Cyprus not only lies at the crossroads of big international energy routes but in all probability is surrounded by substantial oil and gas resources, a significant part of which falls within the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone. Assessments by USGS bring the level of undiscovered oil and gas resources in the Eastern Mediterranean to a total of 3.4 bbl for oil and circa 345 trillion cubic feet (tcf) for natural gas. Israel has already announced findings at Dalit, Tamar and Leviathan totaling 30tcf of natural gas. Even more significant undiscovered hydrocarbon resources are said to exist at the west of the island. Major international specialists in the hydrocarbon industries are already establishing in Cyprus.
Cyprus Private Funds regulated under the ICIS Law have tripled in number since the global financial crisis started in late 2008. A growing demand for transparency amongst investors as well as fears among hedge fund managers that the EU was sceptical on the ability of offshore fund structures to operate within EU, have played their part. The country’s comprehensive and transparent regulatory regime with minimal red tape, a business friendly environment well suited for international businesses and with a UK based legal system, a low cost base and an efficient tax system with a large network of Double Tax Treaties, make Cyprus Private Funds a highly attractive choice for fund managers.
Cyprus ICIS have a number of advantages over similar schemes of other EU countries specialising in the Funds industry. They have no restrictions on the type of investments or a minimum capital requirement, the application process is simple and their running costs are low, they can be self managed by their Directors and at the same time if they use the company legal form they can take full advantage of the benefits of the Cyprus tax system and is Double Tax Treaty network.
The Cyprus Shipping Registry is one of the largest in the EU (it is estimated to constitute 25% of the whole EU “fleet”) and the 10th largest worldwide. Moreover, Cyprus is the biggest third party ship management centre in the EU and the Cyprus flag is on the white list of Paris MOU.
Cyprus has the most modern, competitive, flexible, fully approved Tonnage Tax system in the EU, combined with an excellent infrastructure and an extremely competitive tax system with the lowest corporate tax rate in the EU.
Non-Cypriot investors can acquire the Cyprus citizenship if they fulfil specific financial criteria (ie direct investments, bank deposits, local business activities, donations to government funds, etc) and other conditions such as clean criminal records. Citizenship is also granted to the investor’s spouse, under age children and adult dependent children up to 28 years old. The investor and his/her family obtain a Cyprus Passport with full rights of an EU citizen (ie free travel, residence and investment in any EU country).