Russian investors seem willing to consider taking part in any rescue plan for the island’s two main banks – the Bank of Cyprus and the Popular Laiki Bank – whose recapitalisation needs have been estimated in a due diligence report by global bond manager Pimco at 6-9 bln euros.
Central Bank Governor Panicos Demetriades has reportedly been told by Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Silouanov that there is keen interest to invest in Bank of Cyprus and Laiki, subject to the restructuring plans at both banks.
Laiki, that was nationalised last year with a government bailout of 1.79 bln euros, is expected to conclude its plans in March and BOCY in April, that include consolidation of their operations at home and abroad.
Russia has even hinted it would support efforts to ring-fence the two bank’s “bad bank” operations that would absorb their non-performing assets and liabilities.
Demetriades was also in London to discuss possible investments in the Cypriot banks which have suffered a heavy blow following the Greek sovereign debt haircut os some 4.5 bln euros.
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