Cyprus is fast becoming one of the top emerging investment fund centres in Europe thanks to its continuous efforts to upgrade its legislative and regulatory regime, and its strong network of financial and professional services providers. Determined to stay at the forefront of industry developments, Cyprus offers unique access to high-growth markets, compliance with EU fund regulations and international best practices, as well as high quality and cost-efficient support services. The country’s population is one of the most highly educated within the EU, and the expertise of its service providers has established Cyprus as a location of choice for international fund promoters and investors seeking secure and advantageous fund solutions. Service providers support funds throughout their entire life cycle: regulatory approval, administration, custody, annual audit, listing on the Cyprus Stock Exchange (if applicable), order routing, registration, clearing and settlement.
The Cypriot regulatory authorities have worked diligently to bring the funds’ framework in Cyprus up to par with other international jurisdictions. These efforts include the transposition of the Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) IV Directive in 2012 and the Alternative Investment Funds Managers Directive (AIFMD) in 2013. Through the laws transposing these two directives, Cyprus offers a European passport to the fund management industry and outstanding possibilities for cross-border and global fund distribution.
The alternative investment funds industry in Cyprus has experienced significant growth in the last few years, with the establishment of a significant number. of both UCITS Management Companies and UCITS funds, a trend which is expected to continue.
In an effort to further enhance and grow the Cyprus Investment Funds Industry, the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) established the Cyprus Investment Funds Association (CIFA), as a natural development of the progress made in promoting Cyprus as a competitive investment funds jurisdiction. In extending its local network, CIFA has established close cooperation with the competent Regulatory Authorities, the Ministry of Finance as well as the relevant Industry Associations and Professional Bodies. At an international level, CIFA is taking the necessary steps to become a national member of widely recognised and respected international bodies. In 2016, CIFA was granted full membership of the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA).
The increasing number of applications being received by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) for Cyprus Investment Firms (CIFs) is indicative of the enduring attraction of Cyprus as an investment base. The number of CIFs has registered an impressive increase over the years, surging from 50 in 2005 to 195 in June 2015, with the trend expected to continue.