commercial, residential, and institutional facilities. “We have embarked on large scale projects, such as the residences at Aphrodite Hills, and the Mall of Cyprus in Nicosia, which is one of the largest privately owned construction projects in Cyprus,” explains Mr. Iordanou. Mr. Iordanou’s experience in the industry extends beyond starting his own company back to 1980 when he first became acquainted with construction and engineering. He began his operations with a succession of partnerships primarily in Pafos, and later formed his limited company in 1991,
son why we are growing so rapidly,” he explained. The company’s new development website will be launched in several languages, including Russian, and is planning to hire Russian-speaking staff to boost the efforts to reach the market.
starting with small projects and developing the business through reputation and word of mouth. The company has since then become synonymous with quality and reliability in Cyprus: “Our experienced staff, unique family culture, innovative management skills and advanced control systems help us build mutually beneficial relationships,” said Mr. Iordanou. “We have the experience, resources and processes to help customers plan, improve and manage projects of varying size and complexity.”
Loizos Iordanou’s success in Cyprus has enabled the company to launch projects in other countries such as Greece, Romania, and is now planning the commencement of a first venture in Bahrain.The international growth has been determined but carefully managed, focused on projects where the company has proven experience to deliver. According to Mr. Iordanou, “We are selective when accepting contracts, only participating in projects where we can effectively utilize our expertise and technology.”
Mr. Iordanou started his career in construction, immediately following the completion of his military service. He began working as a sub-contractor, as well as collaborating on joint ventures. Following the 1974 war, the government launched an extensive scheme of house building for the country’s 200,000 refugees, an initiative that Mr. Iordanou became actively involved in, and by gradually developing a reputation for excellence, honesty and reliability, succeeded in earning for his company an image as an important player in development and construction.
Mr.Iordanou is now actively investigating opportunities within the Russian market, where he is confident that the company’s values and reputation will meet the expectations of Russsian investors and developers. “We are not just a developer, we are also a construction company, and we provide them with quality which is the numberone characteristic of our organization. We do not subcontract the construction to anyone. This is the best way of looking after our customers’ interests, and the rea-
Lambrou Katsoni Street / Flora Cout B, 2nd floor Office 209, 8011 Paphos, Cyprus Tel: +357 26 938 238, Fax: +357 26 948 676, www.liordanou.com.cy / email@example.com
P.O. Box 53400 / 3302 Limassol, Cyprus Tel: +357 25 87 83 21 / Fax: +357 25 87 83 67 www.grow-withus.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
risto Developers is providing a special welcome for Russians in Cyprus by creating lifestyles rather than just homes
Theodoros Aristodemou, Managing Director, Aristo Developers Plc.
risto Developers is among the pioneers of the new wave of quality developers in Cyprus, with an admirable track record of building residential properties, world-class golf courses, water parks and other amenities.The company's stated mission is “To identify the most exclusive and suitable property locations in Cyprus and Greece and utilize our creativity, experience and technical expertise to integrate in an environmentally friendly
Theodoros Aristodemou, who founded Aristo Developers some 30 years ago, explains: “We believe that Cyprus is a very good place for Russians to buy second homes and invest in, for three important reasons. First, there are good relations between the governments and the peoples of Cyprus and Russia, and there are many Cypriots who now speak the Russian language. Second, the majority Christian denomination in both Cyprus
manner the most extensive variety of and Russia is Orthodox, thus creating high quality properties, aimed to becom- similar religious identity for the two countries. Third, Cyprus and Russia ing our clients' dream homes.” have very strong historical ties. These Aristo has demonstrated a particular are very important factors, because ability to understand and meet the from our experience, Russians are very appreciative of cultural accommodaexpectations of Russian investors. 18
tion and hospitality. Russians therefore feel comfortable with Cyprus as an investment location and for settling as a second home.” Earlier this year, the investment group Dolphin Capital acquired a majority shareholding in Aristo, a move that is likely to give Mr. Aristodemou's company an opportunity to expand its activities further, while consolidating its deliberate upmarket moves, benefiting from Dolphin's renowned experience in the development of quality hotels and leisure complexes.
Once they are sure that a company can be trusted, they will bring their friends and other people as new customers. Russia is a market that demands for long term partnerships and customer relationship management."
This long-term approach is demonstrated by Aristo Developer's well resourced after-sales team, who is onhand as soon as the sale is completed, to provide advice and support and ensure that the buyer gets complete satisfaction. The after-sales team is equipped to help with virtually every conceivable need, including the purAs a company with 30 years of chase of electrical equipment, furniture, experience in Cyprus, Aristo curtains and upholstery, the arrangeDevelopers is committed to a long ment of landscape gardening, car hire, term, sustainable strategy, which stress- travel and leisure arrangements. es the importance of quality service at all stages in the process, something that The team is also able to provide Aristodemou believes Russian help with any problems that may arise investors appreciate.“We are proud of with the property itself. Not only does our commitment to honesty in our the purchaser enjoy the benefit of an operations and we give our clients the extensive guarantee included in the security of knowing that they can have purchase price, but the after-sales confidence in the products they buy. team's free support provides the capacOur clients know that we have owner- ity to quickly liaise with the appropriate ship of our products, and they know suppliers or service providers to assure that there is quality and security in our absolute satisfaction.Aristo Developers services. We are looking at the long sees Russian clients as strategically term prospects of the company, and it important to further success, and is is thus our policy to give good prices actively developing its service facilities, and quality services to our clients. both through new investment in their Russian clients are cautious and always Moscow office and also in further try to ensure that they can trust the extending the dedicated customer business partner they are dealing with. service that the company offers.
An Innovative Approach to Development
Angelos Markides, CEO, Lanitis Development
anitis Development looks to bring top quality integrated resorts to the island of Cyprus
RREEF's initial interest in acquiring waves.The award-winning resort fea- privacy and exclusivity. Furthermore, Lanitis Development principally tures an InterContinental resort since the products and services stems from their flagship project hotel, an 18-hole championship golf offered by Lanitis Development are known as Aphrodite Hills, the first course, an extensive spa, a village geared towards the high-end luxury integrated golf, leisure and real estate square with shops and restaurants market, Markides believes that there development in Cyprus. The project and luxurious properties for sale and is potential for future Cypriotwas executed with the participation rent. Russian collaboration. “Generally of the international hotel chain speaking, our development projects InterContinental, Carnegie Ltd for The uniqueness of Aphrodite are considered to be a risky investthe golf facilities and other strategic Hills, both in terms of its dimensions ment because of the magnitude and and design, will serve as inspiration in size of our operations. However, if a In June 2007, Thalassa Holdings partners. submitted a public offer to the shareholders of Lanitis Development for the acquisition of 100 percent of its issued share capital, which was aspire, through our team spirit, attention to quality, and accepted and completed successfully. anitis Development is owned by Thalassa Holdings, a newly established joint venture between RREEF (an international investment fund, member of the Deutsche Bank Group), which owns 75 percent of the above joint venture, and the Lanitis Group which owns 25 percent.
Lanitis Development was founded in 1990 by the fourth generation of the Lanitis family, founders and owners of the Lanitis Group, which is one of the oldest and biggest business conglomerates on the island, involved in most sectors of the local economy. Today, Lanitis Development is the largest property developer and manager of integrated, large scale projects in Cyprus. The company was established to plan, design, develop and manage integrated resort projects, having secured the exclusive cooperation of strategic partners of international reputation and expertise.
customer focus, to become the best developer and manager of the top integrated resorts in Europe"
To visit Aphrodite Hills in Cyprus is to experience a higher level of relaxed opulence, superior service and deluxe accommodation.The luxurious resort is set amid a backdrop of stunning natural beauty in the Mediterranean coast near Pafos, and overlooks the very spot where Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, is said to have emerged from the
visit Aphrodite Hills in Cyprus is to experience a higher level of relaxed opulence, superior service and deluxe accommodation”
the future for other projects of similar character in Cyprus and abroad. This vision is echoed by the CEO of Lanitis Development, Mr. Angelos Markides. “We aspire, through our team spirit, attention to quality, and customer focus, to become the best developer and manager of the top integrated resorts in Europe. Our company's strategy is to utilize our experience on large-scale projects to purchase big pieces of land with unique characteristics, and to develop these into fully-fledged resorts.”
project succeeds along the same lines as Aphrodite Hills, then the returns are extremely high,” he points out.
According to Markides, “We believe that Russian buyers' priority is not the price of a villa -- they want luxury, privacy, exclusivity and comfort, while the location and environment must support this. As a result, we try to preserve the natural beauty of the landscape whenever possible, while the resort has a 24-hour security patrol. We also realize that Russian investors are taking Russian clients are extremely notice of Lanitis Development, par- demanding, and we are currently ticularly since there is an increasing striving to offer services and facilities demand in the Cypriot real estate that are aimed at this increasing segmarket for luxurious villas offering ment of the market.”
A Selection of Key Players in Real Estate Development A
Antonis P. Loizou, Senior Partner Anotonis Loizou & Associates
Michalis D. Zavos, Managing Director D. Zavos Group
ntonis Loizou is the largest real estate consultant in both Cyprus and in the Eastern Mediterranean. From land evaluation and commercial construction to property management and educational publications, the firm is involved in virtually all aspects of the real estate market.
competition. "We do not compare ourselves with developers who make a 2530 percent profit on the property that they sell. We only make a five percent profit, and instead use our time and energy to expand conservatively and to target specific areas of the market."
The managing director of the group, Mr. Michalis D. Zavos, strongly believes in the power of innovation. "We were the first company on the island to convert hotel accommodations into luxurious residential apartments. This unique concept allows our clients to indulge in the privacy of a luxury apartment, while simultaneously enjoying the amenities of a resort hotel."
At the moment, Antonis Loizou is working hard to attract more Russian investors to the island. Compared with similar locations in Greece and Spain, real estate in Cyprus is extremely affordable for Russian investors. Furthermore, Antonis P. Loizou, recent infrastructural improvements Senior Partner, is very including new airports, golf courses and clear about why his firm residential developments bode well for is distinguished from the the future of the market.
stablished in 1980, the D. Zavos Group is one of the leading Cypriot land and building development companies. Having garnered a strong local and international reputation for building cutting-edge residential estates and commercial properties, the D. Zavos Group currently operates offices in Limassol, Larnaca and in London, U.K., and has representative offices in Athens, Bahrain and Moscow.
Mr. Loizou explains: "At present, Russians comprise nearly 70 percent of the upmarket real estate business here in Cyprus, and about 30 percent of the lower end. Our firm recognizes this trend, and strives to offer our Russian clientele the real estate services that they require." He continues: "The advantage of dealing with our firm is that we have access to the whole of Cyprus. If our clients want homes in any specific location on the island, we will get it for them regardless of their budget. Other developers simply cannot offer this valuable service."
Europe and the Americas, but they instead choose to purchase property in Cyprus.We believe this is because Cyprus is a very secure country, and it's a great place for family holidays."
Looking towards the future, Mr. Zavos offers these words: "We are presently expanding our business operations in the UK in order to allow our Russian clientele to move into other markets. We believe that Mr. Zavos is also quick to point this is an attractive option for out the appeal of Cyprus as an inter- Russian clients, especially since nationally-renowned real estate London is becoming popular investment destination. "A lot of amongst families who want to send clients we deal with could afford to their children there to study." go to many other countries in
clientele base. Today, the company is primarily focused on property design and development in the Larnaca, Famagusta and Limassol areas. Coinciding with the 2004 entry of Cyprus into the European Union, the turnover of the Quality Group increased from 3,900,000 to Savvas Kakos, Managing Director 11,100,000 Cypriot pounds (an increase of Quality Group 285 percent). Turnover in 2005 and 2006 was he history of the Quality 14 million and 27 million Cypriot Group dates back to 1991 pounds respectively, and the forewhen Savvas Kakos founded cast for 2007 exceeds 75 million and formulated Savvas Kakos and Cypriot pounds. Associates Ltd. with the specific Mr. Savvas Kakos, the Managing purpose of providing design and construction services in Larnaca. Director of the Quality Group, After a decade of rapid growth, the attributes this success to his compafirm changed its name to the Quality ny's "one-stop shop" approach to Group in order to acknowledge real estate. "Our company is comtheir commitment to delivering posed of qualified staff that guides utmost quality to their expanding customers through each stage, from
ground-breaking and construction to move-in and property maintenance. In this manner, we believe that we can further establish our reputation on the island and around the world.”
group is based on a number of strict criteria relating to property quality, presentation, marketing and public relations. A very limited number of developers from around the world are allowed to join.
The strong growth figures of the company prove that its approach of total commitment to quality has been well received by customers, both end users who become happy owners of “homes for life” (just like the company's slogan states) and for investors:“Annual returns on capital appreciation for our properties are in the range of 5 to 10 percent, and the annual yield on rentals is in the range of 5 to 8 percent. Furthermore, in Cyprus these returns can be expected to be much more stable than in other booming emerging markets in the region,” says Kakos.
Quality Group is currently developing a number of high profile projects, including luxurious beachside villas and contemporary commercial premises with ergonomic office space in Larnaca. Overseas, they are pioneering a state-of-the-art residential tower in Dubai, and a multifacility apartment resort in Bulgaria. Their recent expansion of satellite offices in Russia, Bulgaria and the UK, has further increased their network of professional expertise and client accessibility.
This past July, the Quality Group was proud to announce their acceptance by International Homes Magazine as one of "The Leading International Developers." Membership into this prestigious
ments in the industry,and are committed to continually upgrading our facilities through ongoing, extensive renovation plans. At the same time, we are aware of the latest advances in relevant technology, and are implementing quality management systems that will support our efforts to offer the For instance, in response to the highest possible standard of service while growing demand from the tourism sec- maintaining our competitive edge." tor in Cyprus during the 80's and the 90's, the Kanika Group completed the construction of four high-profile luxury hotels and resorts.Today, the Alexander Spyros Karaolis, Executive Chairman Kanika Group the Great Beach Hotel in Pafos, the Kanika Pantheon and Elias Beach hotels he Kanika Group of Companies is a in Limassol, and the Lagoon Resort in Ayia name that is synonymous with the Napa are ranked amongst the most estabconstruction and development of lished properties on the island. hotels and resorts in Cyprus. Since 1975, the company has been associated with a Mr. Spyros Karaolis, the Executive number of major projects throughout Chairman of the Kanika Group, firmly Cyprus,some of which are now regarded as believes that his company is easily distinDora Onophriou, General Manager prominent landmarks. guished from the competition. "Our corpoKanika Group rate slogan is simple:value for money.This is The key specialization of the Kanika what we have achieved in the past, and why Group is hotel construction and manage- we are continuously raising the bar, year or over four decades, the Kanika ment, particularly luxury four- and five-star after year." Group of Companies has been resorts. As a result of their continued sucinvolved in the building of both resicess in the construction industry,the Kanika He continues: "As one of the oldest and dential and commercial properties in the Group has been publicly traded in the stock most established hotel chains in Cyprus, we Limassol area and other parts of Cyprus. exchange since December of 2000, and is are keeping a watchful eye on the develop- These properties include quality villas, today one of the most profitable companies in the whole of Cyprus.The company is also certified with the Quality Assurance system ISO 9002 and the Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points system HACCP.
