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Tourist Arrivals Expected To Reach 3.5 Million in 2017

Posted on: 8/2/2017 1:00:51 AM under General News 

Million of tourists continue arrive in Cyprus in 2017 from Russia and the UK, while the total number of visitors from abroad is expected to reach 3.5 million in the coming months.

According to the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA), reservations until Autumn are pretty good and it is important to extend the tourist season well into the winter months.

Cyprus News Agency mentioned that the most tourists come from the UK and Russia, pointing out that tourists from other countries such as the significant markets of Germany, Israel and Sweden are very welcome too.


Moody's Upgrade Cyprus' Economy to Ba3

Posted on: 8/1/2017 12:15:23 AM under General News 

Moody`s rating agency has upgraded government bond ratings of Cyprus by one notch, to Ba3 from B1. Moody's maintained a positive outlook and said the short-term ratings have been affirmed, at Not Prime (NP) and (P)NP.


Cyprus Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said that the upgrade of Cyprus by Moody`s, "is another step in restoring confidence in our economy and another confirmation that we are now on a path that creates a positive outlook."


The fact that Moody's maintained the prospects of the Cypriot economy on a positive outlook means that it will probably proceed with a new credit rating upgrade in the next assessment of Cyprus in November.


Cyprus is now three upgrades away from the investment grade of Moody's.


According to the rating agency, the key drivers for the rating action are improvements in economic resilience that have occurred over the past two years and that seem likely to continue in the medium term, as well as the consistent fiscal outperformance and continuing favorable fiscal outlook for Cyprus.





Cyprus has the most favorable tax system for corporate and individuals in EU

Posted on: 7/27/2017 11:49:27 PM under General News 

Cyprus has the lowest rates in the EU, at 12.5% corporate tax, together with Ireland (12.5%) and excluding the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey, which although have a nil rate for non-financial services firms (and 10% for financial services firms) are not in the EU.


  • Tax on Dividends: 0%
  • Capital Gains Tax: 0%
  • Income Tax: First €19, 500 of income is tax free

It is important to highlight that Cyprus is not an offshore tax haven. The Cypriot tax regime and tax legislation is in full conformity with both European Union Laws and Directives and with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Testament to this is also the extensive network of Cyprus double taxation treaties, working closely with other nations to benefit their private sector, encourage investment, growth and progress, whilst ultimately also benefiting the company's home country.

In fact, Cyprus has not only fully adopted all EU Directives, it has even gone further by not imposing minimum holding period, percentage holding and any other restrictions used by most Member States.

Indeed, tax planning advantages in Cyprus reach far beyond saving tax (money). It is a complete business strategy for investment (especially to Europe, Middle East and Africa), as well as a global solution for financial efficiency. These benefits are for large corporate companies, small and medium size enterprises, as well as individuals.



Reasons to invest in Cyprus

Posted on: 7/26/2017 12:11:36 AM under General News 

Companies looking for an investment opportunity must take into consideration that Cyprus as it is an EU member state since 2004 thus providing investors with access to the EU market.

Among the most important advantages for doing business in Cyprus are the flexible taxation system, the banking system and the insurance networks, all of these at very competitive costs. Foreign entities wanting to invest in Cyprus will benefit from low start-up and operations costs.

Our Country also provides a good environment for people wanting to obtain residency in Cyprus as they can purchase real estate properties at very good prices and the quality of life is very high.


Strategic Location

Cyprus has ideal geographical position at the crossroads of three continents - Europe, Africa and Asia and it plays a key stabilising role in the region of the Eastern Mediterranean.

The island is an exceptional investment gateway to the European Union, as well as a great portal for investment outside the EU, particularly into the Middle East, India and China.

Tax System

Cyprus offers an attractive tax system, fully compliant with EU, OECD and international laws and regulations.


Taxable profits of all Cypriot companies are taxed at the rate of 12.5% (however, effective corporate tax rate is NIL for most international transactions through Cyprus).

Extensive double tax treaty network leading to the avoidance of double taxation.

Profits earned from a permanent establishment abroad are fully exempt from corporation tax (under certain conditions).

Dividend income received in Cyprus from a foreign corporation is wholly exempt from taxes in Cyprus (under certain conditions).

Capital gains are not subject to tax, except on sale of immovable property situated in Cyprus.


