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The Future of Banking and Cyprus - What’s next?

03 April, 2014

What’s next after the global financial crisis?

Multinational Finance Society (MFS) Symposium, Larnaca, April 4-5

*By Panayiotis Andreou

On behalf of the Programme and Organising Committee Chairs, I welcome you to the 2014 MFS Symposium to be held on Friday & Saturday, April 4-5, 2014 in the beautiful town of Larnaca. The town has a long, colourful and rich history. Hundreds of years of contrasting civilisations, architecture and culture have left their mark on what has always been one of Cyprus' most important and diverse regions. The Symposium is hosted at a building of great cultural importance for the town of Larnaca, the Municipal Art Gallery that was awarded in 1995 with the Europa Nostra award for the “quality it offers to the cultural life of the citizens”.
The Symposium is a genuine initiative to expand the academic and practical contributions of the MFS in the scholar and business communities in Cyprus and overseas. As such, its objective is to stimulate and promote academic activity in the fields of banking and finance and to encourage the dissemination of scientific research among scholars, practitioners and government policymakers. This year as never before the Symposium provides a venue for discussing the significant changes that have occurred in the financial system following the recent global financial crisis. The Symposium is also a unique opportunity to discuss top priority issues in the global banking industry that affect financial markets and professional practices in different countries around the world. I reckon that the Symposium would become an unrivalled opportunity to elaborate on such topical issues with old friends and colleagues, as well as other first-comers.
This is the first time we are organising another a meeting in the year for the Society’s members other than the annual conference meeting that takes place ever since 1994. Nevertheless, scholars and practitioners around the globe embraced the Symposium’s call for papers with great enthusiasm. We received 176 submissions of high quality research studies making the refereeing process a very stimulating task. Of those papers, 61 have been accepted to be presented in 15 parallel sessions by researchers representing a large number of countries such as the Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, UK and USA. My wholehearted thanks to all of them, as well as to all who submitted papers, accepted to discuss them and to chair sessions.

ONGENA: SHOCKS ABROAD, PAIN AT HOME?
The Symposium’s objective is multinational in scope and structured around the key functional areas finance with special emphasis on banking issues. We are lucky to have an outstanding keynote speaker, Steven Ongena from the University of Zurich and the Swiss Finance Institute.
Professor Ongena is going to deliver a plenary talk on his latest research, entitled “Shocks Abroad, Pain at Home? Bank-Firm Level Evidence on the International Transmission of Financial Shocks”.
The Symposium also aims to bring together some of the most influential academics, policymakers and business leaders to discuss top priority issues in the banking industry and for this reason is hosting a roundtable discussion under the title: "The Future of Banking and Cyprus". Professor Gikas Hardouvelis (University of Piraeus & Eurobank Group) is chairing this panel, with the rest of panellists being: Petros Florides (World Vision Cyprus), Professor Alexander Michaelides (Imperial College Business School), and Professor Stavros A. Zenios (University of Cyprus & University of Pennsylvania Wharton School).
We have a magnificent location and distinguished speakers but none of this would matter without the significant hard work and support behind the scenes. It would be impossible to organise the Symposium without the technical, administrative, organizational and financial support, relentless effort, dedication and perseverance of many colleagues and institutions. The Department of Commerce, Finance and Shipping (Cyprus University of Technology) and the School of Business and Management (University of Central Lancashire, Cyprus) offered great support. I am especially grateful and deeply indebted to Fanos Theodossiou and Gregoris Grigoriou for their unfailing and untiring administrative and technical support and their impressive hard work to help me manage this event during the last few months. I also would like to acknowledge assistance by the doctoral students of my department, namely Christoforos Andreou and Konstantinos Melas. My earnest thanks go to the members of the programme committee and my colleagues Neophitos Lambertides, Christodoulos Louca and Christos Savva, for their invaluable academic input that has been crucial to the success of the Symposium. I would also like to extend my sincere thanks to the Mayor of Larnaca, Andreas Louroutziatis, and Larnaca Municipal Council, especially Andri Andreou, for providing great organisational and financial support. Last but not least, I thank my co-chairs, Professors Panikkos Poutziouris and Panayiotis Theodossiou for their helpful support and prompt advice whenever needed. I would also like to extend my heartfelt thanks to institutions and people that contributed to this Symposium: the Central Bank of Cyprus (Dr George Georgiou), the Cyprus Ports Authority (Dr Photis Panayides), Larnaca Municipality (Spyros Agathou and Yianna Ioannou), Larnaca Tourism Board (Nana Asmeni Pavlou), the Cyprus Tourism Organization (Thalia Christodoulidou) and the Financial Mirror (Masis der Parthogh).
I hope you will benefit greatly from the stimulating programme. I wish you enjoy the 2014 MFS Symposium and have a pleasant stay in Larnaca, a town full of tradition, history and hospitality.
My warmest wishes so that everything works out well to have a superb Symposium!

*Panayiotis C. Andreou, PhD
Programme & Organising Committee co-chair
Lecturer in Finance
Department of Commerce, Finance and Shipping
Cyprus University of Technology