In the context of Quality's international expansion, this is what Mr. Kakos has to say about his outlook of the Russian market: “Russia is definitely in our plans, and our starting steps will be to participate in exhibitions held in Russia that have to do with unique luxury and lifestyle projects.”
apartments and office premises. Kanika always allows for tailor-made building to suit the client's needs to the highest level of specification. One such project is the well-known Kanika Enaerios Complex, which sits prominently on Limassol's main beachfront avenue, and incorporates over 750 apartments, 150 shops, office space and an upmarket hotel. The Kanika Group is guided by the expertise of its general manager, Mrs. Dora Onouphriou. "We are one of the few companies on the island that provides property management services alongside property development. As a result, the investor that comes to Kanika receives legal and tax advice about how to invest in property and subsequently maximize revenues." In regards to the Russian market,Mrs. Onouphriou is excited about the potential of increased cooperation between both countries. "The growth potential vis-à-vis the Russian market is not just about selling products to individuals, but about creating conglomerations with investors interested in Cyprus."
Loizos Iordanou, Managing Director Loizos Iordanou Constructions Ltd
ince 1991, Loizos Iordanou Constructions Ltd has garnered a reputation as one of the leading real estate construction and development companies in Cyprus. Today, the company is involved in the island's most high profile projects, including the exclusive residential development of Aphrodite Hills as well as the Cyprus Mall, in Nicosia.
As a result of their success in Cyprus, Loizos Iordanou Constructions is currently expanding their operations to Greece, Romania,Bahrain and most notably Russia. However, unlike other multinational real estate companies that sometimes emphaMr. Loizos Iordanou, the size growth over sustainability, Loizos
or the past twenty years, Hassapis Land Developers has been building attractive, comfortable and high quality properties in Larnaca while simultaneously working to establish the area as one of the island's leading destinations for investors, tourists and locals alike.
George Hassapis, CEO, Hassapis Land Developers
Mr. George Hassapis, the founder and CEO of Hassapis Land Developers, summarizes his company's
olden Land Contractors and Developers is a mid-sized real estate company with over thirty years of experience in the Polis and Latchi areas.
Petros Ioannides, Managing Director Golden Land
Managing Director of the company, believes that honest and hard work is the key to success in his industry.“Our experienced staff, unique family culture, innovative management skills and advanced control systems help us build mutually beneficial relationships.We have the experience, resources and processes to help customers plan, improve and manage projects of varying size and complexity.”
Specializing in properties suitable for both holiday and permanent homes, Golden Land offers customized designs ranging from traditional Cypriot stone houses to ultra-modern European villas.By employing a wide range of trained profes-
vision with these succinct words: "Land development is a privilege and a responsibility. The privilege lies in offering people the home they have always wanted. The responsibility is to make sure that their investment is justified." A highly praised hometown hero, Mr. Hassapis has nothing but love for Larnaca as well as sparkling optimism for its future. "If you take a walk around Larnaca, you will agree with me that it's one of the most beautiful spots on the island. However, because we are still very much behind Nicosia, Pafos, and Limassol in terms of infrastructural development, our customers can purchase a property for a reason-
Iordanou Constructions is being careful not to sacrifice their principles. Mr. Loizos Iordanou explains: “We are selective when accepting contracts, and we only participate in projects where we can effectively utilize our expertise and technology." He continues: "Since we are a construction company as well as a developer, we always strive to provide our clients with the level of quality that they have come to expect from us.We do not subcontract to anyone since we believe that this is the best way of looking after our customers' interests while maintaining our high level of standards.”
able price compared to other areas. However, the future of Larnaca is indeed looking bright, especially since a number of ongoing projects are expected to raise the profile of the area. Mr. Hassapis explains: "There are three classes of major projects currently taking place that will improve the face of Larnaca: a series of golf courses, a new regional airport and a complex of marinas. Because of this widespread development, we believe that any new project in Larnaca will prosper as the area continues to transform itself into a leading destination."
sionals including architects, civil engiLoannides also believes that a similar neers and project managers, Golden trend is emerging amongst Russian Land is able to respond directly to the investors. needs and demands of their clientele. He explains: "In previous years, Mr. Petros Ioannides, the Managing Russian investors were solely interested Director of Golden Land, is optimistic in the Limassol area, but now they are about the future of his company as well starting to branch out and target other as the investment potential of both Polis potentially lucrative markets. To date,we and Latchi."More and more people are have already been approached by two becoming interested in Polis and Latchi, Moscow-based real estate companies, especially since both areas have the and we have already made an agreement potential to support more residential to work closely with both of them.We and commercial developments, resort have also personally contacted other hotels, golf courses and marinas. As a offices in Moscow in the hopes of result, we are simultaneously expanding attracting more clients and building an the number of our branch offices while extended network." hiring new staff."
or more than three decades, Athanasiou Construction and Development has created world-class residences in the Limassol area catering to a diverse range of lifestyles.
Christakis Athanasiou, Director Athanasiou Construction & Development
The major point of difference between Athanasiou and the competition is that the company strictly adheres to their philosophy of offering consistent and quality construction as well as innovative design solu-
ouroushi Bros Ltd is a wellestablished and highly reputable construction and property development company based in Pafos. The company is proud to offer exclusive designs that are built to exacting specifications with the utmost care and attention to detail.
Kypros and Chrysostomos Kouroushi, Directors, Kouroushi Bros Ltd
The Kouroushi brothers themselves, Kypros and Chrysostomos, have been working in the construction business since 1989.
ince 1998, Maispa Developers Ltd. has specialized in building residential properties in the Pafos and Polis areas. In order to uphold their mission statement, Maispa aims to provide fairly priced constructions of the highest quality,and to maintain steady market growth without sacrificing their commitment to customer service.
George Mais, Managing Director Maispa Developers
tions. From start to finish, the company works alongside their clients to ensure that their full range of needs and expectations are met when purchasing an Athanasiou branded home.
Although Limassol is second to Nicosia in terms of political and economic status, the city is rapidly becoming the preferred destination for Russian investors. As a result, business is booming at a staggering rate, and Russian investors Christakis Athanasiou, the founder and are cashing in on this lucrative market. director of the company, explains: "In the real estate business, companies are Mr. Athanasiou knows how important it quick to throw around words like 'qual- is to build trust amongst his Russian ity,' yet most residential projects these clientele. "It is the mentality of Russians days are characterized by stale architec- to talk directly to people in positions of ture and a general lack of imagination.As power in order to solve their problems a result, we at Athanasiou strive to offer quickly and efficiently. As a result, we unique designs that distinguish our have decided to keep our business small developments from competing proj- in order to be able to maintain a perects." sonal touch with all of our clients."
While both are civil engineers, Kypros is in charge of the overall administration of the company, while Chrysostomos oversees all the technical aspects of the business. Since then, they have built hotels, government buildings, banks, villas, bungalows, townhouses, apartments and studios mainly in the Pafos area.Their operations are on a national scale with projects in both Nicosia and Limassol. Projects overseas, in Bulgaria and Moldovia, are also in the pipeline. Kypros explains: "We are presently working on three separate luxury villa projects, two of which are aimed exclusively at Russian investors. These two
President of the Pafos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and is the current President of the Pafos Land and Building Developers Association, believes that the real estate market in Cyprus is a lucrative investment, especially for the Russian market.
He explains: "Although the British have been investing in Cyprus for years,Russians are starting to realize that the property market in Cyprus is growing very quickly. In fact, real estate is the traditional investment field for local Cypriots, who prefer buying property to stocks. Since Cyprus is Mr. George Mais, who a small island with limited availability of land serves as the Managing for development, property prices are Director of Maispa, Vice- always on the rise. Needless to say, this is
developments, which we hope will hit the market in October 2008, will be of the highest quality, in order to meet the demands of our Russian clientele. We are also introducing the fractional ownership concept in Cyprus with a project we are developing along with our British partners." About the prospects of the real estate market, Chrysostomos comments: "In my view, the real estate market in Cyprus will continue to steadily grow for at least the next five to ten years. The price of land in Cyprus is much more affordable than other European countries, and it's difficult to compete with the island's hospitality, favorable climate and esteemed culture."
extremely attractive for investors." Compared to the British, Mr. Mais believes that Russian clients require a greater degree of personalized service if they are to consider investing. According to Mr. Mais: "The main difference between our British and Russian clients is that generally speaking, Russians place a greater value on building trust. Since Cypriots and Russians share similar cultural values, we realize that our clients' expectations are often extremely high.As a result, we employ Russian-speaking staff, and make a point of attending annual real estate exhibitions in Russia in order stay current on the latest market trends."
Christiana Alexandrou, Managing Director Cyprus Dream Homes
ased in the city of Larnaca, Cyprus Dream Homes is a highlyrespected property development and real estate company dedicated to the principles of quality, value for money and customer satisfaction. From securing the perfect plot to constructing a customdesigned villa, Cyprus Dream Homes stands by their firm commitment to professionalism.
etrabuild Developers is a successful and well-established real estate company with nearly a decade of experience in Cyprus. Today, they enjoy a reputation on the island as a firm dedicated to building quality properties that adhere to the highest possible standards.
Fytos Koursaros, Director Petrabuild Developers
residential developments that are traditionally styled in keeping with the character of the island. At the same time however, the firm prides itself on incorporating customer requirements into each new home that they build, which ensures that each property is distinctive in both appearance and character.
Signature Lux Homes, is proud of his company's motto "Luxury Through Quality," as well as their eco-friendly approach. "We practice what we preach, which is why all of our materials are environmentally sustainable. All of our homes are also extremely energy efficient, which results in a yearly savings percentage of 80 percent on heating and cooling."
He continues: "For instance, the European Union (EU) value for energy loss ranges from 0.6 to 1, with 1 being the maximum allowable value. Every concrete home in Cyprus has a value Mr. Kiriakos Photiou, the of 1.69, which exceeds the EU stanManaging Director of dard, while our homes have a value of
choosing Larnaca as the preferred location in which to invest. "The investment potential is high, especially since the price of real estate in Larnaca is lower than in other cities on the island. Larnaca has much to offer in terms of shops, ranging from boutiques to designer stores, numerous restaurants and bars which cater to all tastes, and far more attractive beaches than Limassol and Pafos.â€?
Cyprus Dream Homes has hired In the past, Russians have typically Russian speaking staff and is planning chosen to buy property in either various exhibitions in Russia in order Limassol or Pafos, but over the last to show all that Larnaca has to offer, couple of years, Mrs. Alexandrou has and build bridges with Russian clients. seen an increase in Russian buyers
Fytos Koursaros, the director of Petrabuild, recognizes that this quality-orientated approach is the key to securing moderate growth. "Our customers are always looking for someConcentrating on thing that is different than the rest. the Pafos area, Petrabuild Therefore, we spend large amounts specializes in exclusive of money each year designing new
ignature Lux Homes is proud to pioneer the groundbreaking construction method of steel-framed housing in the Pafos area of Cyprus. The durability of this building style is unrivalled in the industry,and its design flexibility is accompanied by significant savings in both construction time and overall energy costs.
Kiriakos Photiou, Managing Director Signature Lux Homes
Mrs. Christiana Alexandrou, the managing director of Cyprus Dream Homes, believes that it is important to be loyal to customers amidst a competitive environment. "Dedication, commitment and hard work are the keys to our success. When people come here to buy property, we want to enable them to purchase the best property for their needs, both in terms of quality and investment-return potential.â€?
projects. The care we show for our business starts from the moment we buy a piece of land to the moment we finish developing a property." At present, Koursaros is seeing a strong shift in the market from traditional UK investors to newly wealthy Russian clientele. "There is a lot of potential in Cyprus for Russian investors, particularly in the cities of Pafos and Limassol, which are currently experiencing a property boom. Although actual rates of return vary considerably, our clients can expect their properties to return on average 8 to 17 percent per year."
0.27, which is 200 percent lower than the minimum standard.â€? Galvanized steel is by far better than either timber and/or concrete,which is why Signature Lux homes are designed to last for generations without the need for continuous maintenance. Mr. Photiou explains: "In the 21st century, people expect houses that have little or close to zero maintenance, which is why we apply all the latest technology that perhaps might only be expected of places like the UK and USA. As a result, we occupy a very unique market niche here in Cyprus."
Chris Giovanis, Managing Director, Giovani Developers
Panayiotis K. Savva, Managing Director Kleanthis Savva
several other locations in Cyprus and Although at times it can be difficult to around the Mediterranean region. cater to demanding customers, Mr. Giovanis offers this practical advice: Mr. Chris Giovanis, the founder and "Simply put, we listen to them. We do Managing Director of Giovani whatever they want.When they show us Developers, is extremely optimistic the designs that they want, we immediabout the future of the real estate mar- ately respond to their needs, and we ket in Cyprus. "I must say that this area suggest the location that befits their has the greatest potential in the whole design." of Cyprus. This is because it has been hidden for too many years, and only now He continues: "Our company focuses are people beginning to discover what strictly on quality and service, which is this market can offer." why we are so widely known on the island as well as overseas. By upholding In order to differentiate themselves this reputation, we believe that we can from the competition, Giovani continue to increase our presence, espeDevelopers primarily targets elite clients cially in the lucrative Russian market." in the high-end segment of the market.
stages of signing the papers and mov- amongst Russian investors in the ing in. Limassol and Pafos property markets, Kleanthis Savva is presently opening a Mr. Panayiotis K. Savva, the Managing branch office in Moscow.The company Director of Kleanthis Savva and the also regularly attends property exhibison of the company's founder, is well- tions in Russia, and advertises their versed in the needs of Russian clients. services in the Russian media. "Russians tend to rely on recommendations from their peers, which is why According to Mr. Savva: "As a midwe are proud to say that much of our sized company, our target is to build business comes from referrals. strong foundations, and to expand at a Russians are also quick to demand first sustainable pace. By maintaining steady class service, which is easy for us to growth, we can ensure that our cuscomply with since we strive to meet tomers can secure the deals that they the needs of our customers at every want.We stand by the properties that stage." we sell, and we are confident that our customers always receive the best In response to the growing interest value for their money."
iovani Cyprus Property Developers offers a wide range of luxury properties on the south-east coast of Cyprus. As the area's largest construction company, Giovani Developers employs over 250 staff, and offers an incredible range of upmarket apartments, homes and villas to their clientele. In the years to come, the company is also planning on expanding their operations in
medium-sized developer in the Pafos and Limassol areas, Kleanthis Savva offers a wide range of properties including apartments, townhouses, villas and self-styled configurations.With a well-established reputation for exemplary customer service and product quality, Kleanthis Savva guides clients from the early stages of choosing a property and designing the building to the final
Stavros Petrakides, Director CHAPS Developers
ince year 2000, CHAPS Developers has been involved in real estate and property development in the Nicosia area in the island of Cyprus. The company's main objectives are to identify premium plots of land, to design innovative examples of architecture, and to construct buildings using the highest possible quality of materials.
ize our work to meet the taste and demands of our clients, which is why we emphasize novel and cotemporary designs in all of our projects.We also know that Russians demand the highest possible level of service, which is Mr. Stavros Petrakides, the Director of something that we feel we can provide CHAPS Developers, explains: "We better than large and impersonal believe that we are a niche company developers." capable of attracting Russian investors, especially since we are young and flex- Although Mr. Petrakides admits that it ible. Compared with bigger and more will take some time to break into the established developers on the island, Russian market, he is confident that we are choosing to focus on quality of Cyprus will continue to appeal to fordesign and customer service instead of eign investors. "Cyprus is a blessed island in terms of the weather, which solely pursuing profit." creates a relaxing atmosphere for He continues: "Our aim is to personal- tourists and business investors alike." As of recent, CHAPS Developers has also been working hard to create links with Russian investors, and to establish a greater presence in the overseas market.