Economic Prospects and Opportunities

Cyprus has regained its credibility and reinforced its competitiveness as an attractive investment destination offering numerous opportunities and potential.

The government's commitment to the continuous introduction of progressive measures for reform and growth has resulted in the impressive recovery of the Cypriot economy.

Our Country constitutes today a success story for the EU, a fact enhanced by continuous upgrades from credit rating agencies, such as Standard & Poor's, Fitch and Moody's.


EU and Euro zone Member State

As a member of the European Union since 2004 and the European Monetary Union since 2008, Cyprus is committed quality, efficiency and transparency in transactions.

Safety is amongst the biggest advantages of Cyprus, which has been ranked the safest smaller country in Value Penguin's Safest Countries in the world (2015) and fifth worldwide.

Cyprus offers an enviable lifestyle in a safe, clean and healthy environment with high living standards.




Cyprus has developed a unique culture, a strong Greek character and offers a highly valued safe environment, with low stress levels and very low crime rates, ideal for a peaceful family life. As well is the 1st among smaller Countries in its Safest Countries in the World study for 2015.







Five investment tips for beginners

Posted on: 7/24/2017 5:16:02 AM under General News 


Starting a new business can be expensive and psychopathic.

The investment plan focuses on removing obstacles to investment, providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects. there are many tips and tricks you can use to start saving and investing your money so you can open your dream business.

Here are a few to start with:

1. Don't follow the trends, anticipate them 

If you have some money to invest, the first thing you need to know is that you shouldn't follow the trends and the crowd.

It's easy to get disoriented from your focus and to lose our original idea.

 They often get confused by the false message sent out by the overall market trend and trading pattern. In today's market going up and down, traders should do the due diligence.

 You don't want to be one among the crowd, but stay ahead of it.

2. Be cautious

Always be cautious about invest your money in a young business, Caution is key to your success.

 A business that sounds good on paper or in the offices could be a flop in reality due poor management. That's not even touching on businesses that are just scams dressed up as legitimate companies. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

3. Investors, don't listen to financial media

 If you really want to invest intelligently and constructively, ignore the words you hear from financial media, since many of these facts are meant to distract you towards making expensive mistakes.

 Even if you hear something and it turns out to be true, don't get tempted to follow it.

Don't let media and trends nurture your bad investing habits.

4. Spend less than you earn

 If you want to build wealth, all you need to do is spend less than what you earn. This sound obvious, but many people don't treat with this philosophy while dealing with their finances. The wider the gap between earning and spending, the more financial success you get.

 The important line is to use correct your imagination and to see and focus on the accounting plan that you did.

 The formula is composed of two connected ideas:

 Earn more: You can increase income through strategies like switching jobs, getting an appraisal or starting a small business.

 Spend less: You can reduce your spending through different forms of frugality.

5. Define your investment goal, define your risk

 You need to ask yourself: what is the purpose of this investment? And how are you going to follow your first instructions?

 The reason this is so important is because it enables you to quantify how much risk you need to take in order to achieve that goal.

 You have to understand yours invest, you have to make a correct plan how long time you will be a breakeven point and how the people will understand the products or services that you have.



There are exceptions to every rule, but hope that these few tips are helpful for investors, who have a long-term dreams and goals.


Cyprus Casino announced VIP Casino in the Sky Lounge

Posted on: 7/20/2017 11:38:34 PM under General News 


The casino resort's hotel will have 500 rooms, and the complex will also feature meeting rooms and space for conferences and other such engagements. This section of the resort will take up around 42,000 square feet, says Spectrum Gaming Capital.



The Luxury resort will also boast a swimming pool, a larger water park, a spa, restaurants, and a beach club.

The multi-million-dollar casino complex in Limassol would include a 70,000-square-floor casino with 1,200 slot machines and 130 table games.

It has also been reported that the complex will feature a 6,000-square-foot Casino in the Sky, which is aimed firmly at bringing in global VIP players.

P.S Spectrum Gaming Capital, New York Financial advisory company has therefore been advising CNS Group since before the bidding began, because Hard Rock International which won the bid for the construction of the casino complex, announced its decision to pull out of their attempts.





Cyprus: A growing financial center in the EU

Posted on: 7/18/2017 11:43:18 PM under General News 

CIPA (Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency) and Bloomberg promote Cyprus as a financial centre in London.

