Nicolas Treppides: “The investment landscape in Cyprus is currently marked by incredible momentum”

“From the perspective of the public sector, there is considerable scope for the acceleration and enhancement of the handling of foreign direct investments and the accommodation of the needs of senior executives who decide to relocate to Cyprus,” Nicolas Treppides, Founder of Treppides Investments & Holdings and Moneygate suggests.

Recently speaking to CBN, Treppides also shared his view of the current investment landscape in Cyprus, describing it as being, “marked by incredible momentum, influenced by a variety of factors.”

Revealing that Treppides Investments & Holdings will soon open a new boutique hotel, the Nine Athens Hotel, in the heart of Athens, he also shared more about the future plans of both the companies he founded.

What is your view of the investment landscape in Cyprus? Which sectors do you think have the most potential for investment in Cyprus at the moment?

The investment landscape in Cyprus is currently marked by incredible momentum, influenced by a variety of factors. Notably, following the COVID-19 pandemic, we have observed a significant influx of large international corporations establishing their presence in Cyprus, particularly those related to technology. This influx has catalysed the creation of a new ecosystem, as the relocation of these companies has been accompanied by their employees and their families moving to Cyprus. This, in turn, has spurred increased demand for a wide range of services and infrastructure, including housing, quality education, and entertainment. In the case of Moneygate, a good portion of our clients are from the tech sector, likely because we also have a background in technology, thus there exists a natural affinity and understanding. Despite global economic challenges and regional geopolitical turmoil, I concur with local and international experts that Cyprus’ growth trajectory is expected to continue in the coming years. Moreover, Cyprus offers a very attractive tax status for non-domiciles and targeted tax incentives for tech companies. These conditions create an ideal environment for new and targeted investments, predominantly driven by the sectors of technology and fintech, as these areas are closely interconnected.

What more can be done, by both the public and private sectors, to improve Cyprus’ attractiveness as an investment destination?

From the perspective of the public sector, there is considerable scope for the acceleration and enhancement of the handling of foreign direct investments and the accommodation of the needs of senior executives who decide to relocate to Cyprus. The reduction of bureaucratic obstacles is imperative, and there should be a concerted effort to attract and retain intellectual capital, transforming Cyprus into the preferred hub for C-level executives. Additionally, improvements in infrastructure, particularly in city centers such as Limassol, which have seen increased pressure from the recent influx of companies and their employees, are necessary. The public sector also needs to facilitate faster licensing of projects, especially those with social impacts, like the need for more educational institutions to cater to the growing number of foreign specialists and their families. Moreover, enhancing the country’s air connectivity is essential. As for the private sector, continued investment in technological upgrades is necessary to align with international standards and to make Cyprus an attractive destination for global talent.

You are active is several sectors from EMI through Moneygate to investments in real estate, the healthcare industry and more through Treppides Investments & Holdings Ltd. Can you tell us more about the sectors that are of particular interest to you and some of the reasons why you believe they are so lucrative?

We do not restrict our interests to specific sectors; rather, we prefer to invest in areas where we have a robust understanding of the potential risks and benefits. Recognising current and future market conditions is also a crucial parameter in our decision-making process. Specifically, in the real estate sector, our investment approach is opportunistic, not constrained by a specific timeline. We invest in projects when we believe there is potential for capital appreciation and long-term benefits. In the healthcare sector, our investments are primarily aligned with our overarching ethos of social responsibility. Concerning Moneygate, given my background in the corporate and fintech industries, there is a specific vision that we follow, which has proven successful so far.

What are some of the projects that Treppides Investments is currently developing that you consider of particular note?

We are excited to announce that we will soon open a new boutique hotel, the Nine Athens Hotel, in the heart of Athens. We chose Athens due to its incredible growth momentum, especially in relation to the tourism sector, which presents a promising opportunity. This venture reflects our company's longstanding commitment to targeted investments in the hospitality sector. Over the years, we have successfully developed and divested from similar projects, such as Oniro City, Oniro Suites, Asomaton, and Oniro Mykonos, demonstrating our keen eye for lucrative opportunities in this dynamic industry.

Other than that, our focus is on optimising and expanding the growth and value of our existing projects. My personal time and attention for the foreseeable future are mostly directed towards advancements within Moneygate.

Going back to EMIs in particular. Technology has transformed the banking sector. What are some of the ways EMIs, such as Moneygate, are using tech to benefit their customers? Also, do you foresee a time when traditional banking is a thing of the past?

Technology is indispensable in the banking sector, serving as a core component rather than merely an additional benefit or trend. EMIs like Moneygate focus heavily on leveraging technology to enhance customer and user experiences. One of the key advantages of EMIs like ours is their flexibility to adapt and respond to the complex operational needs of large corporations, particularly concerning payment solutions. In terms of traditional banking, while EMIs are at the forefront of adopting technological advancements, traditional banks tend to have more complex structures and slower adaptation processes, which may render them less competitive over time. At Moneygate, we tailor our product offerings to meet each client's unique needs through scalable systems that support everything from reporting to management tools and API integrations. We aim to be considered an integral part of our clients' operations, a role that traditional banks struggle to fulfill. Additionally, we ensure strict compliance with all regulations, using sophisticated compliance and AML tools to meet the stringent standards set by our regulator, the Central Bank of Cyprus.

What’s next for Treppides Investments & Holdings Ltd. and Moneygate?

For Treppides Investments, in addition to the Nine Athens Hotel I mentioned earlier, we are currently exploring a few projects, including a residential development and a commercial development, both in Cyprus.

Other than that, we are always focusing on maximising the value of our current projects. Regarding Moneygate, our focus remains on continuing to develop our existing products and the overall technology we utilise, aiming to increase our market share. We are also preparing to unveil innovative products and are exploring opportunities to tap into new growth markets in a structured and regulated manner.

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