Friday December 19, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
17o C
10o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Cyprus a channel for attracting investment to Russia

By Yiannis Seitanidis

In October 2010, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev attended a meeting of business delegations from Russia and Cyprus at the Hilton Hotel in Nicosia, accompanied by his Cypriot counterpart Dimitris Christofias, at which he urged closer ties between the two countries.

In the first half of 2010, Cyprus was the leading investor in Russia, outstripping the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany -- and the audience Medvedev was addressing comprised the pillars of Russian economic growth.

After the business forum, the Russian president removed his jacket and tie -- the temperature that day had shot above 20 Celsius -- and took a walk around Nicosia in order to see firsthand why thousands of his compatriots had chosen Cyprus as their new home and, especially, as the location for their business headquarters.

The money that has gone into the Russian economy over the past 20 years via Cyprus-based companies is anything but inconsequential as, according to the Russian Embassy in Cyprus, it exceeds a total of $100 billion. In the last five years alone, the Russian economy has seen Cypriot investments of over $52 billion, of which $41.7 billion was invested in the 2007-10 period, or 2.7 times more than German investments in Russia in the same period. To break the numbers down further, in 2011 foreign direct investments in the Russian economy reached $48.5 billion.

And of course, all those billions were moved through banks.

During his visit to Nicosia, Medvedev also inaugurated the Cypriot capitals first branch of Russian Commercial Bank. RBC is a subsidiary of Russian state colossus VTB, which according to sources has expressed an interest in investing in Cyprus-based and Athens-listed Marfin Popular Bank for the acquisition of a controlling stake in a forthcoming share capital increase.

Marfin Popular Bank (the group will be renamed Cyprus Popular Bank after the departure of MIG and Andreas Vgenopoulos) needs a significant capital boost -- it is looking for up to 1.8 billion euros -- that cannot be covered by Cypriot investors, while state support would mean the countrys induction into the European support mechanism.

In the present conditions, Marfin seems a good investment opportunity and an increase in its share capital would allow stake transactions. Marfin, moreover, boasts the biggest share of Russian deposits in the Cypriot banking system.

Russian mogul Dmitry Rybolovlev, meanwhile, has acquired a 10 percent stake in the other big player, Bank of Cyprus.

During his visit in the fall of 2010, the Russian president had described Cyprus as the most important channel for attracting foreign investment to his country. Such statements suggest that Cyprus has been assigned the duty of attracting capital from all over the world in order to channel it into the Russian economy. But, other than the inflows, another crucial factor regarding the Russian economy is its capital outflows, and, according to data from the Greek Embassy in Moscow, these reached $84.2 billion in 2011, the second biggest in volume since 1994. In the last three months of 2011 alone, $37.4 billion left Russia, which analysts put down to Russian banks that have increased their lending to the subsidiaries of Russian companies based in tax havens.

ekathimerini.com , Friday March 16, 2012 (22:49)  
Importers told to pay up in advance
Jobless rate posts steady decline
Piraeus and KKR strike loans portfolio deal
German approval and praise come at key time
GDs Kasidiaris charged for recording chat with ex PM aide
A prosecutor on Friday brought charges against the spokesman of neofascist Golden Dawn, Ilias Kasidiaris, in connection with the latter's recording of a conversation a year ago with the then...
Independent Greeks leader backs MPs bribery claims, threatens to release video
At an emergency press conference on Friday, Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos backed allegations by his MP Pavlos Haikalis according to which a middleman tried to bribe the latter to ...
Inside News
SOCCER
PAOK loss at Giannina brings Olympiakos to within a point
The bad losses that PAOK and Panathinaikos suffered on the road on Thursday allowed Olympiakos to gain significant ground on the table and come to within one point from the top after the mid...
BASKETBALL
Reds lose in Turkey to motivated Galatasaray
Olympiakos went down at Galatasaray 79-74 on Thursday for its second defeat in the first round of the Euroleague that ended with the Reds topping their pool with eight wins in 10 games. With...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
New weapons of diplomacy
Hollywood screenwriters couldnt make it up: That Sony, one of the worlds biggest film producers, would be forced to pull a comedy about the assassination of North Koreas dictator after a ...
EDITORIAL
Oblivious to change
The world around us is undergoing many important changes while we sit around stewing in our own juices. US President Barack Obama is actually talking with Cubas Raul Castro, for example, bu...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. GDs Kasidiaris charged for recording chat with ex PM aide
2. Independent Greeks leader backs MPs bribery claims, threatens to release video
3. Ministry rebuffs reports that Amphipolis skeleton has been identified
4. Govt spokeswoman says bribery claims badly-played charade, heralds legal action if evidence not produced
5. Former premier Mitsotakis to meet President Papoulias to discuss political upheaval
6. Ship with 200 migrants off Pylos towed to Italy after passengers refuse to stop in Greece
more news
Today
This Week
1. Independent Greeks MP Haikalis claims attempted bribery for presidential vote
2. Greek PM Samaras confronts peril putting his Greek transformation to vote
3. Ship with 200 migrants off Pylos towed to Italy after passengers refuse to stop in Greece
4. Gov't spokeswoman says bribery claims 'badly-played charade,' heralds legal action if evidence not produced
5. Former premier Mitsotakis to meet President Papoulias to discuss political upheaval
6. Ministry rebuffs reports that Amphipolis skeleton has been identified
Today
This Week
1. Juncker warns Greeks against voting 'extreme forces' into power
2. Romanos and the dilemma
3. Samaras summons bond vigilantes with euro exit talk
4. A friendly yet firm message from Pierre Moscovici
5. High stakes
6. Europe's drama in Greece needs final act to avoid tragedy
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.