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The Eastern Mediterranean gas region could amplify unease between Israel and Turkey ties were broken in over the flotilla to Palestine in the midst of a greater Turkish role in the Middle East, both economically and politically.
Discoveries in Israel and a study by the US geological survey prompted exploration off of Cyprus, both North and South, and a large field was found off of the Cypriot coast, close to the Israeli fields. Russians, long a presence in Southern Cyprus due to its beaches, its financial sector that supported capital recycling in and out of Russia, is likely to play a role.
The country, overexposed to Greek banks, and homegrown revenue short-falls already benefited from a Russian loan. This could serve Gazprom interests for more supplies, and bolster the Turkish influence. Still it remains to be seen if a joint Cypriot-Israeli export operation could be in the cards. Lebanon too, plans to launch a round of bidding for exploration licenses in , a move which will necessitate formalizing the naval border. While these finds could complicate regional ties in the foreseeable future, the optimist would hope that supplying more power for a series of net fuel importers could prompt common interests.
The more cynical would note that at a minimum some production, likely in the second part of this decade, would support economic growth, provide more government revenues, and improve trade deficits. This is indeed a really a longer-term story. At the same time, there has also been a gas rush off the shores of Eastern Africa, with most of the coastal nations finding gas onshore or offshore Kenya, Uganda, and most notable Mozambique.
The size and commerciality of prospects is still to be determined but the coincident discovery of resources in adjoining areas could increase the attractiveness for operators. Like other countries, we expect Eastern African countries to. Like their Western African counterparts Ghana, Nigeria, though the latters efforts were ill-fated , many will seek to save some of the revenues in sovereign wealth funds. Mozambique looks particularly promising, as several new fields have been discovered after the country already has increased its production of coal, adding to its export basket.
In both cases, the question remains, who will consume all of this gas. Domestic demand within Sub-Saharan Africa is great, but infrastructure to burn the fuel scarce and transmission lines weak. Moreover, given low incomes, the population may not be able to afford the costs, and local governments tending to subsidize fuel for fear of public unrest or being turfed from office, could lack the funds to pay the bill.
Theoretically the location is good, being closer to Asia, and supply chains and away from the congested Mediterranean and Middle East pathways. But as with the Eastern Mediterranean extensive investment will be needed.
Unlocking that investment in a time of uncertainty requires locking in dedicated customers willing to take that supply on a long-term basis. More negotiation on price may be a pre-requisite.
One thing is certain, all of these structural changes suggest that natural gas prices will increasingly move away from oil-based pricing perhaps to a series of global benchmarks. This will happen only gradually over-time as markets and consumers reach to these shifts in supply and change their demand patterns. Deloitte is one of the largest private professional services organisations worldwide. With over professionals locally and with the support of the Discover why so many leading companies of all sizes, private and public, rely on us as their business and tax advisers year after year.
Will Luck Be a Lady Tonight? What is the first image which springs to your mind when you hear the word gambling? Is it the wall to wall betting shops which seem to be invading our cities and villages; a nice night out with friends at the bingo or does it conjure up something a little more glamorous.
Perhaps your tastes are slightly more refined and you would prefer something with more excitement, higher stakes and much bigger risks in a luxurious setting.
How many men dream of being like , dressed in a black tuxedo with a beautiful girl dripping from each arm, betting thousands in the blink of an eye in a glamorous casino?
For me personally, gambling magically conjures up the image of Sharon Stone in the Martin Scorsese movie, Casino, in which she stars with Robert De Niro. Who can forget that shimmering vision as Sharon, decked in diamonds and sparkling in her designer gown, throws the dice across the table in stunning, slow motion?
The risk, the excitement, the incredible rush as she plays to win; the atmosphere is so intense you can almost taste it. To many players this vision of vice is moving much closer with the new government proposals on gambling in Cyprus. But what type of people does gambling attract and does it really matter?
But what is it that attracts them? Is it the lure of excitement, the hit of winning or the risk of losing? It is difficult to define, but probably a heady cocktail of all three.
In proportion, the vast majority of players do not become addicted or experience life changing financial problems as a direct result of gambling, but figures on the problem seem to vary quite widely. But what is it that defines the pathological gambler and makes them behave differently from the social gambler? Problem gambling is defined by the urge to continuously gamble despite the harmful consequences and the player feeling a strong desire to stop.
