- Bank of Cyprus established its new Shipping Centre less than a year ago. It had its inaugural Posidonia Reception on Thursday, 31st May, to celebrate with clients and friends
Shipping has been important for Cyprus and its economy for centuries. In the past few years in particular, Cyprus has developed into one of the world’s most important maritime centres, offering the highest quality ship-management, insurance, chartering and other services. Bank of Cyprus, the country’s largest bank, has stayed up with the times and has expanded its more traditional operational services and financial product to ship-financing.
The Bank’s strategy is based on a counter-cyclical approach in entering at a low point of the shipping cycle. It is also an opportune time for new lenders, given the retraction of some of the larger established European shipping banks. However, the Bank takes a long-term view of the highly cyclical market and builds relationships that will withstand the test of time.
Bank of Cyprus Group CEO John Hourican said: “Bank of Cyprus is 100% committed to building a shipping business that supports the Cyprus economy. A very large fleet of ships are registered in Cyprus—the third largest in the world—and it is important that the largest bank on the island supports that cluster, that piece of economic activity and builds an appropriate business around it.
We are excited at the fact that we are building a shipping business that will be here to stay over the next decades and we look forward to being a partner of choice for our shipping clients in years to come.”
Head of Shipping Nicholas Pavlidis said: “It is with great pleasure we are here in Greece to celebrate Posidonia with our friends and clients. Bank of Cyprus established this shipping centre in beautiful Limassol ten months ago. We have gone a long way since then. We’ve done some business. We built a strong team, great relationships and I am really proud of that to be here as the Head of Shipping today to welcome our clients.”
Nicholas Pavlidis joined Bank of Cyprus in April last year to set up and lead the Bank’s new Shipping Centre in Limassol. A number of experienced professionals have also joined the team, which has already concluded a number of ship-financing deals and has a healthy pipeline.
Noting that they had already experience success stories in the area of shipping finance, Louis Pochanis, Director of International Banking, Wealth & Markets, said: “Bank of Cyprus has been serving shipping companies and shipping clients for many decades now. We are very happy and very excited to have the natural extension, by going into shipping finance.”
Michalis Athanasiou, Chief Risk Officer said: “I think the strategic initiative that Bank of Cyprus is undertaking to come back into the shipping industry and finance shipping is very important. We are extremely excited to be here, to meet valuable customers in the shipping industry and create a new relationship for the Group that will hopefully be beneficial both to our customers and to the Group.”