Haircuts in Cyprus could top 60 percent

March 30, 2013 at 11:35 AM   |   Comments

NICOSIA, Cyprus, March 30 (UPI) -- Losses imposed on larger banks deposits in Cyprus to secure an $18 billion bailout, could exceed 60 percent, various bankers said.

Cyprus must raise $7.5 billion in revenue to secure an international loan of $13 billion under terms set by the so-called troika -- the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. That would bring tot total bailout to $18 billion.

No previous bailouts have included direct losses imposed on bank deposits, and the current deal concentrates all of those losses on deposits larger than $130,000.

The New York Times reported Saturday bankers close to the negotiations have said the losses imposed on larger deposits could go as high as 77.5 percent.

Many details are still unknown, but the terms under discussion include turning savings from large accounts into a combination of direct equity and securities that could be converted to equity at a later date, the Times said.

Government officials have been publicly kicking around the figure of 40 percent losses, but sources say that is shy of what the actual haircut -- slang for losses -- will be.

To recover the losses imposed on the accounts, depositors will have to wait for the bank's shares to rise in value, but some analysts say that may never happen.

The $18 billion bailout is expected to slow Cyprus' economic growth by 3 percent to 5 percent. By some estimates, the island nation's gross domestic product will drop 10 percent before it turns around - which could eliminate its viability as an international financial center, the Times said.

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