Compulsive gamblers lose control and keep on gambling when they know the odds are stacked against them. Why do they believe this will happen? It is usually because they have a set of beliefs concerning probability theory.
Some gamblers develop seemingly successful systems using mathematically calculated probability factors which are meant to reduce the odds against losing. There have been many films about this subject, usually set in Las Vegas. Possibly, the best film is 21, based on actual events, when a banned gambler teaches a team of young undergraduates how to play his system in order to fund their way through university.
As you might suspect, one of the students becomes addicted and descends into a life of drug addiction and prostitution as she is seduced by her ever increasing compulsion. According to the defining behaviours from the American Psychiatric Association, a rise in illegal behaviour, drug addiction, prostitution, theft, fraud and high suicide rates, often accompany the compulsive gambler.
In areas around Las Vegas statistics have shown that the suicide rate is significantly higher than the rest of the country. We have already got on line gambling, and attempts to curb this seem to be a case of, too little too late, according to many inhabitants of the island.
What are the future implications for gambling in Cyprus? At this time, is it possible to tell if legalised gambling will increase or deter the tourists. A recent study by Katya Matkova, concerning the introduction of the casino industry and its role in tourism and community. It seems that significant increases in cases of gambling compulsion are usually accompanied by increased availability and a culture which supports it.
It is argued in various studies that pathological gambling may lead to an increase in crime rates. A terrible loss of revenue, you may think, but is there more to consider than that?
There is obviously more at stake here than a loss of revenue. It is very easy to dismiss the problem of the pathological or compulsive gambler as a something which only affects the few; but what happens to these people when things go wrong?
There are currently two medical paths to treat gambling addiction. There is CognitiveBehavioural Therapy, which focuses on helping the gambler to mentally overcome the urge to gamble, through helping to rewire the way they think and try to to change the beliefs and values systems they have about gambling. Treatment of this type can be found at the Veresies Clinic in Larnaca, which is headed by the respected Cypriot psychiatrist Mr. There are also treatments with hypnosis which can be found at the Metz hypnosis centre in Limassol.
The second method is with drugs which are given to help the gambler control the urge to play and increase their inhibitions. The gamblers who cannot control their inhibitions, which stop the majority of people of continuing to play when they are losing , respond well to medications that act on a specific enzyme called COMT, which plays a major role in the function of the prefrontal cortex of the brain.
Researchers have found that decreasing the function of the COMT enzyme, increases the gamblers ability to control their desire to gamble! As well as believing in probability, new research has examined the belief in luck. Many gamblers have their own lucky rituals, such as carrying a lucky charm or wearing a lucky item of clothing.
They would often blame huge loses on strange things, such as cold machines. Pathological gambling can be successfully treated with medications that decrease urges and increase inhibitions, according to researchers at the annual meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. Researchers found positive outcomes in gamblers treated with medications often used for substance addictions. Although studies have shown exciting results, they have also cautioned, that while a majority of people respond to these medications, there are still some for whom these medications do not work.
The behavioural therapies also have a high risk of failing as the effectiveness of the treatment depends to a large extent on the full commitment and participation of the person being treated. Specifically, do they actually. Given the serious nature of gambling addiction, who is most at risk?
The most worrying current trend is the rise in gambling amongst underage children who are able to access it through the internet. Despite all of the extra revenue increased gambling would bring, the fun and excitement, and possibly, the increase in crime; when the politicians are busy drafting their new resolutions to protect the vulnerable, as citizens, we need to find out how our most vulnerable group, the children, are to be protected from the effects of increased gambling on the island.
An adult addict may have the choice of having treatment and the chance to rebuild their lives, but a child living with addicted parents or who has become addicted to gambling themselves, has the odds very firmly stacked against them with little hope of a fortunate future. In a civilized society it is our responsibility to protect those who need it the most. While there is still time, let us try and make sure there is enough protection for the vulnerable affected by gambling in Cyprus.
