Cyprus (Republic of Cyprus) is an island country in the Mediterranean Sea, a member of the European Union since 2004. Republic of Cyprus is de facto partitioned into the area under effective control of the Republic and self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Cyprus is a free-market, high-income, service-based economy positioning itself as a bridge between the East and the West: Cyprus has educated English-speaking population, and offers moderate local costs, good airline connections, and telecommunications.
In 2012-2013 Cyprus underwent a financial crisis, largely resulted from Cypriot banks business model of attracting offshore money, large exposure to Greek government bonds, amid of big domestic real estate bubble. However by 2016, Cyprus benefited from an economic adjustment programme, during which it managed to emerge from recession, stabilise its financial sector, and consolidate its public finances while still remaining many challenges.
Cyprus joined the Euro Area on 1 January 2008. The preceding national currency, Cyprus pound (CYP), was replaced by Euro.
|Nominal GDP (2016)||Nominal GDP per Capita (2016)||Real GDP Growth (2016)|
|17.9 bln EUR (+0.02%)||21 000 EUR (0.00%)||2.8 % (2015: 1.7 %)|
According to Eurostat, nominal GDP of Cyprus in 2016 was 17.9 bln EUR.
Cyprus underperforms the European Union in terms of real GDP growth with the average annual differential coming to -0.4% over the past 10 years (2006 - 2016). In 2016 real GDP growth was 2.8% which was above the Euro Area average (1.8%) and above the European Union average (1.9%). Real GDP growth in 2017 - 2022 are IMF's estimates.
Chart 1. Real GDP Growth in Cyprus. Source: Eurostat, International Monetary Fund.
In 2016, nominal GDP per capita in Cyprus was 21 000 EUR.
Cyprus has a below-average level of wealth in terms of per-capita GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP); this economic welfare indicator has, on average, fell behind that of the European Union by -11.9% over the past 10 years (2006 - 2016). GDP per capita at PPP in 2017 - 2022 are IMF's estimates.
Chart 2. GDP Per Capita at Purchasing Power Parity in Cyprus; European Union = 100.
|CPI, MoM (Sep 2017)||CPI, YoY (Sep 2017)||CPI, Year Average (2016)|
|-0.8 % (Aug 2017: 1.0 %)||0.1 % (Aug 2017: 0.5 %)||-1.2 % (2015: -1.6 %)|
According to Eurostat, inflation rate in Cyprus in 2016 expressed as annual percentages of average consumer prices was -1.2% which was below the Euro Area average (0.2%) and below the European Union average (0.3%). Inflation rates in 2017 - 2022 are IMF's estimates.
Chart 3. Inflation Rate in Cyprus. Source: Eurostat, International Monetary Fund.
|Unemployment Rate (2016)|
|13.1 % (2015: 15.1 %)|
|Government Bond Yield (Sep 2017)|
|2.20 % (Aug 2017: 2.49 %)|
Chart 4. Government bond yield of Cyprus. Source: Eurostat.
|B- (highly speculative), outlook negative||B1 (highly speculative), outlook stable|
Withholding taxes are imposed at source of income and are often applied to dividends, interest, royalties, rent and similar payments. The rates of withholding tax are often reduced by double taxation agreements.
Withholding tax rates applied on payments of interest and dividends in Cyprus are shown in Table 1.
|Natural person, resident||0.0 %||0.0 %|
|Natural person, non-resident||0.0 %||0.0 %|
Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) is an agreement between two or more countries for the avoidance of double taxation.
Cyprus signed DTAs which already came info force with the following jurisdictions (for agreements which came into force after 1 January 2013 the date of coming into force is given in brackets):
There are also several agreements between Cyprus and other jurisdictions which were signed but haven't yet come into force (for agreements signed after after 1 January 2013 of signing the agreement is given in brackets):
There are 3 ways for jusrisdictions to exchange information on tax matters:
Spontaneous exchange of information is provision of information that is forseeably relevant to another party without a request being previously sent.
Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) enable exchange of information on request relating to a specific tax investigation, either criminal or civil.
Automatic information exchange allows jurisdictions to exchange information automatically, without having a specific tax investigation.
Cyprus signed the automatic information exchange agreement on 29 October 2014 and committed to start the automatic information exchange in September 2017.
Cyprus has signed bilateral agreements with 57 jurisdictions to automatically receive information:
Cyprus has signed bilateral agreements with 33 jurisdictions to automatically send information:
Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) which became law in the United States in March 2010, focuses on reporting made by foreign financial institutions about financial accounts held by US taxpayers or foreign entities in which US taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest. The FATCA-reporting is facilitated by Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs).
|FATCA Status in Cyprus|
|IGA in effect since 02 December 2014, Model 1|
Cyprus has FATCA agreement with the U.S. in effect since 02 December 2014 (Intergovernmental Agreement Model 1). Financial institutions operating in Cyprus are required to identify U.S. taxpayers by January 1, 2017 and to report the information for 2017 and the subsequent years. The agreement is reciprocal: Cyprian financial accounts hold in U.S. financial institutions will be reported to Cyprian authorities.
|Financial Market Development|
|3.4 (max 7.0), 108th out of 138 countries|
|3.3 (max 7.0), 127th out of 138 countries|
According to World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018, financial market development in Cyprus is scored 3.4 out of maximum 7.0 and ranked 108th out of 138 analysed economies, trustworthiness and confidence of financial market is scored 3.8 (99th place).
