Cyprus’s banks open after two weeks as controls curb panic

Ratings Cut

Moody’s Investors Service yesterday lowered the highest rating that can be assigned to a domestic debt issuer in Cyprus to Caa2, citing a growing risk that the country would exit the euro. The company said Cyprus’s Caa3 government bond rating and negative outlook remain unchanged.

Listed Greek companies reported the amounts of the deposits they held in Cypriot banks at the request of the Hellenic Capital Markets Commission. Jumbo SA, Greece’s biggest toy retailer, said it holds about 58 million euros at Bank of Cyprus and predicted sales in Cyprus would drop as much as 25% by the end of the current fiscal year.

Deposits at Alpha Bank SA’s Cypriot unit stood at 2.7 billion euros at the end of 2012, Chief Financial Officer Vassilios Psaltis said yesterday. Alpha, Greece’s third-largest lender and the one with the biggest presence in Cyprus, reported a 1.1 billion-euro loss for the year.

“I won’t go to the bank today because I have no money,” Antonis Evripidou, 53, a taxi driver in Nicosia, said today. “I owe money. Things will only get worse. This is only the start.”

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