The event took place at Bloomberg's headquarters at New York, in the presence of the Cyprus Minister of Finance, Mr. Harris Georgiades.

Investors showed an interest in an event which took place in London by the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) and international news agency Bloomberg to present Cyprus as a center of investment opportunities, to offer in the financial services, shipping, energy, information technology and innovation sectors.

The most recent positive developments in the banking system were presented during the event, such as the progress that has been observed in the management of non-performing loans and the projections of bank CEOs on the future of the economy, particularly in the field of financial services.

Special reference was made to the measures that have been taken by the Central Bank to ensure a stable regulatory framework.



Cyprus Tax Resident by Staying in Cyprus 60 Days a Year

Posted on: 7/18/2017 1:23:05 AM under General News 
The Parliament of Cyprus approved a bill that gives the right to an individual to be considered as tax resident in Cyprus, provided that he meets cumulatively certain conditions.

Thus, the Income Tax Law has been amended so that an individual, who does not remain in any of their state for one or more periods which altogether exceed 183 days in the same tax year and who is not tax resident in any other state for the same tax year, be considered to be a tax resident of Cyprus, provided that the following conditions are cumulatively met:

a. He/she should remain in Cyprus for at least 60 days during the tax year

b. He/she should pursue any business in Cyprus and/or to work in Cyprus and/or to be a director in a company tax resident in Cyprus at any time during the tax year

c. He/she should maintain a permanent residence in Cyprus, which can be either owned or rented by him


It is clarified that an individual who cumulatively fulfills the above conditions is not considered as tax resident of Cyprus in the tax year, if in that year the exercise of any business and/or employment in Cyprus and/ or the holding of a post to a taxable person of Cyprus have ceased

For the purposes of calculating the days of stay in Cyprus:

a. the day of departure from Cyprus is considered as a day outside Cyprus

b. the day of arrival in Cyprus is considered as a day in Cyprus

c. arrival in Cyprus and departure from Cyprus within the same day is counted as one day in Cyprus

d. departure from Cyprus and return to Cyprus within the same day is counted as one day outside Cyprus


Thus, under the new provisions, an incentive is given to an individual who is not a tax resident in any other state for the same tax year to transfer his tax residence to Cyprus and to be taxed only on income from the activities the individual exercises in Cyprus

It is noted that for employment purposes in Cyprus with earnings in excess of Euro 100,000, an individual is allowed for an exemption from tax of 50% of the salary for a period of 10 years, which significantly reduces his income tax liability. At the same time, an individual is granted exemption from income tax or defense tax on dividends and interest received either in Cyprus or abroad, provided that such individual is considered as non - dom in Cyprus.





The time is now for the Block 11 of Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)

Posted on: 7/12/2017 12:00:13 AM under General News 

West-Capella's Total-ENI is ready to start work on Plot 11.


These are one of the most important drilling to Cyprus, since its effect will catalytically affect Nicosia's energy plans.

In addition to the tremendous climate of research conducted by companies in the third round of licensing, the image on the international FA markets is expected to affect the retail segment of energy planning.

The tests and controls that begin today, according to official announcements and drilling will begin normally on the "Oneshofer" field of section 11. The start is calculated on July 16, 2017. According to the technical characteristics of its drilling, its depth, including the depth of the water that is around 1,700 meters, will reach between 3,500 and 4,000 meters.

The drilling, as planned, is expected to end after 2 or 3 months and the preliminary results are expected to be announced in September and October.


The photo exhibition «The Steel Heart of Russia» for the first time in Cyprus.

Posted on: 7/10/2017 11:23:47 PM under General News 

One of the world's largest steel producers and Russia's leading ferrous metal enterprise, Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK), organized a photo exhibition on 7 July at the Hilton Park Hotel in Nicosia.


The exhibition included 40 informative photos, depicting the everyday life of the company's production units in the Urals mountains.

Employee portraits, moments from metallurgical processes and rare photographs from the company's first productive activities make up a unique collection. It is worth mentioning that the exhibition has traveled to several cities around the world, such as Brussels, Luxembourg, Paris and Malta.

In 2016, Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works went beyond EUR 32.5 million to implement social and charity projects, and by 2025 it intends to provide more than half a billion euros in actions related to environmental protection.


A new modern designed terminal is scheduled to open in the Limassol port.