The Cyprus Betting Industry: A turnover of millions Traditionally, Cypriots would buy the Christmas government lottery tickets as a custom of good luck for the years to come. Nowadays, the betting industry in Cyprus appears in various forms and multiple perspectives.
Some of these forms, that make the highest turnovers, are horse trail, government lottery tickets and betting branches. JCC claims that despite the clear visibility of decreasing figures over the years, there was an increase throughout these years on the total transactions.
In , , transactions were conducted, whilst in the number increased to , transactions. In , , transactions were conducted, increasing to , transactions in , respectively. Between the 80 numbers available, players must choose a maximum of 12, whilst every 5 minutes.
Nikos Charalambous, owner of a private betting branch in Nicosia, Cypriots prefer betting mostly on football games. Secondly they like to bet on horse races and less on other sports and activities like basketball, Formula 1, Eurovision and government elections. Charalambous pointed out that due to the financial crisis, there is a decrease in the amounts that Cypriots bet, but that people were also negatively affected due to the conviction for fixed games in Greece.
Charalambous notices an increase in other forms of gambling that give direct results to the customers, like slot machines. This is because customers do not have to wait for a sport game score or rely on factors others than themselves to win.
Charis Stavrakis, chairman of the Nicosia Race Club, explains how horse races are part of the Cypriot way of life.
Stavrakis also pointed out that the Nicosia racetrack organized several social and charity events through the years. Cypriots prefer betting mostly on football games. The Nicosia Race Club plans to increase its annual turnover by expanding its operations. There are 25 agents who sell the tickets to the public through approximately sub-agents i. Constantinou, the department issues eight different kinds of lottery tickets: The traditional draw numbers lottery, which carries out a draw every week, the extraordinary lottery issued twice a year, at Easter and at Christmas and the six different types of instant lottery tickets Standard, Mini, Super, Mega, Bingo and Gold.
This decrease is due to the economic crisis Mr. Constantinou said and explains that even with the total decrease, there was a remarkable increase of sales for the Christmas and Easter draws for of There is no doubt that the economic crisis has evidently affected the betting industry in Cyprus, causing a decrease in the total turnover. Still, it remains an industry, which makes millions in turnover and plans to expand even more over the following years, through the application of new governmental laws and regulations.
Government Lottery and scratch tickets The Cyprus Government Lottery was introduced soon after the independence of Cyprus in and the first draw took place in August of with Scratch tickets were put into circulation in October of The lottery tickets are sold in bulk to registered. Boardwalk Empire There has recently been much talk of licensing a number of casinos in Cyprus.
Natalie Michaelidou In , the left-wing president Demetris Christofias declared: At a recent televised press conference, held on June 1st, Mr. Christofias repeated his position that there will be no licensed casinos during his tenure as president.
However, many agree that Cyprus cannot turn its back on a sector that could add much needed revenue to the state coffers. The non-existence of casinos in Cyprus was taken advantage of by the pseudo-state in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus which went on to build 20 casinos, thus providing Greek Cypriot citizens with an opportunity to gamble and causing the Cypriot government to lose millions of euros in revenues each year.
Given that the Republic of Cyprus attracts many tourists, it is estimated that the opening of the gambling market will increase their numbers, as well as attract richer tourists willing to gamble in casinos. In October , then Finance Minister Kikis Kazamias announced that legislation was being prepared for the operation of casinos in Cyprus, marking a stark u-turn in government policy.
However, the expected proposal by the Ministry of Finance was blocked by President Christofias from being discussed in the Cabinet of Ministers, among other possible measures aiming to boost the economy, last February. It is inconceivable for a head of state to refuse to acknowledge the many benefits towards the development and growth of tourism that the opening of a land based casino would bring, especially considering the results in Rhodes and Israel. They pay their taxes, they protect minors and contribute to a substantial income for the state.
Needless to remind you that it was his own Finance. Minister, Kikis Kazamias, who prepared the proposal for the opening of casinos. The Famagusta Chamber of Commerce also presented a proposal that attracted interest from Russia and Qatar, while foreign investors have also expressed interest.
