Daily Archives: March 18, 2013

Archives March 18, 2013 posted by

UK pensions delayed amid Cypriot chaos

 

SEVERAL thousand expat Britons with Cypriot bank accounts have had their pension payments frozen to ensure they receive them ahead of a proposed bank deposit tax, Treasury minister Greg Clark said.

Clark told MPs the government was putting pension payments on hold until “at least tomorrow” to “ensure that any payments made by Her Majesty’s Government to banks in Cyprus get to the intended recipient”.

His statement came as the Cypriot government postponed a vote on the unprecedented one-off bank deposit tax, part of a wider bailout package, until tomorrow.

Cypriot banks will remain closed until Thursday, as today’s bank holiday has been extended by two days, the nation’s central bank said.

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Banks to remain shut Tuesday and Wednesday

 

BANKS in Cyprus will be shut on Tuesday and Wednesday pending a decision by parliament to approve a levy on bank depositors, a government source told Reuters.

“Tuesday and Wednesday are bank holidays,” the source said. A decree will be released shortly from the Finance Ministry to this effect, he said.

 

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APOEL open up three-point gap at the top

APOEL pulled three points clear of Anorthosis at the top of the national football league after trouncing AEP Paphos 6-0, while Omonia kept their championship playoffs hopes alive with a convincing 4-1 victory over Olympiakos.

“I want to congratulate the players and the coaches of AEP. Only they know what they have been through this season,” said APOEL manager Jovanovic whose men moved a step closer to the regular season championship title after their seventh consecutive win. 

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ATMs working normally, says central bank

 

ATMs are working as normal and the public can use them, a statement from the Central Bank said yesterday.

Spokesperson for the Central Bank, Aliki Stylianou said that ATMs were refilled on Monday morning and that any problems that occurred were due to the fact that banks do not operate on the weekend adding that bank employees refilled them yesterday. 

Cash machines were emptied on Saturday by members of the public who panicked at the news in the morning that there was to be a haircut on deposits. 

 

 

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Eurogroup to hold conference call

 

EUROGROUP finance ministers will hold a conference call on Monday evening, a German finance ministry spokeswoman said, following a weekend bailout deal for Cyprus that includes a levy on depositors in the island’s banks.

 

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Vote on deposit levy changed to Tuesday as Germany says open to changing Cyprus deal

 

BRUSSELS, March 18 (Reuters) – Cyprus’ parliament has postponed until Tuesday a vote on introducing a one-off levy on bank deposits that aims to raise 5.8 billion euros for the country’s bailout, but which could hit smaller savers, a euro zone official said on Monday.

“The vote will take place on Tuesday to allow time for more negotiations,” the official told Reuters.

The vote had originally been planned for Monday. 

Meanwhile a source at parliament said the government was suggesting the first 20,000 euros of the bailout be tax exempt, remaining deposits taxed at 6.7 pct up to 100,000 and 9.9 pct exceeding that.

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Levy on smaller Cyprus depositors not German idea-Schaeuble – denied by palace

 

BERLIN, March 18 (Reuters) – Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble deflected blame on Monday for a European bailout deal for Cyprus that foresees hitting small savers in the Mediterraneanisland’s banks, saying this solution had not been a German idea and that he was open to it being changed.

“The levy on deposits below 100,000 euros was not the creation of the German government,” Schaeuble told reporters in Berlin. “If one reached another solution we would not have the slightest problem.”

 

The Presidential Palace categorically denied that President Nicos Anastasiades had ever had the choice of not taxing deposits under €100,000.

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Cyprus considers tax-free threshold for smaller deposits

 

NICOSIA, March 18 (Reuters) – Cyprus is considering the introduction of a tax-free threshold for smaller bank deposits, a government source said on Monday, in an attempt to win over lawmakers hostile to a bank levy announced over the weekend that is needed to avert a default.

“There is an attempt to mitigate the burden on smaller depositors, with a zero tax rate,” the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity. He said the tax-free level was still under discussion.

Under the terms of a deal brokered with euro zone finance ministers on Friday, Cypriot authorities were to impose a 6.7 per cent tax on bank deposits under 100,000 euros and 9.9. per cent on deposits exceeding 100,000 euros.

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Banks lead market lower on jitters over Cyprus

 

LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) – European shares fell sharply on Monday, with markets rattled by a radical bailout plan for Cyprus which knocked confidence in European banks, though some investors saw the dips as a buying opportunity.

In a departure from previous EU practice that depositors’ savings are sacrosanct, Cyprus and international lenders agreed at the weekend that savers in the island’s outsized banking system would take a hit in return for the offer of 10 billion euros ($13.07 billion) in aid.

The FTSEurofirst 300 was down 0.9 per cent at 1,192.01 by 0848 GMT, albeit clear of an earlier low of 1,187.98, led lower by a 2.2 per cent drop in banking stocks  – some of the strongest performers in recent months.

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