Posted on: 7/9/2017 11:37:43 PM under General News 

The new modern terminal consists of seven pods with an internal area of 7,000 square meters. Along with 24-hour availability the terminal offers integrated services including Home Call and Day Call handling capability, ensuring an improved customer experience.


DP world Limassol port has a draft of up to 11 metres and three 400 metre berths that can accommodate cruise vessels. It is third addition to the cruise terminal portfolio that DP World operates globally, after cruise terminal operations in Mina Rashid, Dubai and Quinquela Martin, Argentina.

Limassol is one of the major destinations in the Mediterranean for the cruise industry with the opportunity to be the first port of call for cruise lines after transiting the Suez Canal. The terminal offers fast turnaround times for connections to both Larnaca and Paphos international airports. 

Charles Meaby, General Manager, DP World Limassol said: "With the opening of this new terminal, all our visitors will enjoy an even more impressive welcome. DP World Limassol continues to promote the development of tourism in Cyprus and driving economic benefits for the local and national economyâ€Â.

Meaby continued, "This is an exciting time for Limassol and Cyprus and DP World Limassol is focused on delivering a long-term legacy creating employment opportunities".



Announced the date of Power of Siberia operation

Posted on: 7/4/2017 11:57:03 PM under General News 
Russia will start supplying natural gas to China through a new pipeline by the end of 2019 as part of the two countries $400 billion energy pact.

Aleksei Miller, Gazprom Chief Executive announced that Moscow that delivery of gas would start on pipeline called Power Of Siberia on December 2019, and also that Beijing and Moscow are now negotiating over a second Far Eastern gas pipeline.

Russia signed a 30-year deal in May 2014 to supply China, the world's largest energy market, with gas through a pipeline for the first time.
Mr. Miller said that the project is now moving into a "key phase" and is being carried out "strictly on schedule".

Gazprom's agreement with China National Petroleum Corporation came during a visit to Moscow by Chinese President Xi Jinping.


The drilling of ''Cyprus offshore Block 11'' will restart the process

Posted on: 7/4/2017 12:33:41 AM under General News 
The drilling in Cyprus of the offshore Block 11 will proceed the process on July 12,
by the French oil and gas company Total and Italy's ENI.

Country Director for Total E & P Cyprus, Yves Grosjean, said West Capella is on its way to Cyprus and is expected to reach 12 July.
The punch will begin at Block 11, called "Onisiforos," as soon as a few tests last less than a week, he added.

The sea level in the area is around 1,700 m.
And the boreholes in the background will be as large as 3,500 - 4,000 m.

The drilling will take about two to three months, and the preliminary results are expected to be released around September and October, followed by preparations for the final results.

Total decided to re-examine Block 11 of Cyprus after the discovery of the Zohr gas field in Egypt in 2015, just six kilometers away from "Onisiforos".

CIPA International Investment Awards 2017

Posted on: 7/4/2017 12:11:18 AM under General News 

SMT SHIPPING (Cyprus) Ltd has been selected as a winner of the 2017 CIPA International Investment Awards.

The award was presented to Anthonius J. Voorham, Owner SMT SHIPPING (Cyprus) Ltd. Over twenty-five years ago, Anthonius Voorham and three partners decided to create a ship-management company based on the principles of integrity, teamwork and quality. They quickly understood that Cyprus would be the ideal location for such a venture, given the countryâ€â„¢s well-developed shipping sector, its professional and educated labour force and its welcoming approach to international business.


SMT's reputation has grown steadily and it now has five offices and numerous business ventures throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The company has over 40 vessels under management, representing a variety of asset types. SMT has 34 local employees in Limassol, and this year it deepened its commitment to Cyprus by purchasing a new building in the Ayios Athanasios district of Limassol serves as its new headquarters.


Published by:


The largest casino in Europe

Posted on: 6/26/2017 11:38:27 PM under General News 

Cyprus signed a deal with Macau's Melco International and America's Hard Rock for the construction and operation of the biggest casino in Europe.

The casino resort estimated to cost 600 million euros and will be the first in the internationally recognized south of the Mediterranean holiday island.

The consortium has a 30 years licence to build an integrated casino resort in the southern coastal town of Limassol and set up four satellite casinos in other towns.


