European SRI Study 2010
Cyprus has traditionally operated as a centre of regional international finance in the Eastern Mediterranean. Although current levels of responsible investment assets under management are negligible, the Ministry of Finance’s Planning Bureau recent efforts to promote the concept and uptake of SRI in the local market foreshadows an optimistic future.
KEY FEATURES OF SRI
The volume of responsible investment assets under management is an extremely small share of total assets under management. At present, equities are the primary class of responsible investment instruments.
Consumer demand for SRI in Cyprus is still fairly underdeveloped as there has not yet been, significant evidence of either a demand for SRI practices or products. At the same time, while the regulatory framework for pensions does allow for the inclusion of ESG assessments in investment policy making, it has not yet been implemented.
Between 2009 and 2010, the Planning Bureau of the Republic of Cyprus spearheaded an initiative to promote the concept and uptake of SRI. This project, due to its high-level of visibility and top-level Governmental support, may result in further measures that could improve the uptake of SRI in the coming years. Within the context of the domestic business and regulatory framework, several aspects are worthy of particular mention. The overall level of sophistication of the Cypriot financial services industry is, given its size,
fairly high and the Cypriot banks are key players in the wider regional market of southeastern Europe. The long tradition and growth of Cypriot provident funds, which are major institutional investors with a long-term performance horizon, is also relevant in the context of SRI. Overall, one should be cautiously optimistic that there will be a modest increase in SRI in the next three years.
This market overview was compiled by the Institute of Social Innovation (Athens, Greece). Please find the original version here.