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Charles Charalambous: Investment Opportunities are Available for Those Who Can Handle the Risk

Charles Charalambous: Investment Opportunities are Available for Those Who Can Handle the Risk

By Effy Pafitis


Though efforts to reform Cyprus’ banking sector are ongoing, attractive investment opportunities remain abundant – for clients who can manage the attached risk – avows Charles Charalambous, Managing Director and Head of Wealth Advisory Services at Deloitte Investment Services Limited.


Talking exclusively to Gold News, Charalambous underlines that international investor interest in the island hasn't diminished, per se; investors are merely waiting for the dust of the island’s bail-in to settle. 


How does Deloitte Investment Services help its clients conduct successful investments?

As part of the Deloitte international network, with more than 200,000 professionals in over 150 countries, we have the advantage of a global sharing of knowledge with a local adaptation and personal approach. This is paramount to understanding the exact needs of the client, before embarking on the creation of a portfolio. 

Equally so, we ensure that we are fully aware of a client’s financial profile, assess risk appetite and take into account any potential future material changes in the client’s circumstances. We use this information repeatedly while preparing a new portfolio or rebalancing an existing one. 
At Deloitte, our advisory is primarily based on finding the appropriate investments, dependent on the client’s risk appetite and investment term.  


How do you view the current availability of sound investment opportunities in Cyprus?


Investment opportunities exist, but calling one a “sound investment” is a different story; you cannot make a sound investment – you can only realise one. 


All investments carry certain risks and therefore it is not only prudent but imperative that you have an advisor to guide you through every step of the process. 


Nevertheless, investment opportunities are available for those who could absorb the risk embedded in the opportunity. 


To what extent is the reputation of the island’s banking sector directly linked to its appeal as an international investment destination? 


I believe it to be enormously intertwined. It is no secret that the reputation of Cyprus’ banking sector is at an all-time low. The three main banks were once approximately 7.5 times the size of the island’s economy, with lobbying power that has influenced Cyprus’ economy for years. 


Following the recent Cyprus banking sector bail-in, an inevitable shrinking process commenced. This process has affected immediate international investment as investors wait for the dust to settle. We also continue to have restrictions on the movement of capital, which works to our disadvantage. 


Reputation takes time to rebuild. However, as Cyprus has the lowest tax regime in the European Union and has recently enacted the Alternative Investment Funds (AIF) and Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) laws, these factors will assist the island in re-establishing its financial sector. 


For a smoother ride to recovery, however, we would welcome the presence of major international banks in Cyprus.


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