Proposed law to avoid bailout of financial firms hard to put into practice

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority would be one of three regulators empowered to transfer ownership of a troubled financial firm without having to first get the consent of the existing shareholders or creditors. Photo: Sam Tsang

A government-proposed change in the law to empower regulators to compel troubled financial firms to transfer their shares to another company would be hard to apply in practice.

Monday, 13 January, 2014, 11:35am

The IMF's public mea culpa on that big fat Greek bailout

There are many disparate interests in the euro area.

It takes a big person to acknowledge he was wrong, and the International Monetary Fund has now repeatedly admitted to the failure of its euro-area rescue policies.

11 Jun 2013 - 4:39am

Big Cyprus savers could lose 60pc

Big savers in Cyprus' largest bank face losses of up to 60 per cent. Photo: AP

Big savers in Cyprus' largest bank face losses of up to 60 per cent, far greater than originally feared under the island's controversial European Union-led bailout plan, officials said.

31 Mar 2013 - 6:22am

Cyprus to reopen banks, impose capital controls

A man withdraws money from an ATM machine at the Bank of Cyprus headquarters in Athens, Greece. Photo: EPA

Cyprus reopens its banks on Thursday while limiting withdrawals, banning cheques and curbing the use of Cypriot credit cards abroad, among measures imposed to avert a bank run after it agreed a tough rescue deal with international lenders.

28 Mar 2013 - 8:02am

Cyprus' bailout marks a turning point

The Governor of Central Bank of Cyprus Panicos Demetriades said in a press conference "a superhuman effort" is being made for the banks to open on March 28 and he also confirmed that a so-called haircut or levy on deposits over 100,000 euros ($130,000) at the stricken Bank of Cyprus and Laiki Bank would be 'around 40 percent.' Photo: AFP

What has set Cyprus apart is that it is one of the smallest members of the euro zone, with a failed banking system much bigger than its economy. Likewise, the €10 billion (HK$101 billion) rescue deal with international lenders, though more than half its GDP, is small change compared with the hundreds of billions in bailouts for Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland. But it marks a turning point in European leaders' approach to bailouts, with the balance of risk shifted from taxpayers to private investors.

27 Mar 2013 - 3:09am

Cyprus in ‘superhuman effort’ to reopen banks

Cypriot students shout slogans during a protest against the bailout package outside the presidential palace in capital Nicosia. Photo: AP

Cyprus warned that “superhuman” efforts were needed to reopen its banks by Thursday as protests and uncertainty about the island’s top lender showed that its huge bailout had not ended its troubles. The comment by central bank governor Panicos Demetriades on Tuesday came as hundreds of angry bank workers demonstrated outside his office and thousands of students rallied against the terms of the EU-IMF rescue package.

27 Mar 2013 - 4:34am

Cyprus' EU bailout deal to have immediate, lasting impact

Cypriot Finance Minister Michaelis Sarris feels the pressure following the Eurogroup meeting yesterday in Brussels. Photo: Bloomberg

Cypriots face years of economic hardship due to a harsh euro-zone bailout deal, analysts said yesterday, while the Mediterranean island's future in the currency remains deeply uncertain. The fallout will begin immediately, with food and medicine shortages likely in coming weeks as businesses struggle amid a lack of cash in Cypriot banks, which were hammered by the agreement, said economic experts.

26 Mar 2013 - 5:08am

Who will rescue Cypriot banks - the EU or Russia?

The Cyprus cabinet was meeting in crisis session today to approve a 'Plan B' bailout deal with the EU and IMF, as crowds gathered outside parliament expecting the measure to be put to a vote. Photo: AFP

What started off as a botched rescue of the banking system in Cyprus has morphed into geopolitical brinkmanship between Russia and the European Union. It now looks like a fight over who will bail out the oligarchs and other rich depositors from Russia who put their money in high-interest-paying offshore accounts in Cypriot banks, which face collapse.

22 Mar 2013 - 4:00am

Cyprus president demands bailout decision on Thursday

Cyprus’s President Nicoos Anastasiades (first right) holds a meeting in Nicosia on Wednesday night, one day after the tiny island state’s parliament vetoed a planned deposit tax. Photo: Xinhua

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has demanded that a decision on a bailout deal for the near-bankrupt eurozone member must be made on Thursday, the official CNA news agency reported.

“A decision on a Cyprus rescue must be made on Thursday at the latest,” CNA quoted Anastasiades as saying as he left the presidential palace in Nicosia on Wednesday night.

21 Mar 2013 - 6:10pm

Cyprus to present redrafted bailout 'Plan B'

People withdraw money from an ATM machine outside a closed branch of the Bank of Cyprus in Nicosia. Photo: AP

Cyprus’ government has drawn up a new plan to raise funds needed for the country to secure a crucial international bailout, three top government officials said on Thursday.

21 Mar 2013 - 8:57am 1 comment

Cyprus bailout crisis sparks run on banks

A customer of the Bank of Cyprus carries out a transaction at an ATM machine outside a branch in Athens. Greek branches of Cypriot banks will remain shut today, in line with Nicosia's plan for a two-day bank holiday. Photo: Reuters

The European Union finally decided to force Cyprus' savers into a bailout after the tiny Mediterranean island's banks grew so large that they dwarfed its economy - a situation alarmingly similar to Iceland five years ago.

20 Mar 2013 - 2:12am

Cyprus bank levy spooks Hong Kong investors

Plans by Cyprus for a tax on bank deposits renewed fears over Europe's financial stability and saw stock exchanges fall. Photo: Reuters

Hong Kong stocks had their largest fall in more than a month yesterday, led by HSBC, as plans by Cyprus to levy an unexpected tax on bank deposits triggered fresh worries over financial stability in Europe and panic selling across the board.

19 Mar 2013 - 5:24am

Cyprus bailout deposit tax rattles global markets

Protestors shout slogans during a rally against the ratification of a one-off tax in front of the Cyprus parliament in Nicosia. Photo: EPA

Stocks around the world and the euro fell sharply Monday as investors fretted over a plan to tax depositors in Cypriot banks as a way to partly fund a bailout of the Mediterranean island nation.

18 Mar 2013 - 11:58pm

Cyprus baulks at painful EU bailout terms

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades (right) holds a meeting with his cabinet on Sunday. Photo: Reuters

Cyprus postponed an emergency debate in parliament on a controversial EU bailout on Sunday, threatening a prolonged closure of the island’s banks as MPs baulk at an unprecedented tax on savings.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Cypriots head to polls for new president, euro bailout in the balance

A campaign banner of presidential candidate George Lillikas sprawled across a building in the Nicosia central business district in Cyprus. Photo: AFP

Cyprus desperately needs EU financial aid, but international lenders are awaiting the results of this election before finalising a rescue package.

17 Feb 2013 - 7:30pm