A Global Business Center Now a fully integrated member of the European Union, Cyprus has emerged as a global business center for foreign investors looking for advantageous tax status and/or a springboard into European capital markets
Market Formation in the European Union
â€œCyprus offers the lowest tax rate in the EU
Since the formation of the European Union (EU), the financial and capital markets of member countries have become increasingly interdependent. As imagined by the original architects of the EU, Europe can now function as one integrated market capable of competing with to invest in the EU take the time to when selecting a financial center to key global players. shop around, and to identify the host a holding company. most lucrative prospects. At the In this new environment, it is same time however, tax consideraOf course, thanks to the introessential that entrepreneurs wishing tions must be taken into account duction of a single European passport for securities, investors can now make these two decisions independently. In the new EU, it is possible for companies to raise capital or list shares in one country while basing themselves in another.
while fully complying with both EU and OECD requirements against harmful tax practices"
Although Cyprus has a long history as an international financial center, the island has grown increasingly popular in recent years as an ideal location for establishing investment holding companies. From its Mediterranean location and comprehensive infrastructure to its modern political and legal systems and advantageous tax structure, Cyprus is in an enviable position as one of Europe's leading business centers.
Cyprus as a Leading Business Center An undeniable advantage of Cyprus is its strategic location in the eastern Mediterranean at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and Asia. By plane, Cyprus is only four hours from London, three hours from Moscow, two hours from most European destinations and one hour from most Middle Eastern capitals. 28
The island's two shipping ports also contribute to the development of the transit trade and the shipping industry throughout the Mediterranean. Another benefit of Cyprus is simply that it offers plentiful sunshine and ideal temperatures virtually year round. Offering a true Mediterranean climate, summers in Cyprus are sunny and dry while winters are short and mild. In fact, extremes of weather and temperature are rare, allowing Cypriots to enjoy the outdoors considerably more than their mainland neighbors. Partially due to its attractive climate, Cyprus enjoys its status as one of Europe's leading tourist destinations, particularly amongst British and more recently Russian holiday makers. As a result, the island boasts a comprehensive infrastructure of airports, cruise ports, upmarket hotels, luxury resorts, shopping districts and world-class golf courses. In recent years, the island has also become one of the world's leading property hot spots amongst both real estate investors and second-home seekers. In order to respond to this growing demand, a rapidly expanding network of property developers, financial consultan-
cies and legal experts have sprung Cyprus is its extremely advantageous tax structure. up across the island. As dictated by its constitution, Cyprus is an independent and sovereign republic with a presidential system of government. Cyprus also employs a legal system that has been structured on English Common Law, with UK court decisions often used as precedents for Cypriot court cases.
For starters, Cyprus offers the lowest tax rate in the EU while fully complying with both EU and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) requirements against harmful tax practices. Since tax costs play a significant role in investment decisions, the formation of a holding company in Cyprus can in many cases eliminate or reduce withholding taxes under double tax treaties or under EU directives.As a result, this income can then be repatriated in any form the investor wishes without incurring Cyprus withholding tax.
This modern political and legal system carries over into the business world, with all company statutes regulating business matters and procedures based on Common Law. Furthermore, these systems facilitate quick and efficient processes for establishing a company in The current tax structure in Cyprus, with all decisions being issued by the Registrar of Cyprus was implemented on 1 January 2003, and refers to investCompanies. ment holding companies based in Cyprus. Specifically, the legislation Liberalizing the Cypriot allows for the following parameters: Tax Structure an income tax rate of 10 percent Although the aforementioned (the lowest in the EU) for all corpofactors are certainly appealing to rations, no withholding taxes on foreign investors, the main reason payments of dividends, interest, and for choosing to base oneself in royalties paid to non residents, no
â€œCompanies registered in
Cyprus can conduct a public offering in another EU member state or have their shares admitted to trading in any EU regulated market" tax on the disposal of titles, participation exemption system on dividends or profits from abroad, no thin capitalization rules, no exit costs, no holding period requirements for exemptions, a uniform tax rate without discrimination, and no exchange controls.
which allows the issuer to raise capital on a pan-European basis. As a result, companies registered in Cyprus can conduct a public offering in another EU member state or have their shares admitted to trading in any EU regulated market.
Strengthening the Ties As a full member state of the EU, with Russia
the aforementioned tax legislation also grants freedom for all EU citizens to conduct business and live in Cyprus with no legal restrictions. In turn, Cyprus can now share in the growth and development of the greater EU economy, adopt the Euro (formal adoption is scheduled to take place in January 2008) and participate in the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). It is believed that these changes will attract a greater share of foreign investment to Cyprus, and accelerate the island's transformation into a leading international business center.
The integration of Cyprus into the EU has also allowed Russian investors to gain a foothold into foreign markets to which they didn't have easy access in the past.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia has opened its doors to foreign corporations, and eased restrictions on the Russian entrepreneurs investing overseas. As a result, Russian investors that choose to base themselves in Cyprus can scout for lucrative investment opportunities within mainland Europe while simultaneously reaping the advantages of the island's liberal Integration into Europe's tax codes. In addition, the booming Capital Markets property market in Cyprus is particularly appealing to Russians, who are EU membership has also enabled easily swayed by the idea of owning Cyprus to fully integrate into a vacation home in the warm and Europe's capital markets, thanks to sunny Mediterranean. the July 2005 Prospectus Directive across member states. This legislaIn the years to come, the Cypriot tion harmonizes requirements for government is taking steps to ease the drawing up, approval and distri- visa restrictions and to create fast bution of the prospectus to be pub- track services for Russian investors. lished when securities are offered to Considering that Russian individuals the public, and when securities are and corporations are increasingly admitted to trading on a regulated taking advantage of off-shoring in market situated or operating within order to increase their profitably, a member state. the Cypriot government is fully committed to enhancing its image as One of the major initiatives to both an advantageous tax base and a come from the Prospectus Directive springboard for entering European was the creation of a single capital markets. European passport for securities, 30
Exceeding Expectations ndreas Neocleous & Co was the first Cyprus law firm to establish an office in Moscow, and is dedicated to serving the growing Russian market
Andreas Neocleous, Founder, Andreas Neocleous & Co
ndreas Neocleous & Co. has a strong affinity with Russia, dating back to the 1980s, when the coalition government of the time began to establish strong relations through a series of treaties. At that time, many people recognized the strategic strength of Cyprus as a center for international investment, and Mr. Andreas E. Neocleous focused much of his attention on developing international links, recognizing the advantage that Cyprus has in maintaining strong relations with key international partners, notably the United States and Russia.The firm established its own office in Moscow, and has maintained a presence in the country ever since, operating through the collapse of the Soviet Union when many of the firm's clients ceased trading.“Though it was a difficult time to be working there, we stayed, and now our office is very strong and growing steadily” explains Mr. Neocleous. By the time of the accession of Cyprus to the European Union, Andreas Neocleous & Co. had already established a very strong reputation in the Russian market, and Mr. Neocleous played a key role in reassuring Russian investors about the effects of Cyprus's EU entry. “The business community in Russia was very worried, and they invited me to speak to the three major investment committees: the budget committee, the foreign affairs committee and the economic committee. I had to explain all of the advantages and disadvantages to them because they thought Europe was taking Cyprus from them. Some people use Cyprus
to reduce their tax liabilities–which is great Middle Eastern enterprises to very beneficial for large companies–and branch out and do business in Europe, Russia was afraid that they would lose America and Russia, and vice versa.” their capacity to do so.” Mr. Andreas E. Neocleous, As Mr. Neocleous predicted, the Advocate and Managing Partner of accession of Cyprus to the European Andreas Neocleous & Co, has striven Union has extended the opportunities against adversity to make his legal for Russian businesses and investors, business what it is today. Growing up and Andreas Neocleous & Co. has in a poor household in Pafos, he been among the leaders in building on the unique strengths of the country to make it a financial hub for investments in Europe, as well as in the Middle East and not least in Cyprus itself, where business opportunities have abounded since EU membership was confirmed in 2004. David Stokes, a consultant at Andreas Neocleous & Co, explains how the firm also plays a role in helping Russian businesses to develop relations with other countries, such as the United Kingdom with which Cyprus has very strong historical ties: “London has taken over from New York as a center for global companies to raise funds, and Cyprus can play a key role in linking the avalanche of Russian IPOs with the City. That is exactly the sort of work that this firm does, it acts as an intermediary, as a portal between Russia and the rest of the world,” explains Mr. Stokes. The Russian arm of the business is vital to the firm's plans for the future, as Mr. Neocleous is determined to expand its activities regionally, helping to facilitate growing trade between Russia, Europe and the Gulf States:“We see Cyprus as a two-way bridge for
fought in the war of liberation, was imprisoned and tortured. After commencing training in theology, he quickly realised his real passion was the law and after completing his studies, moved to Limassol to establish his own practice. He even served as a member of parliament, before returning to devote himself completely to the law.
An Established Bank with Young Ideas
T Neoclis Lysandrou Vice Chairman, Laiki Group
he Laiki Group is a familiar name in Cyprus, being one of the longest established and most profitable banking groups in the country. Founded in 1901 in Limassol as a local savings bank, the Laiki name, like that of its co-founders, the Lanitis family, has been prominent in business affairs ever since. Laiki was the first business in the country to become a registered company, back in 1924, and still holds its original certificate of registration–serial number one, and now a historical artifact.
Entering the Russian Market It was not until the 1960's that the bank expanded to become a nationwide concern. Co-operation with a subsidiary of the HSBC group enabled this expansion to take place, and also gave the bank an instant international recognition. This enabled the group to extend further, firstly into Greece and then in other key markets. The group now has banking activities in Greece, Australia, the United Kingdom, Guernsey, Serbia, Romania and Estonia. It also has representative offices in the USA, Canada, South Africa and Russia.
For Mr. Lysandrou, the attractions of Cyprus as a destination for investment are not difficult to see. “Firstly, at 10 percent, corporate tax is the lowest in the European Union, even lower than Ireland, which is known for being an attractive business center. Second, the infrastructure here is a huge advantage, as there are no problems for people to communicate and have access to the main regional centers on the island.
he Laiki Group is preparing to strengthen its international business by extending its presence in Russia
finances and credentials, and also enabling it to embark on plans for further international expansion, key to which is to build on its presence in Russia. Laiki opened its representative office in Moscow almost 10 years ago. Now with the finance and experience it needs, the group plans to establish its own banking business in Russia. Mr. Lysandrou believes that
“We can bring investors to Russia, as well as Russian investors to Cyprus. It's a mutual exchange of business opportunities"
the group's solid reputation, commitment to innovation and new technology will drive the success of the Russian venture. “Technology is at the core of our strategy to enter the Last year, Laiki Bank merged with market, as well as our reputation and the Marfin Group and Egnatia Bank, philosophy of building long term further strengthening the group's business relationships based on trust. Thirdly, I think the location in general, being at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and the Middle East, places Cyprus as the gateway to the world.”
We can bring investors to Russia, as well as Russian investors to Cyprus. It's a mutual exchange of business opportunities.” In addition to its technical and financial strengths, the group will be looking to build on its solid foundation for ethical trading and corporate responsibility to help build the brand internationally. This reputation earned the bank four prestigious awards in 2006, and has already given the business a solid foundation to build on.
About Mr. Neoclis Lysandrou Mr. Lysandrou has been with the Laiki Bank since 1972, straight after finishing his studies in England. He has been a part of the group's expansion, starting as a trainee and working from branch to regional level to General Manager before being invited to serve in his present position of Vice Chairman. In his opinion,“To be a successful banker, the secret is not different than in any other business: you should have passion for your work, and that's the kind of passion I have!”
110, Eleftheriou Venizelou & Santorinis Str. P.O. Box 62292, 8062, Pafos, Cyprus Tel: +357 26 822 221 Fax: +357 26 941 848 e-mail: email@example.com www.laikigroup.com
Providing the Link
D Mr. Nicos Kyriakides, Head of Financial Advisory at Deloitte
platform for international businessmen for investment holding and financing operations, for holding and exploiting intellectual property rights, for shipping activities and for trading in international stock markets. At Deloitte in Cyprus, we offer our clients a complete business solution.We undertake to advise our international clients on how to create a tax-efficient corporate structure by exploiting the vast resources of the international network of Deloitte; we support them to establish a company in Cyprus and we provide all the required services (accounting, auditing, IT & HR consulting and tax) to operate their companies in compliance with the requirements of the law. Furthermore, through our Financial Advisory and Corporate Finance service lines we offer M&A advisory, financial and tax due diligence work, project and company valuations and listing of groups of companies in international stock markets."
