Cypriot investment in Greece is on the slide

Cypriot investment in Greece is on the decline, and not just in regards to direct investments, but also to repatriated profits from subsidiaries of Greek companies on Cyprus (after paying tax there).

Traditionally, the lion?s share of Cypriot direct investment in Greece is in banking (48 percent), construction (35 percent) and transport/telecoms (13 percent). Over the past five years, the volume of Cypriot investment in Greece has been over 1.5 billion euros, while Greek banks also have a strong presence in Cyprus?s particularly robust credit sector (which enjoys deposits of around 70.9 billion euros).

The five Greek banks (National, Alpha, Piraeus, Emporiki and Eurobank) that are active on Cyprus have seen turnover increase, and over the past two years have acquired a respective 15 percent and 12 percent share of the loans and deposits markets. In 2010, the five Greek banks accounted for one-third of loans and deposits in the Cypriot banking system.

Bilateral trade agreements between Greece and Cyprus experienced a decline in 2010, despite very dynamic growth up until 2008, with trade volume reaching 1.21 billion euros, compared to 1.34 billion euros in 2009. Greece continued to be the biggest supplier of products to Cyprus in 2010, with exports reaching 1.21 billion euros, compared to 1.13 billion euros the previous year, or a quarter of all Cypriot imports.

Meanwhile, imports from Cyprus to Greece in 2010 came to 243.9 billion euros, up from 220 billion euros in 2009, or some 18 percent of all Cypriot exports. According to data, Cyprus ranks in third behind Germany and Italy in terms of Greek exports.

The main Greek products imported by Cyprus in 2010 were: petroleum products (248 billion euros), electrical and engineering equipment (80 billion euros), machinery and boilers (70.5 billion euros), knitwear (53 billion euros), foodstuffs (33.8 billion euros), flour and wheat products (30.4 billion euros), dairy (21.8 billion euros), meat (9.3 billion euros) and visual-photographic equipment (5.4 billion euros).

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