A mother and child walk along the beach during sunset in the southeast coastal resort of Ayia Napa in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
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For Russian businesses, Cyprus just isn't what it used to be.The value of bank accounts at Cypriot lenders held by foreign nationals from outside the euro-area -- mostly Russian -- fell to 7.1 billion euros ($8.1 billion) at the end of November, according to the Central Bank of Cyprus.En+ Group Plc said on Nov. 2 it plans to move to Russia from Jersey rather than to Cyprus as previously planned. Russian-related business in Cyprus generated gross income of around 2.2 billion euros in 2017, about 11 percent of economic output, down from an estimated peak of about 14 percent in 2012, according to Fiona Mullen, director of Nicosia-based Sapienta Economic Ltd.For Bank of Cyprus, the country's largest lender, Russian clients now account for only 1.5 percent of the total and 5.7 percent of total deposits compared with 2.4 percent and 9.9 percent in 2014, according to the lender.That said, a number of Russian businesses continue to keep a foothold in Cyprus, among them Victor Rashnikov, owner of Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works PJSC, Vladimir Lisin, who controls his stake in Novolipetsk Steel PJSC through a Cyprus-based holding company and Vladimir Potanin, president of MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC, a producer of refined nickel.For their part, Cypriot entities are cutting their Russian exposure.
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