News Column

Auditors Recommend Bigger Cypriot Bailout Than Anticipated

Feb 4, 2013

A group of international auditors have recommended that Cyprus receive a bigger bailout for its ailing banks than the government initially anticipated, the country's finance minister said on Monday.

Finance Minister Vasso Shiarly said estimates by the government on how much the country's ailing banks actually need in rescue funds still differ greatly from the sum recommended by international auditors PIMCO and Deloitte.

The finance minister said auditors have recommended that banks receive enough money to be able to survive a "worst-case" crash scenario, which is reportedly more than the government believes is necessary.

Cyprus is currently negotiating a bailout of 17 billion euros (23 billion dollars), including 10 billion euros for its ailing banks, with the European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF, jointly know as the troika.

The bailout is meant to rescue Cypriot banks, which have taken enormous losses on bad Greek debt investments.

Radio reports in Nicosia said the auditors submitted a report on Saturday, but the exact amount will not be released until Cyprus finalizes the bailout with the troika, likely following presidential elections on February 17.

The finance minister also expressed hope on Monday that Cyprus would receive a five-year extension to pay back a 2.5-billion-euro loan to Russia. The extension would push back the repayment date from 2016 to 2021.

"Moscow is looking into our request and we hope that it will be met," Shiarly said in an interview with Cypriot state radio (RIK).

Russia has said it is prepared, in cooperation with the European Union, to help with a rescue bailout for the island nation.

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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