Specifically, dividends received by Cypriot companies and profits of their foreign permanent establishments are completely exempt from tax under certain conditions. Gains from the disposal of shares and other securities held by Cypriot companies are also exempt. Moreover, dividends and interest can be paid to nonresident shareholders and investors without any withholding tax in Deloitte offers professional services in Cyprus. Cyprus offers also unilateral credit auditing, accounting, tax, financial advisory relief for tax withheld abroad regardless of and consulting, and provides the link for the existence of a double tax treaty with the investors looking to establish a company in respective country, Cyprus. In the city of Limassol, where the With respect to the shipping sector, majority of Russian related business enterCyprus offers significant benefits and very prises are concentrated, Deloitte is the largest professional services firm and the attractive conditions for ship-owners and ship-managers. Profits from the operations leading advisors in the shipping sector. of a Cypriot registered vessel, dividends Mr. Nicos Kyriakides, the Head of Financial from a Cypriot ship owning company, and Advisory at Deloitte, who is a member of the emoluments of officers or crew on board a board of directors and in charge of the Cypriot registered vessel are completely Limassol office, believes that Cyprus is an ideal exempt from tax. Moreover, there is no caplocation to create tax-efficient international ital gains tax on the sale or transfer of a corporate structures. Certain provisions of Cypriot registered vessel or the shares of the domestic tax legislation of Cyprus com- the Cypriot ship owning company. Profits bined with a wide network of double taxation from ship-management activities are taxed at treaties with over forty countries and the the lower of 4.25 percent on taxable income implementation of the EU Directives, offer to and reduced tonnage tax on vessels under international investors the advantage of low management. overall taxation, maximizing the return on According to Kyriakides, “When all of their investments. The Company Law framethese favourable tax conditions are comwork has recently been amended to enable bined, they create an extremely attractive also the establishment of societas europaea. usiness success in today's rapidly changing global environment requires the ability to rely on your business partners. At Deloitte, the multidisciplinary environment and the expertise of the staff, combined with an industry-focused approach, enables the firm to offer the complete business solution.
eloitte provides insight regarding the advantages Cyprus has to offer to Russian investors clientele and to enhance the interest for Cyprus, we strive to increase awareness about what Cyprus can offer.We participate in seminars abroad, organized by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce or by us in collaboration with banks and other institutions.We also frequently visit the Deloitte offices in Russia and give presentations to our partners about the investment and tax incentives that Cyprus can offer.” Although Kyriakides concedes Cyprus has a comparatively small economy on the global stage, he is adamant that the island not only offers one of the best solutions for Russians seeking an intermediary location for investments abroad, but also one of the best platforms for inbound investments by foreign businessmen into the vast Russian economy. “The Double Tax Treaty of Cyprus with Russia is one of the best because it provides for 5% withholding tax on dividends from investments in Russia exceeding 100,000 US Dollars, and zero withholding tax on interest and royalties.”
Kyriakides, who is also a member of the Cyprus-Russia Business Association, regularly participates as a speaker in seminars and other promotional activities abroad, emphasizing the advantages of the tax system of With such an attractive tax regime and Cyprus after its accession to the EU in an effort to attract more foreign investors to the tax incentives available for foreigners in Cyprus, it is easy to understand why the the island. growth of foreign investors and internationHe added: “In order to strengthen the al business companies coming to the island relationship of Deloitte with our Russian continues to gain momentum.
Other Deloitte offices in Cyprus
Nicos S. Kyriakides Main : + 357 25 868686 Mobile: +357 99 611827 E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicosia Tel.: +357 22 360300, E-mail: email@example.com P.O.Box 21675, CY-1512 Nicosia, Cyprus
Deloitte & Touche Limited P.O.Box 58466 CY-3734 Limassol, Cyprus
Larnaca Tel.: +357 24 819494, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org P.O.Box 40772, CY-6307 Larnaca
The Most International of the Cypriot Banks BNP Paribas has been operating in Cyprus for more than 20 years. It is now seeking to consolidate its position by utilizing its extensive global network. “We are the most international of local banks.” Thierry Gigant, Managing Director, BNP Paribas (Cyprus) Limited
BNP Paribas is rightly proud of its activities in Cyprus, where it acts as a locally registered bank, offering a range of services to local and international clients. The Cyprus subsidiary of the French and European multinational
for investors and businesses.They can benefit from an exceptional location at the crossroad between the East and the West, both in terms of culture and business.A well regulated environment fully compliant with EU regulations,
BNP Paribas is in a strong position to meet the needs of Russian individuals and businesses with interests in Cyprus BNP Paribas SA is operated by a specialized management team, and an efficient operations department, run by experienced, multilingual staff. With the growing importance of Cyprus as an international financial center, BNP Paribas (Cyprus) Limited is offering a unique combination of local and international knowledge to meet the needs of investors and traders throughout the world. Cyprus is indeed an ideal location
and numerous double tax treaty agreements are additional solid and recurrent incentives. Investment in Cyprus has grown rapidly since the country joined the European Union in 2004, and with the anticipated adoption of the Euro next year, the country's important position as a major financial center for Europe is likely to be consolidated still further. Thierry Gigant, managing director of BNP Paribas (Cyprus) Limited, com-
pares the development of the Cypriot financial sector with the experience of Ireland, which has thrived since joining the European Union in the 1970's. Cyprus is frequently referred to as “The Ireland of the Mediterranean sea” for that reason, and once the country has a common currency with the economies of the Eurozone, the flow of capital to Cyprus can only be expected to increase further. With the imminent launch of new branches in Moscow and other major cities in Russia along with the recent acquisition of 51 percent of Ukrsibbank in Ukraine, BNP Paribas is in a strong position to meet the needs of Russian and Ukrainian clients, individuals and businesses alike. Synergies are obvious between BNP Paribas entities. Recent cooperations with BNP Paribas in Moscow have proved to be extremely profitable for common clients. The synergy is not limited to the branches in Cyprus and Russia but concerns clients from the entire bank's network. The client benefits from an integral offer. For instance, if a customer wants to invest in Russia he can use both branches in Cyprus and Moscow to structure the transaction and its operations in Russia. “This is undoubtedly a win-win situation for clients and for our bank,” Thierry Gigant confirms. In Cyprus, the bank proposes an attractive portfolio of services including cash management, corporate and trade finance, equities and fixed income derivatives, expertise in energy and commodities and infrastructure, thanks to the support of the dedicated departments of its mother company. Thierry Gigant also explains how this can derive valuable benefits for Russian and international companies in the increasingly global world of the twenty first century.“As so much man-
ufacturing activity is transferring to China and other Asian countries, traders will often source products or components from Asia, where payment is usually made by letter of credit. BNP Paribas has operations in most major Asian cities.This means that letters of credit drawn on BNP Paribas are usually processed quickly, do not require any additional confirmation and thus costs are reduced. Additionally, BNP Paribas proposes its online trade system “Connexis”, probably the only service of its kind in Cyprus, which can track the exact status of a letter of credit request. Clients can then securely download copies of the SWIFT confirmations and show them to suppliers.” Thierry Gigant has worked for BNP Paribas for over 20 years, firstly in La Reunion Island, then relocating to Paris with Asian coverage, later to Lebanon, Bahrain, and finally to Cyprus. His solid experience of International clients' needs, similar to the experience of the top managers in Russia, in Ukraine, and in most of the branches of BNP Paribas in the world, contributes to the quality of service requested by demanding customers. The staff is equally involved, and supports the four core values of the Bank: Responsiveness, Creativity, Commitment and Ambition. “I believe in participation, the management of an institution should not be situated in an iconic tower giving orders.We apply a policy of open doors, and the Bank's strategy is shared by all the employees." For serious Russian investors and traders, BNP Paribas (Cyprus) Ltd can be counted on for a genuine quality service, not least because of its focus on high value clients rather than the mass market. "We concentrate on a limited number of clients and we serve them very well," Mr. Gigant says.
Kanika Business Center, 319, 28th October St., P.O. Box 50058, CY-3600, Limassol, Cyprus Tel: +357 25 840 802, Fax: +357 25 840 699
Bank of Cyprus Opens its First Branch in Russia
he bank plans to open 15 branches during the next three years, capitalizing on solid relationships with existing clients in Russia
ith the opening of the first branch fully owned by a Cypriot bank in Russia, the Bank of Cyprus Group (BOC) adds yet another page in its more than 100 years of history as the leading bank on the island. We sat down with Mr. Eleftherios Ioannou, Group Chairman, to obtain his views on this and other recent developments. Q: Could you please elaborate on the key elements of strategic planning behind the launch of the Russian operation of BOC in June 2007?
Eleftherios Ioannou: The commencement of business operations in Russia is a key pillar of BOC Group's strategy to expand into new, dynamic markets. After a detailed assessment of the Russian market,we decided to start with the development of a loan portfolio and the provision of services to existing corporate clients of the Group, thus minimizing credit risk. Our Russian expansion plans are long term, and we aim to optimize the management of the potential risks that such a major move entails. Our business plan provides ultimately for the setting up of a network of branches, and our approach will of course be in line with BOC's core philosophy: offering fast and reliable service, which addresses customers' needs.
Eleftherios Ioannou: As you know, Cyprus is the place of choice from which Western companies and investors conduct their activities in Russia. For this reason, BOC has a large number of client relationships with companies that operate in Russia, and capitalizing on these relationships gives us a clear competitive edge. It's important to note that we entered the Russian market almost 10 years ago with the establishment of our Representative office, and now, based on our knowledge of the market and the good reputation we have created, we are in a position to expect satisfactory profitability from our operations in the country.
trated mainly in the two major cities.
stock price as of late and its outlook for the reminder of the year.
Q: What choice of products do you have on offer for Russian businessmen as Eleftherios Ioannou:The price of a well as high net worth individuals from company's stock is determined by supply Russia coming to Cyprus? and demand in the stock exchange, therefore I cannot comment on BOC's Eleftherios Ioannou: We offer share price.We are focused on expandproducts catering to the needs of the ing our business and increasing our profbusiness community: local or foreign itability and as long as our business stratcurrency accounts, credit facilities, leas- egy decisions are fully vindicated by our
â€œBOC has a large number
of client relationships with companies that operate in Russia, which gives us a clear competitive edge"
Q: What segments of the Russian market will BOC be catering to and how widespread will your geographical presence be?
Eleftherios Ioannou: In terms of market segments, we will start by offering a variety of products to our existing international corporate customers that operate in Russia, but in the medium term our focus will be to provide a wide range of services and products to medium-sized enterprises. High net worth individuals will also form part of our customer base. Regarding our branch network, we have opened our first branch in Moscow and we plan to open one in Q: Besides the very high rates of St. Petersburg soon. Early in 2008 we growth of the last few years, what makes shall open our first street-level branch in the Russian market especially attractive for Moscow.During the next three years we expect to reach 15 branches, concenBOC?
Eleftherios Ioannou, Chairman Bank of Cyprus Group
ing, factoring, investment banking, etc. For high net worth individuals, our Private Banking division offers a great range of interesting options for placing their funds in competitive international investment products. Q: I know that company executives are rather reticent when it comes to commenting on the value of their company's stock. Nonetheless I would like to hear your views on the course of your 35
financial results, our shareholders, clients and personnel are satisfied. During the last few years we have achieved impressive outcomes in terms of financial performance. As expected, this has pleased our stakeholders, and stock market analysts have taken note, with some of the most internationally reputed ones classifying our stock among the top picks in Europe, quoting target prices between 16 and 18 Euros per share.
Leading the Way in Financial Services Mr. Peter G. Economides Chairman, Totalserve Management Ltd
otalserve Management Ltd is an international tax and corporate services consultancy company that caters to the tax planning needs of multinational corporations, global financial institutions and high net worth individuals. Since 1972,Totalserve has greatly expanded beyond their original location in London's West End and currently has offices in London, Moscow, Warsaw, Bucharest, Athens, Thessaloniki, Tortola in the BVI, Johannesburg and its headquarters in Limassol, Cyprus. Totalserve is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year and continues to provide consultancy services on all matters related to international tax planning, corporate services, trusts, shipping and ship management.The management consists of a multi-disciplinary team of accountants, lawyers, tax and business consultants supported by a global network of associates specialized in related fields.
otalserve continues to provide tailor-made consultancy services on all matters related to international tax planning, corporate services and trusts
The Chairman of Totalserve is the firm is able to deliver total solu- and culture with Russia, which is Peter G. Economides, a Fellow tions to their international clientele. why Economides is incredibly optiChartered Certified Accountant “Depending on what the market mistic about the future business who is a member of various international accounting, tax and trust associations. He also regularly publishes articles in the specialized press, and gives lectures on international tax planning and trusts.
“Russians and Cypriots are very
particular about establishing personal relationships, which is indeed the cornerstone of any successful future business endeavor”
According to Economides, “The work of Totalserve is implemented by three separate, wholly independent entities: our accounting and auditing division, a corporate service provider and our legal firm. To be able to offer these services with the highest quality standards, we only hire proven professionals that meet our strict requirements of education demands at the moment, we focus and prior work experience.” our energy on a specific area of service. For instance, last year, we As a result of these efforts, concentrated on people wanting to Totalserve successfully functions as a set up funds that can be listed on one-stop shop for a wide range of stock exchanges. In fact, we are now financial services. Through its broad in the final stages of launching a fund network of offices as well as its high that will be listed in the London standards of personalized service, Stock Exchange,” Economides says.
relationship between the two countries. “There is a strong trust between Cypriots and Russians. Both sides are very particular about establishing personal relationships, which is indeed the cornerstone of any successful future business endeavor.”
By moving away from the provision of traditional services, and by offering a wide spectrum of personalized services, Totalserve is positioning itself to take advantage of the lucrative dynamic between the two countries. This is especially important given that Russian clients are becoming increasingly sophisticated in the services that they require. As Economides points out, “Russian clients know what they want, and they're not afraid to ask for it. They expect to get on-time, personalized quality service, which is exactly what Cyprus shares a common religion we at Totalserve strive to offer.”
Economides acknowledges the growing strength of the economic relations between Russia and Cyprus, and is keen to mention the fact that his firm is following suit. “Totalserve has been taking part in numerous bilateral conferences and seminars, and we have been traveling frequently to Moscow. We work to gain deep knowledge of what Cyprus can offer so that we can properly market the country to Russian investors.”
Solid Advice, Flexible Solutions
he Aspen Trust Group philosophy is to tailor its services to meet the needs of its clients investing into Russia
Andreas Athinodorou, Managing Director Aspen Trust Group
stablished in 1998, the Aspen Trust Group has pulled together a team of specialists from various disciplines for the provision of international tax advisory services, legal and corporate management services, banking and treasury services, and accounting and financial reporting services. This enables the Aspen Trust Group to provide an integrated range of international tax optimization services from Planning to Implementation to Ongoing Management, Statutory reporting and Tax Compliance. In today's financial world, individuals and corporations seek to maximize their net cash returns though viable tax optimization strategies. Cyprus, with its favorable tax system, is one of the most widely used and accepted jurisdictions for tax optimization strategies for investments into and out of Russia. The Aspen Trust Group recognized the increasing role of Cyprus as a bridge in tax optimization strategies and developed a service proposal that links the requirements of the investors -- mainly Western European and North American Funds -- with the need of the target
investments -- mainly businesses in ensure that the Management and Russia and the CIS. Control is exercised in Cyprus -management and control being the “In today's complex world, a tax key factor for the viability of a optimization strategy starts with a Cyprus-linked tax solution. We solid tax advice.We require that our work with our clients to streamline clients have one as a starting point these processes with the require-
meet our clients' tax and business plan objectives. This changes our role from a mere supplier to a value-added service partner.” In regards to the future of Cyprus as an international financial
service approach offers an excellent ground for East and West to meet for joint ventures and exploit investment opportunities into and out of Russia" in our relationship. We work with them to ensure that all the fine details of the tax advice are matched to their business plan and we implement the corporate structure required -- in Cyprus or in other reputable financial centers," says Mr. Andreas Athinodorou, Managing Director of the Aspen Trust Group.
ments of their investors and the ever changing realities of the Russian business environment. The convenient time zone of Cyprus, our multicultural team that includes UK, US and Russian qualified professionals and our service approach, offer an excellent ground for East and West to meet for joint ventures and exploit investment opportunities.We are not in the business of Athinodorou continues: “We selling offshore companies. We are implement for the client the neces- in the business of setting up and sary processes and procedures to managing tailored solutions that
center, Mr.Athinodorou is very optimistic. “The role of Cyprus as a bridge to investors and business partners through the management of international tax solutions will be the key driver to Cyprus being an international financial center in the 21st century, and this is evidenced by the increasing involvement of Cypriot structures into the main regions of investment activity-Russia, the Balkans, the Middle East, India and China.”
