Cyprus and Greece which are struggling following economic bailouts are looking to attract investors from the UAE. Leptos Group, a property firm investing in Cyprus and Greece for five decades has moved to Dubai to serve the quickly growing demand for investors from the UAE and Gulf region as well, said Marios Pashardis, overseas marketing executive.
Cyprus and Greece which are struggling following economic bailouts are looking to attract investors from the UAE.
Leptos Group, a property firm investing in Cyprus and Greece for five decades has moved to Dubai to serve the quickly growing demand for investors from the UAE and Gulf region as well, said Marios Pashardis, overseas marketing executive.
“We have at least 40 enquiries for property in Greece and Cyprus per month before opening of our offices in Dubai. This number has increased due to our presence in DIFC and we believe there will be a good number of investments between Cyprus, Greece and the UAE,” he said.
Irfan Al Hassani, a UAE-based economist, told Gulf News that while Greece’s economy is starting to show signs of recovery, it was not enough considering the country is entering its eighth year of economic recession.
Just last Friday, Eurozone officials extended Greece’s bailout by four months, giving the troubled country a financial lifeline and avoiding a bankruptcy with potentially destabilising consequences for the region.
The country currently owes £240 billion (Dh1.35 trillion) in sovereign debt and there are still lingering questions of whether Greece will stay in the Eurozone.
In 2012, Cyprus was hit by the Eurozone financial crisis, causing the government to seek €1.8 billion (Dh9.1 billion) of foreign aid. On 25 March 2013, following a €10 billion international bailout, the government agreed to split the country’s second largest bank, the Cyprus Popular Bank, imposing a significant haircut on uninsured deposits, a large proportion of which were held by wealthy Russians who used Cyprus as a tax haven.
In general, Europe is entering a new phase of recession, and the instability and lack of economic growth is part of the current drop in oil prices, Al Hassani added.
However, this phase of recession is an economic cycle which will be completed sooner or later, Al Hassani added. For those interested in investing in Greece and Cyprus, they might get good returns in the long term.
Pashardis attributed the potential of investment in Cyprus and Greece to the their stress-free lifestyle, climate, safety, location, level of education, the lowest tax rate in Europe, and investment opportunities, especially in gaining EU residency and citizenship through property purchases.
He added that both countries have eased investment procedures.
“The countries are currently implementing a series of measures aimed at reducing bureaucracy and making it easier to do business by overhauling the procedure for permits and licensing projects,” he said.
Foreign investors will be also provided by immediate citizenship by investing 2.5 million in these two countries or can get EU permanent residency by putting a deposit worth 250,000 into a Cypriot or Grecian bank account. The investment can be sold after three years, he added.
While investments in Cyprus and Greece seem to be a safe heaven, Ahmad Hassan Bin Al Shaikh, a UAE-based business analyst, said there are still two types of investors who will be looking to have businesses there.
“These investors are either the one who have big cash and are interested to get EU citizenship or permanent residence, or could be genuine investors who lack economic knowledge and experience,” Al Shaikh added.
To measure the safety level of investment in these two countries we should look at the EU stock market which obviously is giving negative signs, he said.
However, “this is an investors choice where they should count to ten before heading into any investment and should examine carefully if it is worth it,” he said.
By Zaher Bitar Senior Reporter, Gulf News © Copyright Zawya. All Rights Reserved.