Why Premium France and Premium Broking house
are expanding
?outside Lebanon
:George Bitar
One of the lowest tax incentives in the region

George Bitar

Why have Premium France and Premium Broking House (Lebanon) decided to expand to Cyprus

This question has been asked in the insurance sector in Lebanon especially that electronic facilities allow any company to do business in the country where it is located despite the situation in that country and the political crises, social and economic conditions there

To find out the answer and since the company Premium Broking House preceded the others, we asked the CEO of this company, Mr. George Bitar about the reasons which pushed Premium Broking House and Premium France to expand outside Lebanon, in addition to other questions too and the answers were as follows

Q: What are the purpose of the extension of Premium France and Premium Broking House to Cyprus

A: We obtained the License of « Premium France » in the end of 2020 and we have finalized all the necessary steps to start our operation from Cyprus including opening local bank account for that purpose. The role of our sister company ”Premium Broking House SAL” in Lebanon has nothing to do with Cyprus operation except that ”Premium Broking House SAL” opened only a bank account in Cyprus

Q: Do you have any information about the rumor that the Cypriot authorities really forbid the Lebanese to travel to Cyprus…

A: We have no info that the Cypriot Authorities are forbidding Lebanese traveling to the island. It’s actually the contrary after the lockdown was lifted on May 10th 2021. Either ways, the management of « Premium France » are European Passport holders, and they would have no obstacle in entering the country at any time they require

Q: What is the economic feasibility reached by the administration of Premium France with its expansion towards Cyprus and not towards a Gulf country

A: ”Premium France’s” decision to obtain a branch license in Cyprus is due to several reasons related to geography being situated in the middle of the Eastern Mediterranean and proximity to Lebanon, North Africa, Middle East and Europe. Corporate tax are much lower than most European countries and even less than Lebanon, standard of living and ease of business transactions and activities are of a high standard and ease of travel from their airport as well

Q:  It seems that the financial suffocation is more intense day by day on Lebanese companies. Do you think Cyprus will witness a greater expansion of insurance companies and other companies as well

A: Our sister company ”Premium Broking House SAL” will remain fully operational in Lebanon and we will continue serving our clients with ”business as usual” approach, adapting to the local situation of business transactions which is, until now, considered as miraculous on how Lebanese accommodate such a horrendous financial and economic crisis. For us, opening a branch for « Premium France » in Cyprus, is just a backup plan for the Lebanese clients and business partners, an indirect expansion to the Eastern European market and as Cyprus had always been the safe haven for any regional crisis, we believe there will be an increasing number of companies migrating from Lebanon to Cyprus in all sectors

Q: 2020 has been a tough year for everyone. But Premium Broking House achieved an acceptable development during that year, as you noted in a past interview. How do you see this year and what are your forecasts for 2021

A: As advised to you before, in 2020 we had a reasonable growth in our portfolio compared to 2019 and we are satisfied with the result. The beginning of 2021 with the result of Q1, is so far similar to 2020 with some obstacles on Premium collection that we believe is normal as a result of the COVID-19 crisis

We are expecting the Q2 and Q3 to be in the same pace and Q4 to be the indication of the first recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, especially with our new expertise that we currently acquired on several lines, such as the ”Cyber Insurance” for example

We are really hoping to see the end of the COVID-19 crisis by the end of this year and to go back to the regional and international insurance gatherings and we hope everybody to be safe and we look forward to meeting again our clients & business partners in person rather than virtually