Increased interest for CIF licenses according to CySEC

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Increased interest for CIF licenses

As one of the most popular jurisdictions for online retail forex providers and the first to regulate the trading of binary options as an investment vehicle in the EU, thus becoming the base of numerous binary options brokers as well, Cyprus continues to attract a great interest as an investment destination due to the many advantages that the Cypriot economy still has to offer. This is the view of the local regulator, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, CySEC, which points out that it keeps receiving applications both from Cyprus and abroad, for the licensing of new companies which will be active in the field of the provision of investment and administrative services.

More specifically, it is highlighted that the number of Cyprus Investment Firms (CIFs) has rapidly increased in recent years, since from about 50 licensed CIFs in 2005, their number until the end of September 2014 has risen to 169, while there are also 32 pending applications before CySEC for evaluation. Since the beginning of 2014 and up until the end of September CySEC has granted 26 new licenses for CIFs, compared to 24 new licenses that were granted during the same period last year.

At the same time, CySEC has also granted 86 licenses to Administrative Services Providers, while according to the most recent data another 109 such applications are still pending before the Commission, which has undertaken the licensing and regulation of firms providing administrative services since December 2012 when the new legal framework on this issue came into force.

Moreover, CySEC also reports that it is receiving an increased interest by firms and entities wishing to operate in the field of mutual funds, an area which CySEC regards as one of its priorities. The field of mutual funds is anticipated to attract increased interest in the very near future since it is a promising market with many development prospects for the economy of Cyprus as well as for the creation of precious new employment positions.

An equally great interest is being shown for participating in the exams for the certification of individuals who are already employed or are planning to be employed in the future by CIFs, Administrative Providers, Mutual Funds Management firms or Credit Institutions. Due to the popularity of these exams, all available places have been filled until the beginning of 2015, while in order to satisfy the big demand CySEC has decided to conduct the exams twice a week. The full revamping of the framework for the certification of persons has taken CySEC two years of intense work, but the regulator is confident that the changes it has effected reinforce the credibility of the field and the trust of foreign investors since they render the whole framework more effective and ensure that the persons who advise and manage investment portfolios and carry out transactions on behalf of investors, will now be receiving continuous professional development.

All certified persons are enrolled on the public register which is being maintained by CySEC, thus increasing the transparency of the market and it will be updated regularly, making sure that the persons listed on it have complied with their continuous professional development obligations.

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