articles | 23 January 2024

Cyprus leads EU in cross-border investment services

Cyprus has emerged as the top-ranking European Union member state in providing cross-border investment services, according to George Theocharides, chairman of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).

The announcement came following a session of the House Finance Monday on Monday, where Theocharides presented the commission’s budget for 2024. The CySEC chairman also outlined the commission’s plans to introduce a regulatory framework for crypto-assets from 2025. He said that the implementation process of the parameters outlined in the European regulation, passed by the European Parliament in June 2023, is expected to conclude by the end of 2024.

Addressing Cyprus’ lead in investment services, Theocharides said that there has been stable growth in the financial services sector, particularly in investment firms and investment fund managers, with a remarkable 12 per cent increase over the last four years. Specifically, Cyprus stands out as the first European country to offer cross-border investment services in the field of investment services. Furthermore, Theocharides reported that as of late November 2023, the CySEC was overseeing 837 entities, while 85 new applications were under examination for authorisation. In response to inquiries about the reasons behind Cyprus’ achievement, Theocharides attributed it to the rapid development of the investment sector over the past decade. Moreover, he highlighted the proximity to Israel as a factor that attracted companies from the neighbouring country, leading to the establishment of a robust ecosystem in Cyprus.

The CySEC chairman also noted that Cyprus has acquired expertise in various areas, including information technology, technology, compliance, legal direction, and financial literacy. Moreover, he underlined the commission’s focus on investor protection and the promotion of financial literacy, particularly in the context of crypto-assets.

Regarding the regulatory framework for crypto-related companies, Theocharides explained that this new sector would be under CySEC’s supervision in the coming years. He mentioned the European regulation MiCA (Markets in Crypto-Assets), which is set to be fully implemented by the end of 2024, providing a comprehensive regulatory framework for such services across the EU.

The CySEC chairman also discussed the ongoing efforts to be ready for applications from companies seeking authorisation to provide cross-border services throughout Europe under the new regulatory framework. He stressed that the goal is to enhance investor protection, particularly in the emerging crypto-asset sector. Once the European regulation is in effect, he explained, companies in Cyprus will be authorised to offer platforms for the purchase of crypto-assets, providing a higher level of investor protection.

Source: Cyprus Mail

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