"In addition, the casino resort will include the largest casino in Europe, with 136 gaming tables and 1,200 gaming machines''

Energy Minister of Cyprus Mr. Lakkotrypis said that: Our goal is the improvement of incoming tourism, increasing arrivals, and average spending per capita, and also to see this contribute to the ongoing efforts to address the problem of seasonality in the Cypriot tourism industry, he said.

"Our other strategic objective was the creation of new jobs and additional tax revenue, supporting sectors that will be associated with the casino, and attracting further foreign investment.


The BVI government has introduced (the

Posted on: 6/23/2017 12:46:43 AM under General News 

British Virgin Islands

Introduction of Beneficial Ownership Secure Search System (BOSS system)

The BVI government has introduced (the "Act") a new legislation known as the Beneficial Ownership Secure Search System Act, 2017.

This new legislation was established on June 12, 2017 in order to allow the BVI to keep comply the obligation under the Exchange of Notes Agreement entered into with the UK back in April 2016.

The Exchange of Notes agreement allows for the sharing of beneficial ownership information between the BVI and the UK government. In order to comply with the terms of this agreement, the BVI government has implemented a system to house the relevant details of the beneficial owners of BVI Companies.

This system is referred to as the Beneficial Ownership Secure Search System (BOSS System), which enables the relevant BVI Authorities to have a searchable database with information on BVI Companies and their beneficial owners.


''The Act'' requires both the corporate and legal entity as well as the Registered Agent to identify the beneficial owners of each BVI company and insert this information into the BOSS System.

The deadline for all the Registered Agents to have the relevant details of beneficial owners placed into the BOSS System is until June 30, 2017 as the system will go live on July 1, 2017.

The BVI government 2019's goal for implementing this new regime is aimed towards meeting international standards as well as maintaining a reasonable balance between appropriate privacy and transparency.


Alexandrou Corporate Services client Company is in the Shortlist in Tender for Larnaca Marina

Posted on: 6/21/2017 12:32:31 AM under General News 
A client of Alexandrou Group in one of the three companies which have been shortlisted to proceed to the next phase in the tender for the long-delayed development of Larnaca port and marina, the transport ministry has announced.

Our Client is the Amba Ltd & Israel Shipyards Ltd which pass all the criteria, the other two companies are, the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company with Cabo Marina S de RL, and the China Communications Construction Company Ltd.
Redeveloping Larnaca marina and port has been in the pipeline for decades, but the project has been thwarted for years by the inability to find an investor with enough money, a situation aggravated by the economic crisis in 2013.
In November 2016 the government invited "expressions of interest”. After the evaluation and bidding process is completed, the winner should be announced by the end of summer.
Eligibility criteria include minimum annual revenues of €30m over the last three years before-tax profitability, debt repayment for two of the last three years, and €50m worth of net assets for the last financial year.
Technical criteria requirements oblige interested parties to prove they had previously participated with at least 45 per cent in the operation of a marina hosting at least 300 boats, evidence of the operation of a container terminal with capacity of at least 350,000 tonnes and proof that they have led the development and commercialisation of a project worth at least €75 million and a construction area of at least 20,000 sqm.
The plan specifies that the total area to be developed measures 510,000 square metres, which includes the Larnaca port and marina as well as an undeveloped surrounding area.


Cyprus Airways Completes its First Flight

Posted on: 6/15/2017 11:47:18 PM under General News 
Cyprus Airways has launched the first phase of operations on June 1st with flight CY1011 to Pulkovo International Airport in St. Petersburg.

George Mavrocostas, Chief Operations Officer of Cyprus Airways stated "Today marks a significant milestone for the local aviation sector and the country as a whole. We are extremely happy that Cyprus Airways is flying, and we would like to thank travelers for their great support''
Maria Kouroupi, Senior Manager Marketing and Communications of Hermes Airports stated "We welcome the launch of flights by Cyprus Airways and the first flight from Saint Petersburg''

ExxonMobil Exploration Company: Our vision is for Cyprus to become a major energy center

Posted on: 6/9/2017 12:25:14 AM under General News 

Steve Greenlee, ExxonMobil Exploration Company president, analyze how the corporation is competing for the world's best oil and gas opportunities.  Also, he said "Our vision is that Cyprus will become an energy center and we hope to find enough natural gas, which will create the foundation for Cyprus to become an energy exporter" in his greeting at the event delegated by the Cyprus Delegation and ExxonMobil, the Consular House in Washington.

