Limassol is King of Forex

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Forex and Fintech companies established in Limassol over the past few decades have no plans of leaving, as they remain highly enthusiastic about the opportunities presented by the vibrant city.

Limassol has become a preferred destination for forex (foreign exchange) companies and financial institutions.

It has garnered a reputation as a hub for the forex industry, making it an appealing location.

The city boasts a continually expanding pool of talented professionals and benefits from a well-established regulatory framework for the financial sector.

Marios Tanousis, CEO of Invest Cyprus, the country’s investment promotion agency, emphasised that Limassol’s flourishing forex and high-tech community not only shows no signs of slowing down but sets a trend for the rest of the country.

“Limassol has solidified its position as a regional industry hub, and this trend is expected to persist.

“The city’s industry growth is now spilling over into other cities, with newcomers considering establishing their headquarters in Larnaca, Paphos, and the capital,” Tanousis told the Financial Mirror.

“Limassol is undeniably the heartbeat of Cyprus’ Forex industry.

“Hosting numerous online trading companies, the city continues to attract both top talent and increased investor interest, thanks to its robust business infrastructure and the support of a well-established regulatory framework tailored for financial services companies, including forex brokers.”

Scope Markets, a Forex brokerage, is more than happy with its choice to set up its global headquarters in the buzzing coastal city.

“Over the last 15 years, Cyprus has built itself an enviable reputation as one of the dominant global hubs of online FX trading,” Pavel Spirin, CEO of Scope Markets Group, told the Financial Mirror.

“The skill and experience base here is second to none – something which is evident as you begin to discover life in Limassol and recognise the number of brokers located here.

“It’s an exciting place to be.”

He added that their Limassol-based global operational headquarters “support both our clients and our network of sales staff across the globe”.

When asked about the decisive factor that led Scope Markets to establish their global HQ in Limassol, Spirin responded: “Ultimately, it was the skilled workforce”.

“Limassol is home to a highly diverse population, and many people here have solid experience in financial services”.

He said Cyprus also offers Forex companies to connect with other jurisdictions in the bloc.

“Our CySEC license certainly helps us to connect with other EU jurisdictions.

“This enables us to ensure we’re constantly up to date with the necessary compliance mandates – our teams, across all departments, are always trained and well-informed.”

Established in 1997, Scope Markets offers clients institutional and retail trading services worldwide.

The company’s footprint includes a presence in London, Nairobi, Kenya, Limassol, and Johannesburg.

Another player in the industry, PLUGIT, a technology provider for brokers, says it’s in town for many reasons.

Corporate tax

Maria Pittashi, PLUGIT’s General Manager, told the Financial Mirror that Limassol would remain an attractive location for industry players, evolving and adapting to new challenges on many fronts, be it regulation, low corporate tax, or location.

“It’s no secret that Cyprus offers one of Europe’s lowest corporate tax rates, which is one of the things that attracts many businesses to open their headquarters here,” said Pittashi.

This has built up the corporate workforce in Cyprus, making it easy to find skilled employees in accounting, fiduciary, technical and financial support, and services.

Like Scope Markets, PLUGIT has been tapping into the diverse talent pool in the city.

“A pool of talent that has been building up over the years Russians, Israelis, Arabs, Ukranians…”

“They have all made Limassol a second home, making it a very large and rich multicultural network to tap into here.

“And as previously mentioned, geographically, all these nationalities are still somewhat close to home, able to work across multiple time zones.

“Add the benefit from the European rights of servicing EU Member clients under the CY-SEC license; then you have the perfect mix”.

Pittashi said there was a concern when the war in Ukraine broke that many Russian businesses would leave and move to the Middle East instead.

“However, we saw a large number of Ukrainian companies flow in, especially in the technology industry, evening out the numbers.”

Since 2012, PLUGIT has created innovative products to help brokers manage and optimise their operations by applying intelligent automation.

“We offer a local presence for our clients, which was not always the case for technology service providers.

“More often than not, when you looked for technology providers, support from companies in this industry, you were usually reaching countries like India, Ukraine, and Philippines; and that’s if you actually got to speak to a real person, what with AI and chatbots”.

Every client has their unique offerings and workflows of how they need their solutions tailored.

“By having a local presence, we are better able to partner with our clients, understand their needs, and build lasting relationships with them, which ultimately leads to a higher quality of service that we can offer them,” said Pittashi.

“All this motivates us and leads to building far more innovative solutions like our newest version of our modular premium product, Yoonit.

“Limassol is one of the main hubs for anything Forex-related, and it’s never a bad thing to be close to your clients, and in Cyprus, believe me, distance is rarely an issue”.