Aspen Trust Group Elia House - 77 Limassol Avenue - CY-2121 Nicosia - Cyprus Tel: +357 22679100 - Fax:+357 22668111 Email: email@example.com www.aspentrust.com
A Leading Russian Bank in Cyprus
he Russian Commercial Bank in Cyprus provides a mix of global expertise and market intelligence to its international clients
Mr. Mikhail Kuzovlev, CEO Russian Commercial Bank (Cyprus) Ltd
he Russian Commercial Bank (Cyprus) Ltd (RCB) strives to provide its clients with financial investment opportunities in the Russian economy using the advantages of Cyprus as a regional business hub. By continuously staying up to date with the realities of doing business in Russia, RCB succeeds in bringing this expertise to the local Cypriot market and the dynamic international business community that thrives on the island.
tled in Limassol. When the Soviet Union was dissolved, the Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs of the USSR transferred its branch in Cyprus to the newly established Bank for Foreign Trade (Vneshtorgbank) which is now called JSC VTB Bank. Existing as a branch for some time,VTB applied for a banking license to establish RCB. In 1995, RCB was incorporated in Cyprus as an offshore banking unit under the license and jurisdiction of the Central Bank of Cyprus. Since the admission of
Commercial Bank is Mr. Mikhail Kuzovlev, who is quick to stress the unique relationship that the Bank has with both Cyprus and Russia.â€œOn one hand, our bank enables investors to take advantage of the Cypriot legal system which is based on the principles of English Law -- making the legal activities for international companies very transparent, and on the other hand the lucrative investment opportunities of the rapidly emerging Russian economy."
"Russian-Cypriot cultural ties are extremely
Cyprus to the European Union in 2004, RCB operates as a local bank regulated by the Central Bank of Cyprus. RCB is a wholly owned subsidiary of JSC VTB Bank, a recognized leader of the Russian financial industry. VTB, in turn, is 77.5% owned by the Russian government. Clients can take advantage of the security VTB offers as a leading banking group and recognized leader of the Russian economy as well as of its wide local and international network. The
Although RCB is a Russian owned bank, its long-term affiliation with Cypriot affairs is evident in its continued efforts to give back to the island's community. Since its incorporation, RCB has garnered a strong local reputation as a socially responsible financial institution. For instance, RCB currently participates in several community outreach programs that run the spectrum from funding charity projects to sponsoring cultural events.
Mr. Kuzovlev explains: "Since our establishment in Cyprus, RCB has taken the lead amongst financial institutions by working on the ground with various local organizations such as the Cyprus Red Cross Society, Europa Donna - the European Breast Cancer Coalition, etc.This act is a reflection of our commitment to give back to the Mr. Kuzovlev believes that the very same community that has welstrategic relationship between Russia comed us with open arms." and Cyprus will only strengthen in the years to come. "Cyprus is perceived as Over the past twelve years,RCB has a very attractive location for Russian maintained a steady and constant rate businesses given that both countries of growth while maintaining a high level share strong cultural traits. This is of profitability. As a result of their past extremely important as one of the fun- and present successes, Mr. Kuzovlev is damentals of the business world is all together optimistic about the future: being able to trust your partners. "We are extremely pleased with our Furthermore, many Russians view operations here in Cyprus, and we have Cyprus as a favorable port of entry into already established a number of stratethe European Union, especially given gic objectives and long-term goals to the country's unique tax status. increase the strength of our presence Additionally, there is currently a rapidly in the country."
important as one of the fundamentals of the business world is being able to trust your partners"
RCB's history in Cyprus began many years ago, with the Moscow Narodny Bank in London, recently renamed to VTB Bank Europe plc, which at the time had a branch in Beirut.The war in Lebanon caused the branch to close, but the strategic need for a bank in the region to service USSR foreign trade with the countries of the Middle East and the Mediterranean still remained. This is how in 1990, the Soviet government decided to open a branch of the bank for Foreign Economic Affairs of the USSR in Cyprus. The branch was set-
expanding financial network on the island of accountants, auditors, legal advisors and business consultants.â€?
The trusted Business Advisor
A Mr. Phidias K. Pilides, Chief Executive Officer PricewaterhouseCoopers
t PricewaterhouseCoopers in Cyprus we share knowledge, experiences and the talents of our more than 800 people, who connect with more than 146,000 colleagues in 150 countries, building trust and creating value for our clients and their stakeholders. We support our clients in their business operations, in their new investments, in innovation and modernisation of their businesses. The foundation of our efforts is the teamwork and utilisation of all sources of knowledge. Always focussed on our values which support our development. In addition to providing assurance, our audit teams go beyond the numbers, understand the clients' business and provide value-adding business recommendations. Our advisory teams address complex issues of managing enterprises, offering innovative solutions, bringing out and strengthening the competitive advantage.
s the leading accounting firm in Cyprus, PricewaterhouseCoopers aims to strengthen further its growth in the market through its quality people, quality services and quality clients
Our tax teams, advise international and local organizations and individuals for their tax strategy, planning and compliance.
edge of people who are dedicated to the quality of their work, creates the competitive advantage of PricewaterhouseCoopers. And it is the catalyst of the business success of our With a versatile internal manage- clients who honour us with their trust. ment, focussed on the quality of our services and products, with conferMr Phidias Pilides, the Chief ences, seminars, surveys and thought Executive Officer of the firm in Cyprus, leadership for a number of issues, we who is also serving as Chairman of the are always next to our clients wherev- Board of the University of Cyprus, the er they are based. Maintaining at the Cyprus Russian Business Association same time a strong relationship with and the Cyprus Investment Promotion our community, we are committed to Agency, noted: deploy a multidimensional Corporate Social Responsibility strategy. ''We act as auditors to public companies representing 45 percent of the All this experience of market capitalisation of the Cyprus PricewaterhouseCoopers is created by Stock Exchange. We have maintained our own people. Our commitment is our leading position with international to employ the best professionals, companies structured through Cyprus. whom we assist to develop their Our clients understand that we have expertise and ability. For this reason, the experience and expertise to offer we continuously improve the methods companies top class services and value of attracting, recruiting, training and for money irrespective of their size or evaluating our human capital. Our aim stage of development. One of our is for PricewaterhouseCoopers to be fastest growing foreign investors in the able to offer a modern business envi- Cypriot economy is Russia.The strong ronment which will develop continu- business and culture ties of Russians ously. This unbroken chain of knowl- and Cypriots go many years back.
From real estate and tourism ventures to holding companies and investment platforms, the strategic financial alliance between Cyprus and Russia is growing at an unprecedented rate. With rapid and convenient flights between Moscow and Larnaca, and future plans to facilitate the visa application process, Cyprus stands out as one of the most accessible European Union countries for Russian investors. The warm Mediterranean climate of the island is also an undeniable draw, as is the relaxed business environment and the welcoming nature of the Cypriot people.” Mr Pilides stressed: ''Cyprus has indepth knowledge and extensive experience in the international business sector. It paves the way to become an attractive, efficient and flexible international financial centre. It is the door for investors who want to enter into the European Union. It is also the door for European Union investors who want to invest in locations with which Cyprus has double tax treaties''. As a bottom line, PwC in Cyprus is the business advisor you can trust.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Offices in Cyprus Nicosia: Julia House, 3 Themistocles Dervis Street, CY-1066 Nicosia, Cyprus Tel. +357-22555000 Fax +357-22555001
Limassol: City House, 6 Karaiskakis Street, CY-3032 Limassol, Cyprus Tel. +357-25555000 Fax +357-25555001
Larnaca: City House, 4 Artemidos Avenue, CY-6030 Larnaca Cyprus Tel. +357-24555000 Fax +357-24555001
Paphos: City House, 58 Gr Dighenis Avenue, CY-8047 Paphos, Cyprus Tel.+357-26555000 Fax +357-26555001
© 2007 PricewaterhouseCoopers Ltd. All rights reserved. “PricewaterhouseCoopers” refers to the Cyprus firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers Ltd or, as the context requires, the other member firms of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited, each of which is a separate and independent legal entity.
Christos Mavrellis, Managing Partner Chrysses Demetriades & Co.
stablished in 1948, Chrysses Demetriades & Co is currently one of the largest law firms in Cyprus, with offices in Limassol and Nicosia. Offering comprehensive legal services in a variety of disciplines including corporate structures and international tax planning, Chrysses Demetriades & Co is committed to offering efficient and beneficial advice to its clientele.
When Experience Makes a Difference s a former Minister of Finance and Transport, the managing partner of Chrysses Demetriades & Co., Christos Mavrellis, offers a wealth of experience for investors to tap into
ence to the firm. Prior to joining Chrysses Demetriades, Mr. Mavrellis served as both the Cypriot Minister of Finance and the Minister of Transport and Public Works.As a result of his background, Mr. Mavrellis is certainly qualified to serve his clients in utilizing the most his country's tax and legal system has to offer.
He explains:"Low taxation rates have not been the only factor responsible for Mr. Christos Mavrellis, the Managing the success of Cyprus.In my opinion,the Partner of Chrysses Demetriades, appeal of our island is due to the high brings an impressive amount of experi- level of professional service that foreign
investors receive here. Furthermore, Cyprus also boasts an efficient banking system as well as a well developed legal system based on English law." In order to meet the needs of their Russian clients, Chrysses Demetriades has developed close links with an extensive international network of professional firms. According to Mr. Mavrellis: "A large part of our international clientele is comprised of clients and associates based in both Russia and the former Soviet Union. Primarily, we are focused on handling our client's interna-
tional transactions and acquisitions, including the listing of Cypriot companies involved in Russian investments in various stock exchanges around the world." As a loyal Cypriot, Mr. Mavrellis believes that it is extremely important for the firm to be involved in the local community. "Recently, we repainted a historic bridge that has been here in Limassol since 1908. We also remain committed in helping local business with their needs at a time of great financial development."
Quality and reliability - certified
SC Christodoulou sets internationally recognized standards of excellence in accounting practices
Christos S. Christodoulou, Managing Director CSC Christodoulou Ltd. CSC Christodoulou Ltd. is a dynamic and rapidly expanding accounting, auditing and consulting firm headquartered in Limassol with a branch office in Pafos. Having garnered an international reputation amongst their clients for reliability and professionalism, CSC Christodoulou was recently given a global award for quality issued by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
The managing director of CSC Christodoulou is Mr. Christos Christodoulou, an influential businessman in the island who has also sits on a number of Cypriot regulatory committees. Quick to cite his recent award by the ACCA, Christodoulou believes that his small firm has big ambitions: “When I set up the office in Cyprus, I told myself that we would set the standards from the beginning and that we would operate in a very professional
way. We also decided that we would keep personal contact with our clients by identifying their specific needs, offering individually catered services, and always respecting their confidentiality.” Clearly, CSC Christodoulou is a small firm with a personal touch. Christodoulou goes on: “Personal contact is particularly important for Russian clients, who are always seeking personalized and quality treatment.
For those clients who tend to choose firms based on their size and number, we have to let them know that it is important how they measure 'big'. Our firm might not be 'big' in terms of turnover, but we are 'big' in terms of quality. So for those investors who go in for firms that provide the quality they need, the ACCA Global Award that our firm received will serve as an indication as to the level of service clients should come to expect.”
Advice You Don’t Want to go Without
Peter G. Economides Chairman TOTALSERVE Management LTD
An international tax and trust consultancy with over thirty-five years of experience on the island of Cyprus, Totalserve Management Ltd. services multinational corporations, financial institutions and high net worth individuals. The Chairman of Totalserve is Peter Economides, who believes that his firm is a one-stop shop for tax planning, international trusts, company registration, shipping management and information technology services."To be able to offer these kinds of services,we hire only proven professionals that meet our high standards of education and prior work experience." By moving away from the provision of traditional services, and offering a wide spectrum of personalized services,Totalserve is positioning themselves to attract more Russian clientele. This is especially important as Economides is incredibly optimistic about the future economic relationship between both countries. According to Economides, "There is a strong trust between Cypriots and Russians. Both sides are very particular about establishing personal relationships, which is a promising sign for future business endeavors.” He continues,“Totalserve has been taking part in regular conferences and seminars, and we have been traveling frequently to Moscow. Our target is to know what Cyprus can offer so that we in turn can market the country to Russian investors." Economides is quick to point out that Russian clients are becoming increasingly sophisticated in the services that they require. "They know what they want, and they're not afraid to ask for it.They expect to get on-time, quality service, which is exactly what we strive to offer."
Nicos G Syrimis Chairman KPMG Cyprus
KPMG has an unparalleled reputation in the business community as a leading provider of audit, tax and advisory services. On the island of Cyprus, KPMG controls the largest domestic market share of clientele, which includes prestigious companies such as Cyprus Trading Corporation,Cyprus Airways, Hellenic Bank and Louis Group.The international clientele is also impressive, including well-known Russian groups such as Lukoil and Basic Element. According to Nicos G.Syrimis, Chairman, KPMG Cyprus stands out amongst the big accounting firms for two specific reasons: “First, our specialized Tax Advisory, Financial Advisory and Risk Advisory departments,are headed by the top experts in Cyprus and provide advice to local and international clients in a wide variety of industries. Second, we are part of the KPMG global network capable of rapidly exchanging specialized knowledge.” Cyprus has evolved into an international business, financial services and investment fund center,and Syrimis is not at all surprised: “Our entry in the EU has stabilized the economy, preserved our favorable tax regime and enhanced the business environment. The majority of Cypriot qualified accountants are UK qualified chartered or certified accountants, so the quality of our services is extremely high.” Syrimis points out that Russian investors are increasingly interested in Cyprus, and he constantly receives referrals from the KPMG Moscow office.“We visit Russia regularly and meet with Russian and International clients in key sectors like banking, industrial production, oil and gas, and investment services, which enables us to personalize our services and gain an edge over the competition.”
