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Konomis: Bank of Cyprus is a financier and partner to Cypriot businesses

"Business leaders must recognise that the island's economy, although resilient, requires a unified vision for sustainable development," Bank of Cyprus Director of Corporate & SME Banking at Bank of Cyprus, Xenios Konomis has said.

In the new order of things and with the opportunities and challenges that are presented, the Bank of Cyprus, he said, is "the financier, the adviser but above all the partner of Cypriot businesses."

In his address at the 7th Business Leaders Summit organised by the Bank of Cyprus on 16 October, Konomis referred to the current state of Cypriot business, saying that the post-pandemic economic recovery, boosted by a resurgent tourism sector and a growing technology industry, creates a promising picture aided by the resilience of traditional sectors of the economy.

However, the country's geographical location, as well as recent global geopolitical changes, most recently the war in neighboring Israel and the Gaza Strip which will inevitably affect Cyprus as well, have created new challenges.

Therefore, according to Konomis, business leaders must recognise that the island's economy, although resilient, requires a unified vision for sustainable development. "Vision 2035 is already in place and is a good starting point in trying to increase resilience and further diversify our economic model," he said.

He went on to express the following opinion, “The evolving business world requires adaptability—leaders who are not merely reactive to developments, but prescient, proactive.

Today's leaders have a vision that extends beyond the present. Before making any decision, they consider and prepare for where things could go under various scenarios, both mild and extreme.

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They combine their vision and goals with empathy, understanding that businesses thrive not only on the outcome of profits, but also on the overall well-being of society. Perseverance and a commitment to continuous learning round out the toolbox of today's successful leader."

He also spoke about the multifaceted challenges that every business or entrepreneur faces in the age of mega-trends. He cited digital transformation as an example, referring to it as a "business necessity" adding that the new landscape of globalisation, "forces us to understand and respond to different markets and cultures".

The battle for talent has never been tougher, with the evolving dynamics of the labor market and the rise of remote working models, commented the Bank's Director of Corporate & SME Banking at Bank of Cyprus.

He also explained that sustainability and ethical leadership are about the long-term viability of Cypriot businesses and the foundation upon which future businesses will rest.

Konomis referred extensively to digital banking and how the Bank of Cyprus is leading the way by presenting digital services that it offers and which are aimed at every business and create the conditions for digital development. Currently, more than 1,700 companies have registered on the Jinius platform, he pointed out.

Earlier, Konomis analysed the role played by the Bank of Cyprus in the new era, which is, as he said, to act as "the financier, the adviser but above all the partner of Cypriot businesses".

He recalled that in the first half of 2023, the bank's new lending remained strong and amounted to €1.1 billion mainly due to increased demand for business loans. Specifically, corporate loans amounted to €509 million and are increased compared to the first half of 2022 when €496 million of corporate loans were granted.

He added: “Our comparative advantage over the competition is that at Bank of Cyprus we can offer our corporate clients customised solutions.

The accumulated knowledge and experiences of the people who make up the Corporate Banking team, combined with the cutting-edge technologies we have, make the solutions we propose flexible and adapted to the data of the sector in which each of our clients operates. We evaluate each business plan individually and hence we are able to identify its strong and weak points."

The Bank's aim, he said, is "to ensure that the practices used by clients are governed by the principles of optimal corporate governance, are environmentally friendly and strengthen society.”

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