In January President Christofias, accompanied by former Finance Minister Kikis Kazamias met with casino mogul Sheldon Adelson who presented them with his plans to create luxurious casinos in Cyprus, following the standards of his casinos in Las Vegas. Whether any projects will get the go-ahead in the foreseeable future is unclear, as the subject has yet to be discussed in parliament and legislation will have to be drafted and agreed on. Thus it requires government intervention and control so as to keep the negative impact on society at an acceptable level.
The free market can give the answer on whether the casino industry has a future in Cyprus and since some already expressed interest in this, I am certain there is a future. Thus it is safe to assume that there will be a positive impact on the economy, both during the initial investment construction, hiring of people etc and at a later stage, once the casino or the casinos are up and running.
Experts agree that a wisely put-together legislative framework that will allow the opening of casinos will bring enormous and immediate economic benefits. Nevertheless the overall result will only be considered a success if the government manages to put in place the right legislation, controls and supervision so as to keep the negative impact on society gambling addiction, money laundering, and other related crimes at a low level.
No one can be certain on this. Some countries succeeded some not. The bill, which bans online casino games and exchange betting, has been surrounded with controversy since it was first submitted last year, while the legislators had then been handed a letter signed by eight companies offering online casino games, alleging that it favored OPAP: Dimitris Christophias, surrounding the issue of casino establishments in Cyprus. The former is in the favour of these gambling establishments , whilst the latter is blatantly against them.
Although nobody likes to think of their investment bank or broker as playing games with their hard earned money, the fact remains that gambling lies at the heart of economic ideas and institutions. His very colourful and unique way of explaining financial concepts and bet theories exposes us to the enticing and evolving world of investing and gambling by presenting us with the odds between winning and losing over multiple scenarios and periods. Ziemba has written and edited 21 books and is noted for his innovative applications of stochastic programming to race track betting, energy modelling, sports and lottery investments and stock market strategies.
You are considered a pioneer in the development of Stochastic Optimization. Please define this financial model concept for us. Most practical decision problems involve uncertainty. Stochastic programming is the. Stochastic programming tries not to get analytical solutions, but rather numerical solutions. In stochastic programming, what you are doing is devising scenarios of how the world can evolve and then try to optimize them, by taking all of them into account.
What it did was make a model for a Japanese insurance company. One of the basic ideas was that risk is not defined as an abstract concept like variance, but rather it is. The Japanese describe it as actual versus targeted returns. In this model we thus have expected wealth, minus risk aversion, times risk.
What do you mean by risk? In the case of a five year period model, you might have target violations in year three and year five and you weigh them. You then discuss these with the client so as to proceed accordingly, as to which violations are the least and most important. The most important goal is to produce a high-income return to pay annual interest on savings-type insurance policies without sacrificing the goal of maximizing the long-term wealth of the firm.
During the first two years of use, fiscal and , the investment strategy devised by the model yielded extra income of 79 million US dollars. What were the innovative features of the two models; the Mitsubishi pension and the Siemens Austria pension plan which you devised at a later date? A couple of years later, my group at Frank Russel and I, made a model for many sections of Mitsubishi, which was more pensions rather than insurance. As time progressed we were able to use a five thousand euro PC rather than the ones of hundreds of thousands used a few years back, to solve the problems for the previous models.
The state of the art of solving the problem is now good. The issue is defining the problem. By correlation we think of how two things move; i.
When you move from normal markets, around seventy percent of the time, to more volatile markets, around twenty per cent of the time, to vicious markets, maybe five to ten per cent of the time, which we call crash models or bad scenario models, we find that the stocks become more and more correlated. In the normal market models, the bonds and the stocks of different countries are positively correlated. As you move from that case to the more volatile case the semi-volatile case , you find that the correlation in the US and Germany markets would be higher, but that the correlation between the bonds and the stocks becomes smaller.
When we go to the crash market scenario model, we have the case where the stocks are falling and the bonds are going up, because they are lowering the interest rates.
In this case we have full decoupling and negative correlation. So, as you can see we have three correlation matrices rather than one. What benefits did these three level correlation models, which you developed, have for investors in the market? You will notice that in most cases of investors who used one rather than three correlation matrices for their assets, they lost a lot of money, because they did all their simulations 60 - LEGACY.
So when the bad scenario hit, they had no plans for it. In the case of the long-term capital, the bad scenario was a vague concept called confidence.