Business Consultants in Cyprus
Nicos S. Kyriakides Head of Financial Advisory
George Kourris Cyprus Managing Partner
Deloitte & Touche
Ernst & Young
Deloitte offers professional services in auditing, accounting, tax, financial advisory, and consulting, and provides the link for investors looking to establish a company in Cyprus. In the city of Limassol, where the majority of Russian related business enterprises are concentrated, Deloitte is the largest professional services firm and the leading advisors in the shipping sector. Mr. Nicos Kyriakides, who is the Head of Financial Advisory at Deloitte, explains: "When all of Cyprus's favourable tax conditions are combined, they create an extremely attractive platform for international businessmen for investment holding and financing operations, for holding and exploiting intellectual property rights, for shipping activities and for trading in international stock markets." He continues: "At Deloitte in Cyprus, we offer to our clients a complete business solution.We undertake to advise our international clients on how to create a tax efficient corporate structure by exploiting the vast resources of the international network of Deloitte." Although Mr. Kyriakides concedes that Cyprus has a comparatively small economy on the global stage, he is adamant that the island offers one of the best solutions for Russians seeking an intermediary location for investments abroad, and that it is one of the best platforms for inbound investments by foreign businessmen into the vast Russian economy. According to Mr.Kyriakides:"The Double Tax Treaty of Cyprus with Russia is one of the best because it provides for 5% withholding tax on dividends from investments in Russia exceeding $100,000 and zero withholding tax on interest and royalties."
Ernst & Young, one of the â€œBig 4â€? accounting firms, is the oldest locally established firm in Cyprus. Prior to taking on the Ernst & Young name in 1989, the firm in its current form had been acting as a certified public accountancy since 1937. Today, Ernst & Young specializes in offering top quality services including accounting, auditing and financial consultancy.The firm also has strong relations with the Russian market that date back to the collapse of the communist regime. Mr. George Kourris, the Country Managing Partner of Ernst & Young in Cyprus, explains: "Once Russia was opened up to foreign investment, Ernst &Young was one of the first firms to build a presence in Moscow. Since then, we have worked in close cooperation with our Russian colleagues in order to streamline the services that we offer our clients." In recent years, Ernst & Young has helped Russians establish and manage companies in Cyprus. According to Mr. Kourris, "The fact that it can be extremely tax efficient for investors to use Cyprus as a base gives the island an advantage over other countries within the EU. As a result, we are seeing the creation of more and more holding companies in Cyprus." In the future, Mr. Kourris hopes that Ernst & Young can expand its presence in Cyprus. "Although we are not striving to become the largest local firm, we do believe that expansion is the key to creating a more comprehensive network for our clients to access."
Advice You Don’t Want to go Without
Andreas N. Gregoriou Managing Director
Andreas A. Athinodorou Managing Director
Dmitry Khenkin Director
Antonis E.Kassapis Founder
Gregoriou & Co
Aspen Trust Group
MGI Gregoriou & Co. was established in 1973, and over the years the firm has experienced substantial growth to the point that today it is one of the leading professional services firms in Cyprus, offering a wide range of services such as auditing, international tax planning and consultancy services to highprofile domestic and international clients.The head office of MGI Gregoriou & Co is in Nicosia. The firm has also offices in Pafos, Limassol, and Larnaca. The firm is a member of the MGI network, which is a worldwide association of independent auditing and tax consulting firms with offices in Moscow and St. Petersburg, which enables the firm to service its Russian clients optimally by taking advantage of the in-depth knowledge of the Russian market that these offices provide to the firm. The firm is currently working with public companies in Russia involved in real estate, hotel industry, insurance and international trade, as well as with high net worth individuals using Cyprus for tax optimization. “We are presently organizing target seminars for our actual and potential clients in Russia.We think this is the best way of expanding and attracting new business in that country, and it has been successful in the past couple of years.We however don't want to expand too much at the expense of quality,” says Andreas N. Gregoriou, Managing Director. Mr. Gregoriou, believes that the combination of the focus on client needs, the personal touch provided by the directors and the emphasis on quality and efficiency is the recipe behind the success of the firm differentiating it from its competitors.
The Aspen Trust Group specializes in providing international tax optimization services to clients looking to establish a foothold in Cyprus.With its favorable tax system, Cyprus is rapidly becoming Europe's most popular destination for investors seeking to maximize their net cash returns through viable tax optimization strategies. Mr. Andreas Athinodorou, the Managing Director of the Aspen Trust Group, believes that Cyprus serves as a perfect bridge for investors seeking access to European markets. "We implement for the client the necessary processes and procedures to ensure that management and control is exercised in Cyprus. We work with our clients to streamline these processes with the requirements of their investors." He continues: "Rather than selling offshore companies, we are in the business of setting up and managing tailored solutions that meet our clients' tax and business plan objectives. This changes our role from a mere supplier to a valueadded service partner.” For all of their clients, the Aspen Trust Group seeks to offer solid tax advice,and to ensure that all of the fine details are matched to their business plan. In the case of Russian clients however, particular attention is given to bridge cultural and linguistic gaps. According to Mr. Athinodorou: "By employing a multicultural team that includes UK, US and Russian professionals, we can ensure that our service approach provides an excellent meeting ground for both East and West. In this matter, we can easily create joint ventures and exploit lucrative investment opportunities."
Consulco Limited was established in 1993 in Nicosia. Today, the group has offices in Cyprus, Malta, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Russia, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine, and a broad network of representatives throughout Europe and North America.The group employs over 200 professionals who provide a wide range of financial services including banking, tax advice, legal counseling, accounting, internal auditing and management. Mr. Dmitry Khenkin, Director of Consulco, knows the Russian market well. "Ten years ago, Russia had a straightforward and almost elementary tax regime. It was geared to jumpstart the economy in the hopes that the free market regime would bring wealth and prosperity to the country. As the years went by however, the tax regime became more sophisticated, and the business community had to reply by making sure that they are in line with legislation. This subsequently increased the demand for financial and legal services. Since one of the founding members of Consulco was born in Russia, this seemed like a natural place for us to start." As a result of his expertise, Khenkin believes that his firm distinguishes itself from the competition through its close relationship with the Russian market. “First of all, instead of employing translators, over 40 percent of our professional staff speaks fluent Russians. Second, we know that Russian require work executed with speed and accuracy. We know the business rhythm of Russia is at a high pace -- it's a very fascinating and rewarding market for us to work with."
CosmoServe is a multidisciplinary financial consultancy group offering a wide range of services including international tax planning and offshore jurisdiction. Founded in 1991,CosmoServe consists of specialized professionals who are dedicated to meeting the particular requirements of both corporate and individual clients. Mr. Antonis E. Kassapis, the Managing Director of CosmoServe, is quick to point out the strengths of his company in comparison to the "Big Four" accounting firms. According to Mr. Kassapis: "Due to the nature of international business structures, large multinational corporations are drawn to the "Big Four" since these companies can offer streamlined accounting services.However,when it comes to managing day-to-day affairs, the "Big Four" are unable to offer prompt and personalized attention. As a result, we aim to attract clients such as small private companies, subsidiaries of multinationals and individual investors who can benefit from our custom-tailored service." Mr. Kassapis is also well-versed in the specific needs of his Russian clients. "These days, Russians are coming to CosmoServe knowing exactly what they want from us.They plan ahead with regard to their investments, and are mainly seeking confirmation that what they want to do is valid and legal in Cyprus." He continues: "In order to meet these demands, and to consistently ensure that we are up to date with legal codes in both Cyprus and Russia, we frequently collaborate with our domestic and international associates. As a result, we are incredibly successful at bridging the gap between Cypriot service providers and their Russian counterparts."
Cyprus Consolidates its Position as a Telecommunications Hub
ue to its advanced regional and global connectivity, Cyprus is considered to be one of the most important telecommunications hubs in the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East regions
Maria Malachtou-Pamballi, Minister of Communications and Works, Republic of Cyprus
ue to its advanced regional and global connectivity, Cyprus is considered to be one of the most important telecommunications hubs in the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East regions. Mrs. Maria Malachtou-Pamballi is currently serving as the Cypriot Minister of Communications and Works. "The island of Cyprus is home to one of the world's most advanced telecommunications networks, which has garnered us an enviable reputation as a major logistics center in both
Europe and the Middle East.Combined with our democratic political system, our advantageous tax status and our excellent legal system, this telecommunications infrastructure has contributed to the recent wave of increased foreign investment on the island." Currently, Cypriot telecommunications companies are aiming to link up with their Russian counterparts in the hopes of creating a more comprehensive global network. According to Mrs. Malachtou-Pamballi, this mutually beneficial partnership will expedite the transfer of specialized knowl-
edge while raising the technological sophistication of telecommunications networks in both countries. "There is a high degree of technological expertise in Russia that we in Cyprus are eager to tap into, especially since we are currently in the process of advancing our international media technology. For example, in the near future we will be deploying state of the art wireless networks for the purpose of developing digital internet TV. We have already invested a substantial amount of capital into this medium, and we are eager to see our efforts come
to fruition." She adds: "Increased collaboration with the Russian market in the near future will also increase market competition and introduce new technology, which nearly always results in higher quality of service and lower prices for the consumer. Furthermore, the people of Cyprus have always turned to Russia for support, which is why we are happy to welcome our Russian counterparts to the island in an effort to continue our history of good relations."
A Sustained Commitment TN Cyprus remains committed to enhancing its infrastructure to further develop mobile telephony on the island
Bassel Jamaleddine, CEO, MTN Cyprus
s of September 26th, MTN is the new brand name of Areeba, a private mobile telephony company in Cyprus, subsequent to the acquisition of its mother company Investcom LLC by the South African company, MTN Group. Launched in 1994, MTN is a multinational telecommunications group,operating in 21 countries in Africa,Asia and the Middle East. MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa and has a total of over 54 million subscribers across its 21 operations. The MTN Group is a global sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South
Africa™ and has exclusive mobile content rights for Africa and the Middle East. A recent entrant to the telecommunications market in Cyprus, MTN was incorporated in 2004 at a time when the semi-government organization ,CYTA,had been functioning for over a decade and was in control of over 80 percent of the local market. In order to differentiate from competition and optimize its operations, MTN built an entirely new network from the ground up.Today the company controls 15 percent of the market and has more than 110,000 subscribers across the island.
MTN is currently undergoing an aggressive expansion campaign in order to increase its market share. In addition to the development of its infrastructure on the island,MTN is seeking to attract more customers by offering innovative and practical services and providing a 24-hour customer service. Since its incorporation, MTN is also providing substantial support to the local community by sponsoring sports leagues, educational programs, health centers and cultural events. MTN Cyprus is run by Mr. Bassel Jamaleddine, who is extremely optimistic
about the future growth potential of the company: “This year we jumped from a market penetration of 9.6 to 15 percent and we intend to finish the year at 17 percent. A year ago,many analysts projected that Cyprus was not an emerging market for MTN compared to Africa. However, the commitment to Cyprus from our CEO and our Board of Directors remained unchanged and proceeded to launch a huge investment platform on the island.We are determined to keep up this momentum and we hope to use Cyprus as a staging post for launching European operations in the medium term."
MTN Cyprus 87 Kennedy Ave., 1077 Nicosia, Cyprus - P.O. Box 20683 – CY 1662 Tel: +357 96 969 100 / 96 222 222 - Fax: +357 96 222 000 www.mtn.com.cy
From monopoly to dynamic competitor CYTA has spent nearly a decade re-engineering itself from a slow moving state monopoly into a dynamic, flexible and customer driven provider of state of the art communications solutions Stavros Kremmos, Chairman, CYTA
ver the past several years, the telecommunications market in Cyprus has introduced a number of impressive liberalization policies aimed at increasing overall competition. According to Mr. Stavros Kremmos, the Chairman of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA): "The last few years have witnessed a complete transformation of the Cyprus telecommunications market from a monopoly to a fully liberalized and vibrant market place. New dynamic companies have entered almost all areas
of the market in which CYTA had previously enjoyed a monopoly for over 40 years." Although market liberalization was a relatively recent occurrence, CYTA has spent nearly a decade re-engineering itself from a slow-moving state monopoly into a dynamic, flexible and customer-driven provider of state of the art communications solutions. Today, CYTA remains the dominant player in the Cypriot telecommunications market by offering the most advanced technologies as well as unparalleled customer service.
CYTA also understands that business Greece and the United Kingdom. development in the new era is fuelled by In regards to the rapidly growing alliances, which reinforce the constituent parties while simultaneously creating Russian telecommunications market, Mr. Kremmos offered this outlook: synergies and added value. "The Russian telecommunications secThrough CytaGlobal, CYTA is con- tor is growing rapidly, and the size of tinuously evaluating the connection of this market is extremely attractive to Cyprus to various planned private and foreign investors. As a direct result, consortium-based regional and global CYTA recently created a special fiber optic networks, either on a part- investment unit, which is investigating nership or a co-ownership basis. In addi- the possibility of expanding CYTA tion, through its wholly-owned sub- operations in promising emerging sidiary DIGIMED, CYTA has already markets. Needless to say, Russia is started to establish itself in Hungary, under strong consideration."
A true friendship
he special relationship between Cypriots and Russians can be described as a true friendship, and the Cyprus Tourism Organization is looking forward to seeing the number of friends increasing over the next few years
Antonis Michaelides, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism
yprus enjoys a strong relationship with Russia, which is reflected in the island's popularity as a tourist destination, and increasingly as a target for investment. After a dip in the numbers of visitors a few years ago, The Cyprus Tourism Organization (CTO) reports that Russians are now returning in droves, citing dissatisfaction with customer service and safety levels in other destinations as a key factor in the island's return to favor.
percent from 2005."
