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Cyprus developers want bank restrictions lifted to restart economy

12 May, 2014

The Cyprus Land and Building Developers Association wants to see an immediate normalisation of the banking sector by lifting the restrictions in the transactions in order to facilitate the repayment of loans, which it has also called on its members to reschedule as soon as possible.
A delegation from the Association met with officials from the Troika of international lenders on Monday to discuss the situation on the real estate sector, the one-time driver of the economy and the biggest employer. They are here to assess progress in the fourth assessment of the Cyprus bailout programme.
Association president Pantelis Leptos said that the situation with the banking sector should first be normalised before any discussion on the repayment of non-performing loans, that have reached a worrying level of 50% of all loans in Cyprus.
“Today we still have restrictions on the export of currency and blocked deposits and if the right time will be given, all these loans will be settled”, he said.
Leptos said that the Troika technocrats seemed convinced that the real estate sector could make a big difference during the next three years.
"The next three years is the time during which we need new investments and the professionals of the sector have demonstrated in the past that they can attract foreign investments”, he said from abroad and brought in investments around 500 mln euros.
Leptos referred to the foreign investors who recognised the attractiveness of Cyprus and want to invest. “There is a great interest for individual investments, as well as for big investments”, he pointed out.
Finally, he said that the prices are much higher than those referred to the stress tests, and this is a positive development.