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East European Focus: Cyprus – Gateway for Russian and CIS Companies to the London Capital Markets

by Cleo Papadopoulou, Tax Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers Cyprus

Strategically located at the crossroads of three continents (Europe, Asia and Africa), Cyprus has always played a major role as an international business and financial services centre. Following its accession to the European Union (EU), in May 2004, this position has been enhanced further.

The implementation of wide ranging structural and legal reforms has provided more credibility and transparency to Cyprus and has strengthened its relevance in the European, and more specifically to the London, capital markets scene. With its strategic location, favourable tax regime and business environment, well-developed commercial infrastructure, strong banking sector and multilingual and highly skilled workforce, Cyprus has rightly emerged as one of the most favoured holding company jurisdictions worldwide.

Russian and CIS companies traditionally reap these benefits by selecting Cyprus to host their investment holding company. The next step is to use it as a gateway to efficiently and effectively access the European capital markets, especially London, the most important and lucrative one. This is even more relevant and feasible now with the integration and harmonisation of the European capital markets of which Cyprus is an integral part.