Panos Englezos, Chairman of the CTO, sees Russia as one of the highest priorities in his development strategy: “When it comes to security, free movement, great food, air connections, communications and religious attractions, Cyprus has a lot to offer which exactly fits the Russian taste.” And this is perhaps the reason why Russian tourists are not only coming in larger numbers, but also spending more money in Cyprus: "The highest The warm Mediterranean climate per capita expenditure in 2006 came of Cyprus is certainly one of the main from Russian tourists, and we expect draws for visitors, whether from this trend to continue in the foreseeRussia or elsewhere. For Russians in able future," says Michaelides. particular, Cyprus also offers the convenience of rapid and reliable air conater-ski in the morning, nections, a safe and peaceful environment, good hotel and restaurant facil- snow-ski in the afternoon ities and warm hospitality. Russia is Cyprus is seeking to maximize the already Cyprus's second largest source of visitors after the United benefits of its small size as a major Kingdom, and if present growth attraction for visitors.Any part of the trends continue, it could eventually country is accessible within about an become the number-one source. For hour from the capital city, Nicosia, Antonis Michaelides, Minister of meaning that visitors have an almost Commerce, Industry and Tourism, the unique opportunity to undertake a numbers speak for themselves: During surprisingly varied range of activities the first few months of 2007, we during their stay: “It doesn't matter experienced an average year-on-year where you prefer to stay, there's easy increase of 27 percent in the number access to everywhere. You can waterof Russian visitors to Cypurs. And ski in the sea in the morning and 2006 had already been a great year snow-ski in the mountains in the with close to 115,000 Russian afternoon. Distances are very small tourists, an increase of close to 18 and you can reach anywhere in a
short amount of time,” explains into account the needs of the environment and local people. So the Englezos. strategy focuses on maintaining or Accessibility is another important improving quality and in focusing on advantage for Russian visitors.With a niche opportunities in specialist marchoice of direct flights from seven kets. Russian airports, travelling time is typMr. Englezos recognizes the changically around two and a half to three hours, making Cyprus among the ing tastes of Russian and other visimost accessible of Mediterranean tors, and the development of new resorts for most Russians.The CTO is facilities is designed to fully meet the encouraging the government to sim- expectations of twenty first century plify visa application procedures for guests. New hotel facilities aim to Russian passport holders too. Plans to meet the demand for quality, being introduce application facilities through typically in the three to five star bracka number of consulates in various ets, but at the same time, the move is Russian cities, together with plans to away from large hotels to smaller, streamline the process itself are more specialized facilities in a range of intended to make Cyprus the most locations, with an emphasis on peraccessible of the 27 European Union sonal service. states for Russian visitors. The development of specialist facilities and attractions is expected to uality, not quantity make Cyprus a much more popular destination all year round. The island Demand for tourist facilities in enjoys a favourable climate for most Cyprus is growing rapidly, and it is an of the year, but at present some 40 important role of the CTO to ensure percent of all visits take place during that provision of facilities such as July to September. The CTO aims to hotel rooms keeps pace. But this is reduce this figure to 33 percent, and much more than just a numbers game. intends to achieve this by developing The CTO fully recognizes the poten- the appeal of year-round attractions tial dangers of allowing visitor num- and specific events. bers to grow too rapidly, a particular problem for a small island which could reaking with the past seriously damage its charm and character by allowing development in The CTO is also pursuing a careinfrastructure which does not take
fully planned communications strategy, designed to both strengthen and re-position the Cyprus "brand" as an attractive and accessible destination that meets the needs of specific target groups, with a reputation for friendliness, quality and good service. In this respect, the CTO is working in close co-operation with private sector organizations and local tourism initiatives, to ensure that a coherent message is adhered to. The CTO is encouraging a wide range of advertising and promotional initiatives, for example through co-financing. The other side of the coin of this communications strategy is of course to listen to the views and opinions of visitors. The CTO is embarking on a range of surveys and market research initiatives to help build a clear picture of the needs of the island's actual and potential visitors, and ensure that the development strategy adheres closely to customer demand.
Sports tourism Cyprus first began to realize its potential as a destination for sports tourism at the time of the Greek Olympics in 2004, when a number of participants chose Cyprus as a suitable location for training and preparation. Cyprus has already seized the opportunity to turn this into a long term attraction, and world-class facilities, particularly for target sports such as football, swimming, cycling and athletics are already in development, which have the potential to put Cyprus firmly on the world map as an important venue for international events. Regulations on the development of private golf courses have already been reviewed with the intention that a number of attractive new facilities will be given the go-ahead.
enable the private development of tourism in restored buildings, as well as supporting the growth of tourismrelated enterprises such as local craft industries. Agro tourism is playing a crucial role in supporting the sustainability of many rural communities.
Cultural tourism The CTO is backing the development of new museums, visitor centers and improved access to the country's wealth of historical and archaeological sites, in order to promote awareness,
as well as ensuring the preservation of national treasures.
Environmental tourism This is represented by a two-prong strategy addressing both the need to protect the island's ecology as well as encouraging the development of environmental tourism initiatives, such as cycling holidays, camping sites, nature trails and environmental centers.Since joining the European Blue Flag scheme in 1995, some 52 beaches in Cyprus have been awarded the blue flag for
Marinas and nautical tourism
This strategy is a marked departure from the way in which Cyprus developed as a sea and sand destination during the 1980's, and recognizes the changing tastes of visitors, not least from Russia.
The government has allowed for the development of three major marina complexes, which are being undertaken by private development companies after a tendering process. The new facilities will provide popular new attractions for visitors as well as being Michaelides comments: "The CTO the focal point of additional private launched its current strategic plan in sector investment. 2003 with concrete objectives for 2010, with the crucial aim of focusing our goals on the quality of tourists gro tourism rather than on their quantity."
The Plan for the Development of Rural Tourism attracted EU funding to Panos Englezos, Chairman, Cyprus Tourism Organization
outstanding environmental stan- the United Kingdom. He previously worked in the health and telecomdards. munications industries, and sees ynergy between tourism honesty and hard work as the key elements to success.
and foreign investment
Along with the highly developed financial services sector, tourism is the largest industry in the economy of Cyprus. However, Englezos sees the development of the market for Russian visitors not just as an end in itself, but also as a means of developing the longer term potential of Cyprus as an important destination for Russian investment. Cyprus is becoming an increasingly popular choice for the purchase of holiday homes, and the CTO is giving particular emphasis to researching the impact of this trend to ensure that it occurs in a sustainable way that is not detrimental to local needs.
The Cyprus Tourism Organization overseas the industry, operating information offices and inspectorates in every city and town, and promoting Cyprus on international exhibitions, conferences and seminars. It provides information to the media and informs hotel operators and other service providers on trends and opportunities in world markets.
Tourism is strategically important to the economy of Cyprus, providing more than 15 percent of gross domestic product and 30 percent of foreign currency earnings. The sector has been vital to the recovery of the national economy since the major collapse that occurred followbout Mr. Panos ing the Turkish invasion of the north Englezos and the CTO of the island in 1974. The Cyprus Tourism Organization was initiated Mr. Englezos has striven to at that time, and delivered the govachieve new successes in a range of ernment strategy of a tourism-led Cypriot sectors since returning to economic recovery. Cyprus after studying economics in
The Father of Cypriot Tourism
ounded in 1935 by the late Mr. Louis Loizou, the Louis Group is today one of the leading travel, tourism, cruising, hotel and catering groups in the Mediterranean
Costakis Loizou Executive Chairman Louis Group
he Louis Group is one of the leading travel, tourism, cruising, hotel and catering groups in the Mediterranean. An extremely customer-focused organization, the Louis Group is passionate about sharing Cyprus with the rest of the world.
brother,Vakis. Costakis Loizou is now the Executive Chairman of the largest private group of companies on the island, with over 8,000 employees and business activities in all forms of travel. When asked about the key to his personal success, Costakis Loizou is clear and concise. "The key to success is hard work. If you don't have passion for the work you do, you will not achieve much. Every day, we are responsible for the tens of thousands of people who sleep in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, travel on our cruise lines and arrange their holidays with us. Since people place an incredible amount of value on their holidays, we simply cannot afford to let them down."
Founded in 1935 by Louis Loizou, who is acknowledged as the "father of Cypriot tourism," the Louis Group started out as a small travel agency. Despite these humble origins, the Louis Group quickly became the key player in the Cypriot tourism industry, and eventually expanded into all facets of travel. Today, the Louis Group consists of Louis Cruise Lines & Louis Hellenic Cruises and Louis Hotels, while Louis Tourist Agency is the founding company of the Louis trade Costakis Loizou continues: "In mark. Finally, Louis Catering Services is order to meet the expectations of our the catering arm of the Louis brand. customers, we must personally invest When Louis Loizou passed away in ourselves in the business, and show 1971, his son, Costakis Loizou, took our readiness to be involved in every over the business as Chairman and problem that surfaces, no matter how Managing Director along with his small. Our business is not a machine
"In the years to come, I believe that record numbers of Russians will consider buying second homes on the island"
"In order to meet the expectiations of our customers, we must personally invest ourselves in the business, and show our readiness to be involved in any problem that surfaces"
that manufactures products. Instead, it is about people, and we cannot forget this if we want to be successful. Without passion and love for this kind of job, we wouldn't be able to do it." To date, the Louis Group has been involved in virtually all aspects of Cypriot tourism including hotels, cruises, catering, travel and even specialized IT services. However, although they are firmly based on the island, the Louis Group has spent the last twenty years expanding their operations and influence overseas. As a result, the Louis Group presently operates in 11 countries worldwide from Europe to China and is ambitiously building a presence in several other countries including Russia. According to Costakis Loizou, "The Russian market is a crucial one, especially considering that Russian tourists tend to spend more money when on holidays than other tourists. According
to our estimates, about 25 percent of Russian tourists stay in 5-star hotels,40 percent stay in 4-star hotels and 35 percent in 3-star hotels." Costakis Loizou adds: "In the years to come, I believe that record numbers of Russians will consider buying second homes on the island. Of course, there are many countries out there in the world with beautiful beaches and nice weather, but none of these are as culturally close to Russia as Cyprus. Not only is Russian spoken in Cyprus, but there are in fact an increasing number of Russian establishments on the island including schools, churches, restaurants and businesses. As a result of this cultural connection, Russians and Cypriots have always maintained strong and friendly relations. I truly believe that the bi-lateral relations of the two countries will continuously grow, and an increasing number of Russian tourists will visit the island.â€?
A Pioneer in the Luxury Hotel Business Keeps Raising the Bar
he Four Seasons Hotel keeps pushing ahead with upmarket amenities for its distinguished clientele in Limassol
Christos Mouskis, Managing Director, Muskita Hotels
ight kilometers east of the Limassol city center on the beach lies the Four Seasons Hotel, an independently owned property operated by Muskita Hotels Ltd. Since its opening in 1993, the 5-star deluxe Four Seasons has been regarded as the pinnacle of luxury on the island of Cyprus. The owner of the Four Seasons, Mr. Christos Mouskis, is quick to outline his strategy for success in the hotel business: "Luxury in everything we do, including the way our staff is treated by management, as well as innovative design of the spaces." True to this, Mr. Mouskis has been successful in clearly distinguishing the Four Seasons from the competition. Despite being open for only fourteen years, the Four Seasons has undergone many major renovations, which have resulted in a number of impressive innovations.
these are now fairly common on the island, we recently raised the bar by installing king Jacuzzi baths in all of the standard guest rooms, which is something that you don't see in any other hotel in Cyprus." He continues: "We also invest a lot in the quality and uniqueness of our food and beverage operation. The variety to be enjoyed includes three speciality restaurants: Chinese, Italian and Gourmet Greek, in addition to the casual Cafe Tropical. Of course the most important amenity which clearly places the Four Seasons ahead, is the exceptional service throughout and the friendliness of its staff. "
According to estimates, nearly 40 percent of the guests at the Four Seasons are Russian, which is why the hotel takes special care in addressing their specific needs. "Our Russian clients have been very loyal to us," says Mr. Mouskis. "We receive a high number of Mr. Mouskis explains: "We were the repeat clientele, which we believe is a first hotel on the island to introduce a reflection of the outstanding level of number of upmarket amenities, such as a service that we offer at the Four spa and an adult-only wing. Although Seasons." 51
Sixt Rent a Car Leads the Pack in the Cypriot Car Rental Business Sixt Rent a Car office in Limassol
ounded in Munich in 1912, Sixt Rent a Car is a worldwide mobility service provider that specializes in supplying top-class cars to its customers at low prices. With the world's largest fleet of BMWs and Mercedes Benzes, Sixt easily distinguishes itself from market competitors. In Cyprus, Sixt offers a large variety of cars from the Volkswagen Group, the largest German car manufacturer.
customers here in Cyprus are interested in leasing large cars and SUVs with powerful engines, which are similar to what they are used to driving back home. At first, we did not think that it was feasible to offer these types of cars at low prices Mr. George Mavrouvouniotis, the in Cyprus since the government here General Manager of Sixt Rent a Car, is imposes high taxation on imports.And of striving to attract a larger number of course, it can be extremely difficult to Russian clientele through the implemen- shift a particular car model from the tation of an innovative leasing program. leasing sector to the renting sector." customer satisfaction above all else.As a result of these rigorous standards, Sixt has become the preferred mobility service provider for corporations and highend private clientele.
True to its German heritage, Sixt According to Mr. Mavrouvouniotis: emphasizes service, product quality and "We quickly learned that our Russian
However, true to the philosophy of Sixt Rent a Car, Mr. Mavrouvouniotis
found a solution to meet the needs of his clients. â€œTo solve the situation, we use our six branches to service both short- and long- term lease cars. This meets the demand of leisure customers with value-for-money services, while at the same time offering reasonably priced leases on larger and more luxurious cars and SUVs. For instance, true again to our German origins, we are placing an order for the Tiguan, the new SUV from Volkswagen that just hit the market.â€?
Rolling Out the Red Carpet
Vassos Kilanis Hotel Manager
Pambos Michael General Manager
Nicos Nicolaou Hotel Manager
Marwan Ragheb General Manager
Le Meridien Limassol Spa and Resort
Paphos Amathus Beach Hotel
Security is their key
Best boutique hotel in Cyprus
Best bar in Cyprus
Best business hotel in Cyprus
Perched between rolling hills and crashing waves, Le Méridien Limassol Spa & Resort offers luxury and exclusivity amidst vibrant natural environs. Chic and sophisticated rooms and suites are decorated in a palette of soft-hues, which highlight the beauty of the surrounding nature.Whether staring out at the endless sea or off into the distant hills, the beauty of Cyprus is never far from your mind at Le Méridien. Stressing intimacy and privacy, Le Méridien is the preferred choice for both business and upmarket travelers alike. Since 2003, Le Méridien has operated as a residence-only hotel, which means that only registered guests are permitted to enter the property and to use the facilities.“Being the only five star international chain hotel in Limassol strengthens our commitment as a hospitality leader and to provide our valuable guests an experience that goes beyond accommodation, food or beverages,” says Vassos Kilanis, Manager of the hotel.The undeniable focal point of the hotel is Le Spa, an award-winning thalassotherapy spa that features four outdoor and three indoor seawater pools, each with a different salinity content and temperature. The premises are also home to a Turkish-style hammam, two saunas and no less than thirty-four specialized treatment rooms. Le Méridien is also proud of the fact that they are 100% family friendly, the little ones.The Penguin Village, which is free for children ages 3 to 12 years, is home to everything from a mini football pitch and a climbing frame to a bouncy castle and a kiddie pool,and crèche facilities are available at a charge.
