Cyprus to lift last capital controls

GMT 17:36 2015 Friday ,03 April

Arab Today, arab today Cyprus to lift last capital controls

Nicos Anastasiades
Nicosia - AFP

Cyprus is to scrap its last remaining capital controls from April 6, two years after they were imposed in the heat of its banking crisis, President Nicos Anastasiades announced Friday.
In a televised news conference on the economy, Anastasiades said the last of the draconian measures -- imposed to avoid a run on banks -- would be lifted on Monday.
Improved trust from international markets and confidence in the financial system has allowed the gradual easing of restrictions.
"The removal of the remaining restrictions marks the final restoration of confidence in our banking system," said Anastasiades.
"This reinforces the positive outlook for raising investment under conditions of full trust and confidence," he said. "It strengthens the ability of the banks to raise capital and safely finance the economy."
Once the external controls are lifted, businesses and individuals will be allowed to transfer money abroad without restrictions.
Cyprus is the only eurozone member to have imposed such curbs.
Under the eased restrictions, residents have been allowed to transfer up to 20,000 euros ($21,700) out of Cyprus each month and travellers abroad could take as much as 10,000 euros per journey.
Cypriot authorities closed the banks for two weeks in March 2013 as they put the final touches on a 10-billion-euro bailout by the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
They imposed a raft of measures on domestic and international capital movements when the banks reopened.
All domestic capital restrictions were lifted last May, with the prohibition on opening bank accounts being the last.
After a three-year recession Cyprus expects to return to marginal growth this year.


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