There was no confidence in the market. We still have that nowadays in the markets, wherein no one is willing to loan money. You recently wrote the most comprehensive book ever published about the Kelly Criterion.
Please expand on this innovative system. The casinos benefited greatly from this, even though they were rather nasty to the very few people who were able to pull this off. His early interest in gaming actually began when he was trying to beat the roulette wheel.
In blackjack, all face cards-kings, queens and jacks-count as Tens along with the four natural Tens in every deck of fifty two cards. What Ed found is that when the ratio of Tens left in the deck relative to the other cards increased, the odds turned in his favour. Similarly, at any moment in time when you have the two parts in any decision problem, get a strategy that has an advantage. The second part is how much should you bet.
Normally the more you bet, the better the situation. The Kelly betting system originates in Daniel Bernoulli, not having Internet, devices a theory in which he asks: For example, if I have five million dollars is it worth one times five million. What is really interesting is that there are people who have characteristics of Kelly betting without knowing it. What characteristics are you referring to? Few assets that you bet on, plunging big amounts in certain things.
What you care about is long run profits and not monthly losses, thus maximizing long run wealth. Lots of people have lost huge amounts of money in the stock markets. Does one need college or university level mathematics to read with ease. I was asked by someone to write them a version, in very simple plain English, so as to allow them to win.
We use the information for the probabilities of win to get the probabilities of the second and third place combinations. Allow me to explain this further: If there are eight horses in the race, eight can come first win , seven can come second show and six can come third show.
We then proceed to look for the ones. So by looking at the numbers on the screen, you can do a small computer calculation, to determine how good the bet is and how much to bet. In other words, we use the Kelly criterion and it will give you the most money, most of the time.
This ensures a smoother ride, plus less growth and more security. If we apply this to trade markets, does the outcome of a transaction then all depend on how conservatively you want to bet or play?
In fact when we do commodity trading in future markets, we use a low Kelly fraction because markets are very difficult nowadays and things can go wrong. A safer ride is opted for, which has less growth but more security. How do you respond to this statement? One thing that I found over the years, is that. These people are actually much more conservative and much more able to get good wealth paths, than people who trade in finance. Let me give you some examples: Blair Hull, is the top trader on mispriced options.
He too is an original blackjack player. Ed Thorp had one of the greatest records. Bill Benter is the top racetrack-betting guru, mainly in Hong Kong. Both were original blackjack players. The very notion of gambling is the mathematics of investment, if understood well and is helpful in making you a better investor.
Can horseracing handicapping be paralleled to the economic theory, which is based on perfect information and perfect competition? Stock market factor models have twenty to thirty factors to consider, such as mean aversion and low caps stock.
Some of these factors are complicated and competition is tough. How would you define gambling as opposed to investing? I would like to think of investment as the general concept.
If we look at the evidence in the United States, more people have lost money on buying houses than on all the other things put together, because of the housing crisis in the US.
You always have to think of the probabilities of different outcomes and how much you could invest and how much you could lose. All these probabilities are the same when applied to the stock market, real estate and to horse racing. But the public perception is a bit different, so I have to define investing and gambling in different ways.
Business decisions are rarely black and white. Dynamic organisations know they need to apply both reason and instinct to decision making. Contact us to help unlock your potential for growth. Grant Thornton International Ltd. Grant Thornton International and the member firms are not a worldwide partnership. Services are delivered independently by member firms. Full disclaimer available on www. According to a new study, thousands of tech doubled their Manhattan footprint jobs have been added in New between and York City over the past few years when other industries have been struggling amid a struggling economy.
Over the past five years, tech-related jobs in the Big Apple have increased by The trend was officially supported when both eBay and Microsoft announced they will be expanding in New York City this summer.
Meanwhile, last December Facebook announced that it would open a New York office and Google purchased a building in Manhattan.
Imagine a little printer that spills out information from a mobile phone. While not out just yet, it is a fascinating idea. Little Printer is a web-connected thermal printer and works like store receipts. It is connected to mobile devices while it prints out a strip containing recent updates, appointments and to-do lists. It is expected to hit the store shelves by the end of the year. This new innovative type of social networking, which basically allows the user to pin pictures on a board, is becoming more and more popular.