Located on a sandy peninsula adjacent to Coral Bay,Thalassa, the Greek word for sea, is an intimate boutique hotel that boasts stunning views of the cool, blue waters of the Mediterranean.An oasis of luxury and relaxation,the Thalassa Hotel is the clear choice of discerning upmarket tourists in Cyprus. The motto of the Thalassa Hotel says it all: "The answer is yes.What is the question?" From personal butlers catering to your every whim to impromptu yoga lessons at the onsite holistic spa, the Thalassa Hotel brings the concept of boutique luxury to a whole new level. Mr. Michael Pambos, the general manager of the Thalassa, is quick to point out the human element that makes his hotel so unique. "Our aim is to give people coming to the island a completely different option than the standard 5-star hotel.Tourists in Cyprus want to indulge in luxury,so we strive to offer a relaxing atmosphere that respects the privacy of our guests." In recent years, the Thalassa Hotel has garnered a favorable reputation amongst Russian tourists.According to Michael:"We at the Thalassa try extremely hard to make our Russian guests happy, and we always succeed by offering them a level of service that is unparalleled on the island.The proof of our success is that our repeat clientele from Russia has increased steadily over the years." Michael goes on to add: "Growth as far as our Russian clientele is concerned is enormous. We have more and more Russian guests checking in each week, and we are working hard to attract more. At the moment, I would say that about 20 percent of our staff speaks perfect Russian, and very soon we will be able to offer hotel instructions and manuals printed in Russian."
The Paphos Amathus Beach Hotel is renowned for its unsurpassed five-star service and Mediterranean charm, as well as its sophisticated offering of luxury amenities and high-class dining. In the hotel industry, the truth is in the numbers, which is why the Paphos Amathus Beach Hotel is quick to boast that 35 percent of their guests are in fact repeat clientele. Making the most of the warm and sunny climate, the Paphos Amathus Beach Hotel features a free-form swimming pool reminiscent of a tropical lagoon, a seaside promenade that overlooks the endless expanses of the Mediterranean, and a a range of services to give its golfing guests the most convenient access to the outstanding golf courses that are rapidly becoming landmarks of Pafos. Of course, even if the weather isn't cooperating,guests can take advantage of the onsite wellness center, which offers everything from spa services and yoga classes to an aerobics studio and a fitness center. Recently, the Paphos Amathus Beach Hotel opened two new eating and drinking establishments that are quickly becoming the talk of the island.Asiachi Restaurant is a fine-dining experience, offering delicacies from the Far East including Chinese, Polynesian and a full sushi bar, while Nubar is an intimate bar and lounge that is bathed in soft hues and pale light. With direct flights from St. Petersburg to Pafos starting soon, the number of Russian clients at the Paphos Amathus Beach Hotel is expected to increase dramatically. As a result, the management at the Paphos Amathus Beach Hotel is currently unfurling plans to cater to this lucrative market segment.
Only 35 minutes from Larnaca International Airport, the Cyprus Hilton is located in downtown Nicosia next to the headquarters of the Central Bank and close to the city's main cultural, shopping, and business districts. The hotel offers modern and sophisticated rooms and suites, a broad spectrum of bars and restaurants, and the highest possible standard of business facilities and resort amenities. In recognition of their commitment to quality and service for 40 years, the Hilton Cyprus was awarded our editorial pick for "The Best Business Hotel in Cyprus." Mr. Marwan Ragheb, the general manager of Hilton Cyprus, fully understands the needs and desires of his clientele. "This is a business hotel, and people do come here for business.We offer higher levels of services than you will find at resort hotels around the island, and our business facilities are easily the best in Cyprus." The hotel offers various meeting rooms and facilities that can accommodate either a small meeting or a conference for up to 1,000 delegates, and a full-service Business Center equipped to fulfill the requirements of the most demanding business travelers. He continues: "And of course, it is part of the Hilton culture to cater to the individual demands of our guests, no matter how small. Because of this policy, we have a huge number of repeat clients who simply refuse to stay anywhere else on the island." When asked to comment about the Hilton moniker, Mr. Ragheb offers these words: "By definition, Hilton hotels are a product that is perfectly adapted to the business traveler."
Top Hoteliers in Cyprus Share their Views on Luxury Hospitality
Panicos Michael Hotel Manager
Philippe M.E. Requin General Manager
Alion Beach Hotel
InterContinental Aphrodite Hills
Thanos Michaelides Director
Best breakfast and beach in Cyrpus
Best Golf in Cyprus
Best luxury resort in Cyprus
The one and only design hotel in Cyprus
Overlooking the white sandy beaches that line the Ayia Napa harbour, the Alion Hotel offers unmatched peace and seclusion. A five-star property with a boutique flair and no more than 100 rooms, the Alion is noted for its appealing blend of modern luxury and individual attention. Here, class merges with coziness, and hospitality is enhanced with a commitment to personal service. The Alion is proud to emphasize its location, size and service above all else.As a testament to this fact, the Alion was listed amongst the “Best 100 Hotels in the World” for six years running by TUI, the largest European tour operator.This year,only three hotels in Cyprus were a part of this list, though no other hotel on the island can equal the number of awards bestowed upon the Alion. Mr. Michael Panicos, the general manager of the Alion,believes that the path to success for the Alion is to offer an unmatched quality of personal service.“We see things differently. Our aim is to invest in our people and bring out the hospitality that Cypriots are well known for. During the hiring process, we place a strong emphasis on a person's character in the hope that they will be able to make our guests feel immediately welcome.” Panicos estimates that Russian tourists will make up over 20 percent of his guests in the near future, and believes that the Alion is well suited to their needs.“Russians want to relax and enjoy in the beach, which is why they don't choose a large business hotel.At the same time however, they want to follow up on their affairs back home, and they want to be treated with special care.This is exactly what we strive to offer at the Alion -- consistent personalized attention.”
If you are struck with a sensation of immortality while staying at the Aphrodite Hills InterContinental Hotel, don't worry, it is not just the champagne! From start to finish, guests may expect a holiday experience that is nothing short of divine, so pleasurable they will want to live forever if only to return one more time. Welcome to a resort where the rooms are always comfortable and clean, the staff always knows your name, and your glass is always filled with champagne (sparkling apple cider for the kids), the nectar of the gods. The grounds of this earthly paradise are as beautiful as the goddess for whom the hotel and compound are named, with unmatched views of the Mediterranean Sea and 15 hours-per-day of sunshine, perfect for an early morning dip in one of the pools, 18 holes of golf, or a romantic dinner during one of the stunning sunsets. The resort staff could not be more attentive,polite,and personable. Mr. Philippe Requin, the hotel's extensively experienced general manager, believes in keeping things simple and elegant, and maintains a creative ambiance where his guests are the focus and every measure is taken to make them feel at home.“I look at the hotel as a computer: you have the hardware or the buildings and grounds, and the software or the staff that helps everything to run smoothly,” said Mr. Requin, recipient of numerous prestigious awards in the hotel industry throughout his managerial history. “We are very lucky in that both our 'software' and our 'hardware' are excellent.” Mr. Requin introduced the “plaisir santé” concept for guests seeking delectable cuisine from every corner of the world prepared in a health-conscious manner,and has aims set high for the hotel to soon emerge as the premier European vacation destination for luxury-seeking travelers.
Anassa, meaning "queen" in classical the Greek language, is universally regarded as the most luxurious, exclusive and upmarket hotel on the island of Cyprus. The ultimate Mediterranean retreat for the rich and the famous, Anassa caters to your every conceivable whim with dignified grace and class at every turn. According to Mr.Thanos Michaelides, the managing director of the hotel, "Anassa is not just a hotel, it's a destination. Although we cater primarily to European clientele, all of our guests are the same in that they know what they want, and they come to Anassa because they know they will get it here." He continues: "Regardless of where our clients come from, they come to Anassa to escape from reality and enter a world of unimaginable leisure. We know exactly what our guests need, and we never stop catering to their individual requests. This is why we employ a multi-lingual staff capable of speaking English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and, of course, Russian." Rooms at Anassa are individually decorated in classical style, though it's the flawless attention to detail that sets them apart from the competition. Guests are also wined and dined at gourmet restaurants spanning the culinary spectrum, and pampered in excess at the award-winning Thalassa spa. In recognition of their unequalled luxury and customer service,Anassa is a member of the "Leading Hotels of the World," a highly prestigious group of the world's most sophisticated upmarket boutique hotels.
Almyra, meaning "the taste of the sea" in the Greek language, is an innovative boutique hotel on the island of Cyprus that caters to a young, hip and fashionable jet-setting crowd. According to Mr.Thanos Michaelides, the managing director of the hotel, "Almyra is a completely original concept on the island. Our major clientele are young professionals from Europe who are searching for a product-driven holiday. Our guests are the type of people who come to Cyprus simply because of Almyra, and wouldn't dream of staying anywhere else." He continues: "We cater for individual travelers who want to go to places that are off the beaten path and relatively unknown. So we have adopted a business philosophy that caters to our guests' desires to have a distinctive and stimulating hotel experience." From the chic minimalist interiors of the individually designed rooms, to the subtly refined haute cuisine of the hotel's renowned restaurants, Almyra is an absolute feast for the senses. Not surprisingly, it was the first, and remains the only,“Design Hotel” member in Cyprus. Mr. Michaelides explains: "This organization is a marketing affiliation that generally consists of contemporary stylistic hotels that have a wholly unique character and ambiance.You need to apply in order to be considered, and only independently-owned hotels are eligible for membership. Needless to say, we are extremely pleased to be a part of this exclusive group, and we feel that it is a testament to the quality of the product we offer."
A selection of hotels offering value for money in Cyprus
Christos Theodoulou General Manager
George Kassianos Assistant General Manager
Michael Loizides Manager
Pietros Pierides General Manager
Adams Beach Hotel
Coral Beach Hotel
Kermia Beach Bungalow Hotel
Holiday Inn Limassol
Located approximately 45 minutes by car from the Larnaca International Airport, the Adams Beach Hotel is perched on the beautiful sandy beach of Nissi Bay, and located within a short distance of the resort center of Agia Napa. Built in 1991 and extended in 2000, the Adams Beach Hotel currently boasts 296 5-star rooms, and an impressive offering of sports and leisure facilities including the island's largest indoor gym, a freeform swimming pool and an inviting spa and beauty center. Mr. Christos Theodoulou, the general manager of the Adams Beach, believes that his hotel's unique blend of resort-worthy amenities and boutique-style service is the differentiating factor. Although the competition for tourist revenue amongst upmarket hotels in Cyprus is fierce,Theodoulou professes without hesitation that the Adams Beach is the best option on the island for Russian tourists.“The initial trend was for Russian tourists to stay in big cities so that they could combine shopping with leisure. But the Russian market has changed over the past ten years, and Moscow is now jam-packed with shops. Today, Russians are more concerned with the opportunity to unwind in luxury.” Clearly,Theodoulou has taken this trend into consideration, especially since the Adams Beach Hotel is improving its already generous offerings by adding a number of new bars and restaurants to the property. Ultimately however, the key to choosing a fine hotel is its location, a fact that Theodoulou is happy to acknowledge.“One of our advantages in Agia Napa is that we have a beach of soft,white sand,compared to dark and rough sand found elsewhere on the island.”
In 1992, the Coral Beach Hotel & Resort opened with great fanfare at a celebration led by Baroness Betty Boothroyd, the first female Speaker of the House of Commons. Since then, the hotel has brought a new level of sophistication to the hospitality market of Pafos by reflecting the local character of the island whilst offering five-star services and facilities. As a testament to their tireless commitment to customer service and quality, the Coral Beach Hotel & Resort has won a number of awards including the “First Choice Gold,” and a quality mark as one of the "Top One Hundred Hotels of the World” for three consecutive years. Mr. George Kassianos, the Assistant General Manager of the Coral Beach, is confident that the hotel is easily differentiated from other hotels in the highly competitive Pafos hospitality market."The Coral Beach Hotel & Resort is located on 500 meters of natural sandy beach, boasts a private pleasure harbor and is perched on the edge of the Akamas Peninsula, a UNESCO protected area of natural beauty. " He continues: "The hotel's three blocks comprise some 422 rooms with 16 varieties to choose from, from family duplex studios to our Presidential and Royal Suites, making the Coral Beach the largest five-star hotel and resort on the island.This gives us the capacity not only to provide an idyllic family holiday resort, but we are also able to offer the largest five-star conference facility of any hotel in Cyprus."
The Kermia Beach Bungalow Hotel is scenically perched on a secluded strip of golden sand near the crystal-clear turquoise waters of Cape Greco in the southeast of Cyprus. The property consists of approximately 150 Mediterraneanstyle bungalows scattered amongst 60,000 square meters of manicured landscapes. Forgoing over-the-top luxury in favor of offering excellent quality at affordable prices, the Kermia Beach Bungalow Hotel offers discriminating guests a relaxed beachside ambiance and a carefree holiday atmosphere. Depending on their specific needs, guests at the hotel have the option to choose from one of several bungalow styles ranging from modest studios to luxurious 2-bedroom affairs. However, all of the bungalows are highlighted by wooden rafters and woven cane ceilings, and are fully equipped with modern amenities. Although the main attraction of the Kermia Beach Bungalow Hotel is its seamless integration with the surrounding nature, guests looking for resort amenities will not be disappointed. The hotel is home to a variety of restaurants and bars that serve both local and international cuisine, as well as a generous offering of sports and leisure facilities. Michael Loizides, the manager of the Kermia Beach Bungalow Hotel, recognizes the unique character of the property. "The greenery we have at the hotel is an incredible asset, especially considering that our trees were planted when we first opened in 1981.This same concept applies to the majority of our staff members, who have also been here with us for more than 25 years"
Located directly on the Olympion Beach just two Km from the old town, the Holiday Inn Limassol boasts one of the most convenient locations of any hotel in the city. A short stroll from the hotel reveals a lively tourist area full of brand name stores, dining options and entertainment spots, though most guests are content to simply lie on the beach and soak up the sun. Mr. Pietros Pierides, the General Manager of the Holiday Inn Limassol, is quick to stress the convenience of the hotel. "The uniqueness of the Holiday Inn Limassol is our location, which simply can't be beat." The Holiday Inn Limassol has a total of 144 standard and executive rooms as well as a handful of individually furnished suites offering the highest level of comfort. Guests can also take advantage of the onsite amenities, which include indoor and outdoor pools, a gym and health club, tennis courts, beach facilities and fullyequipped conference rooms. Although the hospitality market in Limassol is extremely competitive, Mr. Pierides believes that the Holiday Inn Limassol is easily distinguished."We are the only 100 percent branded hotel vis-à-vis the strong bond with the InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG), which gives us access to a wide range of resources." He continues: "We are also very well represented in Russia, and our name features prominently in the brochures of most travel agents and tour operators.As a result, a large portion of our customers are Russian tourists, who traditionally have chosen to holiday in Limassol."