We are working until the signing of our contracts in April, starting our research, and we focus to them to have the best results. And we are happy about it. We have been in Cyprus for 60 years, you know us, we are glad we work there, we are good friends and this has helped us move forward with the new phase.

Prime minister of Cyprus Energy expressed the hope that large quantities of natural gas will be found in the Cypriot AOZ and that helps Cyprus as a country and the areas around it.


Cyprus a Contender to Be Major Supplier of European Gas

Posted on: 6/7/2017 11:15:19 PM under General News 


Cyprus could use its reserves of gas to meet up to 40 percent of Europe's additional gas needs over the next decade, helping to curb the European Unions reliance on Russia, the head of the island national gas firm said.

Europe has hopes that Eastern Mediterranean gas reserves can help to diversify its supply sources, as well as easing Cyprus's economic pain and potentially playing a role in healing the rift between the northern and southern parts of the island.

Charles Ellinas, executive chairman of the Cyprus National Hydrocarbons Company, said authorities would also push ahead with plans to develop a liquefaction plant to handle exports expected from 2020.

But gas from the region also comes with Middle East complications since the fields are split with Israel and Lebanon, two countries technically at war, and Turkey objects to ethnically split Cyprus tapping offshore reserves.

"I am very confident that Cyprus can provide Europe with 30 to 40 percent of its additional gas needs by 2025, Ellinas said as part of a series of interviews on the gas market.

Europe's gas demand is slightly below 500 million cubic meters a year, and Ellinas estimated the increase in demand by then to be around 100 billion cubic meters a year, although many analysts say demand will grow much more slowly.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that a mean 3.5 trillion cubic meters of recoverable gas lie in the eastern Mediterranean basin, as well as 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

Much of it lies trapped beneath the sea bed between Cyprus, Israel and Lebanon, including two vast gas fields off Israel which are some the largest discovered in the past decade.

So far, an estimated 200 bcm of natural gas worth $80 billion at current prices have been discovered in the Aphrodite gas field in Cypriot waters, but research suggests that developing the field would require large amounts of upfront investment into a project that may not deliver high returns.

Analysts say gas prices could fall after 2015 when a wave of new supplies become available in the United States, Australia and Africa.

Consultants estimate that the first phase of the LNG facility including infrastructure and one delivery chain will cost $6 billion. One option under consideration for funding the project was to use the LNG sales agreements as collateral.

"Given that the ownership of gas is, roughly speaking, two-thirds Cyprus and one third to oil companies, these LNG sales agreements are worth a large amount of money, which can provide security for loans, Ellinas said.

Ellinas said there was a chance that developing the gas could lead Turkey and Cyprus to bridge their 40-year differences. "One of the reasons Turkey has been putting so much pressure on everybody is because of their own needs (for gas), he said.

The gas windfall is one economic positive for Cyprus, where the terms of an EU and International Monetary Fund bailout will see the island's 17.5 billion euro ($22.51 billion) economy shrink by more than 8 percent this year.

Despite its close business ties with Cyprus in other sectors, Russia does not have any involvement in the islandâ€â„¢s attempts to develop its offshore energy sources.

"The Eastern Mediterranean is a secure, independent supply corridor. It's probably best if Russia is not involved, Ellinas said when asked about Russian involvement.

Cyprus has signed production sharing contracts with U.S. based Noble Energy, France Total, Italy's ENI and South Korea's KoGas.

Ellinas said Noble was scheduled to start appraisal drilling in June to verify initial findings of between 142 and 228 billion cubic meters of gas. Total was scheduled to start an exploratory drill in 2014, and ENI by 2015 or possibly earlier.

"I have seen the estimates of ENI and Total about how much gas there is in their blocks and it is quite significant, he said. Asked if the estimates were on a par with those of Noble, he said: "The short answer is yes.

Ellinas, who previously held senior positions at energy firm Mott MacDonald, said the construction of a pipeline to channel the gas to markets was impractical because of sea depths, but said that could not be ruled out in the future.

For now, the island will move ahead with plans to construct an LNG terminal, which will liquefy gas and ship it.

The terminal, which is expected to be built at Vassilikos, on the island's south, could handle gas from Israel and Lebanon as well as Cyprus, he said.

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