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20 July, 2024
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Cyprus emerges as key hub for EMC project with $300 Million Funding

CYTA exits as EMC cable charts new course connecting Europe to Saudi Arabia


In a significant development for the East to Med Data Corridor (EMC) telecommunications submarine cable system, a crucial milestone is expected in March. The ambitious project seeks to establish an "international digital highway" using Cyprus, Greece, and Saudi Arabia as key components.

According to an article by Panayiotis Rougalas which was published in Kathimerini's Sunday edition, funding for the EMC cable project will involve prominent banks, including ETE Cyprus, Alpha Bank, Piraeus Bank, and AlJazeera Bank, totaling $300 million. The financing is set to pass through Cyprus, primarily facilitated by the National Bank of Greece (Cyprus), with Alpha Bank Cyprus's involvement still uncertain.

The project's primary objective is to commence the construction of the EMC cable in the summer of 2024. The cable's first phase aims to connect Europe with Saudi Arabia, followed by a second phase linking Saudi Arabia to Asia.

Notably, the telecommunications landscape underwent a shift as Cyta, initially involved in the project with a 20% stake, exited the consortium. Saudi Telecom acquired Cyta's share, increasing its stake to 70.5%. The EMC cable, originally planned to involve Cyta, will now be spearheaded by Saudi Telecom.

The EMC cable is poised to bring significant upgrades to Cyprus' telecom infrastructure, particularly benefiting the cybersecurity and "big data" sector. The country, grappling with cybersecurity challenges in the past, anticipates a revitalization in this domain. The connection is also expected to attract international technology companies, potentially leading to the establishment of headquarters or regional offices in Cyprus.

In a strategic move, the National Bank of Greece (Cyprus) positions itself as a key player in large business loans, marking a shift from its previous retail banking focus. This move aligns with the bank's relaunch strategy, distancing itself from retail banking. Previously engaged in negotiations for a sale with Astrobank, the bank's focus on large business loans strengthens its position in the market.

As the EMC cable project progresses, it holds the promise of not only transforming Cyprus' telecom landscape but also fostering economic growth and technological advancements in the region.

Cyprus  |  technology  |  economy  |  EMC

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