Chart 5. Financial Market Development in Cyprus. Source: WEF.
Soundness of banks is scored 3.3 bringing Cyprus into the 127th place.
Chart 6. Soundness of Banks in Cyprus. Source: WEF.
|Maximum Protected Amount|
|100 000 EUR|
Deposit Guarantee Schemes compensate certain deposits held by depositors of a bank that becomes unable to meet its obligations.
From a depositor's point of view it is important to know:
All these details about deposit guarantee scheme in Cyprus are summarised in Table 2.
|Scheme Participants||all credit institutions operating in Cyprus (including branches of foreign banks), branches of Cyprian banks abroad|
|Maximum Protected Amount||100 000 EUR|
|Paid In Currency||EUR|
Table 2. Deposit guarantee scheme in Cyprus.
Moody's country ceilings for deposits specify the highest rating that can be assigned to local- or foreign- currency denominated deposit obligations of a bank or other deposit taking institution domiciled within that country.
|Local Currency (Euro)||Foreign Currency|
|Baa1 (lower medium grade)||Baa1 (lower medium grade)|
Local currency (Euro) deposit ceiling for Cyprus is set to Baa1 (lower medium grade), foreign currency deposit ceiling is Baa1 (lower medium grade).
|Average Deposit Rate (Aug 2017, EUR)|
|1.29 % (Jul 2017: 1.26 %)|
Chart 7. Deposit Rates in Cyprus. Source: ECB.
|Number of Banks|
|Consolidated Assets (2016)|
|67 347.62 mln EUR (-7.97%)|
|Recent Changes (2016)|
|new banks: 0, closed banks: 1|
Currently there are 45 credit institutions operating in Cyprus.
In 2016 consolidated banking assets in Cyprus were 67 347.62 mln EUR. The consolidated banking assets' evolution is shown at Chart 8 below.
Chart 8. Consolidated banking assets in Cyprus.
Recent structural changes (2013 - 2016) of the banking sector of Cyprus are summarised in Table 3.
|Number of Opened Banks||0||1||1||0|
|Number of Closed Banks||26||45||2||1|
Table 3. Recent structural changes in the banking sector of Cyprus.
The list of the most recently opened banks in Cyprus is provided in Table 4.
All the credit institutions operating in Cyprus can be classified into several categories. Table 5 summarises the number of banks in each category.
|Category||Number of Banks|
|Branches of foreign banks||23|
|Cooperative credit societies||4|
|Cooperative savings societies||4|
There are 23 branches of foreign banks from 10 different countries in Cyprus. Table 6 shows the number of branches grouped by the country of origin.
|Country of Origin||Number of Branches|
|1||Bank of Cyprus Public Company Ltd|
|2||Cyprus Popular Bank Public Co Ltd (closed)|
|4||USB BANK PLC|
Founded in 1899, Bank of Cyprus is the leading banking and financial services provider in Cyprus, with significant market shares across all businesses.The bank offers a wide range of financial products and services including retail and commercial banking, factoring, investment banking, brokerage, fund management, private banking, and insurance.
Bank of Cyprus Public Company Ltd is rated by Fitch, Moody's. Long-term credit rating assigned to the bank by Fitch is RD (restricted default). Long-term credit rating assigned to the bank by Moody's is Caa3 (in default with little prospect for recovery). Bank of Cyprus Public Company Ltd participates in deposit guarantee scheme of Cyprus. This scheme covers accounts up to 100 000 EUR per bank per depositor.
Established in 1901 as 'Popular Savings Bank of Limassol', Cyprus Popular Bank was the second largest bank in Cyprus; Cyprus Popular Bank was branded on its domestic bank as 'Laiki Bank'. In 2012 the bank collapsed and was rescued the government of Cyprus. In March 2013 the 'good' assets of Cyprus Popular Bank was merged into Bank of Cyprus.
Cyprus Popular Bank Public Co Ltd is rated by Fitch. Long-term credit rating assigned to the bank by Fitch is D (default). Cyprus Popular Bank Public Co Ltd participates in deposit guarantee scheme of Cyprus. This scheme covers accounts up to 100 000 EUR per bank per depositor.
Hellenic Bank started its operations in 1976. Hellenic Bank provides a wide range of products and services in personal and business banking.Alongside traditional banking products, Hellenic Bank also offers a broad range of financial services that include factoring, brokerage services, insurance, portfolio management, investment banking, mutual funds, private banking and custodian services.
Hellenic Bank is rated by Fitch, Moody's. Long-term credit rating assigned to the bank by Fitch is RD (restricted default). Long-term credit rating assigned to the bank by Moody's is Caa2 (extremely speculative). Hellenic Bank participates in deposit guarantee scheme of Cyprus. This scheme covers accounts up to 100 000 EUR per bank per depositor.
USB Bank traces its roots to Yialousa Savings Bank (YSB) which was established in Yialousa in 1925. In 1996 Universal Life acquired 30% of YSB changing its name to Universal Savings Bank Ltd, this name was re-branded into USB Bank Plc in February 2009. In September 2010 BLC Bank SAL (Lebanon) acquired 9,9% of the share capital of USB Bank Plc while in June of 2011 increased this figure to 94,14% after the completion of the public offer for the acquisition of up to 100% of the bank’s shares.
USB Bank provides personal and corporate banking products and services to local and international clients.
USB Bank Plc participates in deposit guarantee scheme of Cyprus. This scheme covers accounts up to 100 000 EUR per bank per depositor.