Daily Archives: March 22, 2013

Archives March 22, 2013 posted by

Cyprus confident ahead of crunch clash with Switzerland

THE Cyprus national football team hosts Switzerland in the fifth round of their World Cup qualifying campaign on Saturday afternoon at 6.30pm at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia.

“After watching Switzerland’s matches it is clear to us that we face the most organised team in our group. What we need to do is to be as disciplined as possible and try to minimise our mistakes,” said Cyprus coach Nikos Nioplias.

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Archives March 22, 2013 posted by

Russia rebuffs Cyprus, EU awaits bailout ‘Plan B’

NICOSIA/MOSCOW, March 22 (Reuters) – Russia rebuffed Cypriot entreaties for aid on Friday, leaving the island’s increasingly isolated leaders scrambling to strike a bailout deal with the European Union by next week or face the collapse of its financial system.

In Nicosia, the country’s biggest bank urged politicians to make haste and cut a deal with their EU partners as parliament considered proposals to nationalise pension funds, pool state assets and split the country’s second-largest bank in a desperate effort to satisfy those exasperated European allies.

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Archives March 22, 2013 posted by

Our View: Timing of Laiki restructuring could prove fatal

THE RESTRUCTURING of Laiki Bank, which should have been undertaken many months ago, has now been forced on us. The long queues at the bank’s ATMs yesterday could have been described as a bank run, its customers having lost all confidence in Laiki and seeking to salvage funds. The resolution of the bank which had already been prepared by the Central Bank will now be put into force.

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Archives March 22, 2013 posted by

A race against time for Cyprus

THE HOUSE will convene extraordinarily today to fast-track nine items of legislation designed to keep the local banking sector afloat and to prevent a mass outflow of deposits, after MPs asked for more time to study the bills.
Last night’s plenary session was adjourned for today at 10am, meaning that by that time the House Finance Committee will have to speed-read through hundreds of pages of documents. It’s still not clear whether the bills – some or all – will be put to the vote today.
Cyprus has three more days to enact measures aimed at consolidating its banking sector and raising some €5.8 billion on its own, a condition for getting a €10 billion bailout from the EU.

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Archives March 22, 2013 posted by

Laiki CEO: bank move will be a disaster for the economy

THE RESTRUCTURING of the island’s second largest bank into a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bank will mean the end of the Cyprus economy, warned Laiki Bank’s acting CEO Takis Phidias last night.
He argued that a small haircut on deposits and an EU bailout would have kept the banks and businesses alive. The option now on the table will lead to loss of deposits and closure of businesses and higher unemployment, said Phidias.
The Laiki management team were last night informed in parliament that the government planned to table a bill proposed by the central bank governor to divide Laiki into a ‘good’ bank with only deposits of €100,000 or under, and a ‘bad’ bank where around €6 billion of uninsured deposits will be placed. 

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Archives March 22, 2013 posted by

‘We will not become Germany’s slaves’

HUNDREDS OF Laiki (Popular) Bank employees gathered outside parliament last night after word got out that the government had prepared a bill for the second largest bank on the island to undergo restructuring.
As the sun set, news trickled out in the media of a plan to split the bank into a ‘good’ bank retaining healthy loans and a ‘bad’ bank which would take on ‘bad’ loans and work towards recovering as much money as possible. 
Around 500 Laiki employees and their families gathered in an impromptu demonstration outside parliament, where the newly-prepared bills were expected to be taken for discussion in the plenum.
Some protesters managed to break through the police barricades and make their way to the parliament doors which were locked by police.

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Archives March 22, 2013 posted by

Closure fears caused early ATM run at Popular Bank

RUMOURS were obviously circulating about the Popular Bank from early yesterday as long queues had formed at almost every one of the bank’s ATMs islandwide.
The Cyprus Mail decided to find out what sparked this hasty scramble by customers to withdraw their money and visited two of the bank’s ATMs.
“There are rumours flying about that petrol stations have started demanding cash payments for fuel so I thought it would be best to draw some money out,” 49-year-old housewife Lisa Thoukidides said. “On top of that there are more and more rumours circulating that the bank will default so it’s probably safer to get as much cash out as possible,” she said.

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Archives March 22, 2013 posted by

Sarris tightlipped at end of second day’s Moscow talks

FINANCE Minister Michalis Sarris declined to comment late  last night on whether he managed to secure a deal with Moscow after two-days of marathon talks.
“No comment,” Sarris said when asked in his hotel lobby if a deal with Russia was secured. Sarris was meeting Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov , after failling to agree on a deal on Wednesday.
Quoting government sources, the Cyprus News Agency said Russian officials made it clear to  Sarris that the only thing under discussion was extending an existing loan of €2.5 billion.
Cyprus and Russia had been in urgent talks over a possible financial rescue. They were discussing possible cooperation in the banking and energy sectors.

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Archives March 22, 2013 posted by

S&P send Cyprus deeper into junk

STANDARD & Poor’s cut the sovereign long-term foreign currency credit rating on Cyprus deeper into junk status on Thursday, lowering the rating to CCC from CCC-plus as the country struggles with a banking crisis.
“We believe that in the absence of a credible alternative source of capital and fiscal financing, the risk of a disorderly credit event is rising,” S&P said in its statement. It added: “The downgrade mainly reflects our view of the acute problems in Cyprus’  banking sector”, noting that since early 2012, Cyprus’ domestic banks have repeatedly suffered losses because of write-downs on their holdings of Greek government bonds and credit losses on their Greek and domestic private-sector loans.

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