Pinterest is a picture-sharing programme that allows users to essentially create vision boards of their favourite things.
As appealing as it sounds, it managed to get When Michael Stylianou got his degree in English literature he decided that teaching was not his cup of tea. His tech side was much stronger than he ever thought. By the time he got his degree, Michael began working with Absolute Post, a company which initiates post production business. At the same time, he did freelance work with a photographer in London. Last April, Michael decided to return home. His return to Cyprus was followed by the same success, since he started collaborating with an online marketing agency - Kondiment - in Cyprus, only a month after his repatriation.
Battle of Tablets There used to be a time where people owned both desktop computers and laptops. Of course, that was before tablets took the computing world by storm. They are more than the latest trend. They are business tools which provide internet capabilities, access to email, video chat and allow the user to capture images and video while on the go. Unfavourably, this new riot turned into a war for the tech companies. Silicon Valley is churning out new and evolved models every month, which leaves the consuming audience with lots of options and no concrete knowledge.
However this feature only works in the US. Its internal storage comes in 16, 32 and 64 GB versions. The life of the internal battery is rated at 10 hours while using Wi-Fi. It comes with an A5X dual-core processor that moves at 1 GHz. With an unmatched Retina screen, quad-core graphic chip provisions fit to satisfy any demanding tablet gamer and its new and improved camera. Needles to say if you are already an invested iOS ecosystem user, the iPad is the tablet for you. One of the best Android family tablets is the Sony Tablet S.
It is also the first PlayStation certified tablet, so the user can play games straight out of the box. The Sony Tablet S has a 9.
Sony has invested heavily and justifies the price premium on design. However reviews suggest that in terms of speed other tablets are a better choice.
Rumour has it that the Galaxy Tab 2 Samsung launched the Galaxy Tab 2 However, design-wise it is very similar to the new iPad and it takes up more surface area than most other tablets including the iPad, a fact that also makes it ideal for viewing purposes and HD content. Noteworthy is also the fact that even though larger in size, it is also lighter than the iPad, by The screen is a 7 inch capacitive display and supports HD video output.
Resembling the latest version of a BlackBerry phone the main menu is a giant version of it. The story of a city that never gave up A modern town pleasantly charismatically placed between two ancient ones.
A port-town, a stop and a crossing. A town south of Europe but west of the Middle East. In between countries, which have been conquerors, it learned how to acquire the best things of each one of them. In between Europe and the Middle East, it learned how to play with balances.
A crisis which has exceeded all limits, even the limit of patience. We, the locals have seen it changing day after day, over the last five years. We notice that citizens are indeed patient, but, at the same time, impatiently excited to view the outcome.
Limassol is getting a new face and this is happening primarily because it finally believes in itself and because it was lucky enough to have some people at the Municipality who believed in the potential of the town and worked hard for it, taking advantage of financial programmes and opportunities.
And this is reflected in everything, but above all, in its citizens. This makes you hope for tomorrow and feel good in the present. This is the value of a town. And finally, it is a sunny town in all respects; a town which proudly opens its gates to its visitors, welcoming them with dignity and is as decent as all towns who respect their people and their roots.
It would be nice, perhaps, if we saw an even greater amount of our roots, our multi-coloured culture and tradition in the development projects and not just the glare of a skyscraper which is incompatible with its surroundings.
In addition, if we want to create an efficient and powerful city and nation brand, we cannot ignore these basic principles. Therefore, the town of which I am writing, is a town which still has work ahead.
In the following interview, the president of the Board of Directors of the Company, Mr. Tony Antoniou, discusses the new face of Limassol with us. Antoniou, Limassol has been changing day after day. The new face of Limassol has an intense cosmopolitan aspect.
The new tourist infrastructure projects such as the Limassol Marina, the new passenger terminal, the restoration of the old port and the restoration of the town centre, fully comply with the trends that have been observed as regards the positioning of Limassol as a quality tourist destination. In addition, the new face of Limassol reveals a town that has developed into an international business centre.
The high level of services, the Mediterranean climatic conditions, the safety and friendliness of Limassol, in conjunction with the fact that it is a town which is alive through-. The Limassol Marina 2.