Cyprus became the latest euro zone domino to teeter in 2012 just when the worst of the crisis appeared to be over. In March 2013, a compromise rescue plan backed by euro zone finance ministers called for Cyprus to wind down one largely state-owned bank, Popular Bank. The raid on Popular Bank was intended to raise most of the 5.8 billion euros that Cyprus was required to raise as part of the bailout.

Standard & Poor's upgrades Cyprus

After the near collapse of its banking sector last year, tourism receipts are helping to keep Cyprus afloat. Photo: AFP

Standard & Poor’s has upgraded the sovereign foreign credit rating on Cyprus to CCC-plus from selective default following completion of an exchange of bonds the credit rating agency deemed distressed.

Thursday, 4 July, 2013, 2:56pm

IMF releases first bailout funds for Cyprus

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said that stabilising the banking sector of Cyprus was an “immediate priority.” Photo: EPA

The International Monetary Fund approved a US$1.33 billion (HK$10.3 billion) bailout loan for Cyprus on Wednesday and released the first US$110.7 million (HK$859.2 million) to the Cypriot government.

16 May 2013 - 1:06pm

Lucky Real company in Hong Kong seeks buyers for homes in debt-hit Cyprus

Michel Verdy and wife Lynda. Photo: Jonathan Wong

Rather than sitting back to enjoy his retirement, Michel Verdy embarked on a new mission - looking for Hong Kong buyers interested in purchasing homes in Cyprus.

8 May 2013 - 2:33am 1 comment

Cyprus MPs to debate ’difficult’ bailout deal

Cyprus’s Finance Minister, Haris Georgiades, has warned that the tiny Mediterranean island could be forced out of the euro if it doesn’t approve a bailout. Photo: AFP

The Cypriot parliament begins a debate later on Tuesday on a 10-billion-euro (HK$101.5 billion) EU-IMF bailout which Finance Minister Haris Georgiades has described as a tough but necessary measure that has to be ratified without delay.

30 Apr 2013 - 12:03pm

Cyprus gold sale sparks sell-off of metal, in what could be tipping point for bullion

Pedestrians pass a sign offering to buy gold outside a pawnbroker's store. Photo: Bloomberg

The price of gold fell to its lowest level in more than 18 months amid fears that sales of the precious metal forced on Cyprus by its desperate financial plight would lead to wholesale dumping by hard-pressed countries in the coming months.

14 Apr 2013 - 7:46am 1 comment

Cyprus bailout cost jumps in threat to teetering economy

A Bank of Cyprus branch in central Nicosia. Photo: AFP

Cyprus confirmed on Thursday that the cost of its EU-IMF bailout has surged to 23 billion euros (US$30 billion) from 17.5 billion euros, putting the already teetering economy in danger of collapse and further endangering large bank depositors.

12 Apr 2013 - 1:57am

Time to take a long, hard look at your bank's track record

Time to take a long, hard look at your bank's track record

Recent events in Cyprus remind all of us that you cannot always count on the cash in the bank. It is vulnerable to bank runs, financial crises, institutional failures and government edicts - of which recent Asian history provides many, many examples.

8 Apr 2013 - 3:09am

Asia at risk if insolvencies hit euro zone

Post-Cyprus fallout is adding to Europe's existing challenges. Photo: Reuters

According to IMF data, central banks in emerging economies cut their euro holdings by 8 per cent, or €45 billion (HK$450 billion) in 2012. The world economy is moving towards a multipolar currency regime.

8 Apr 2013 - 2:04am

Cypriot-style bank crisis could hit Hong Kong too

Cypriot-style bank crisis could hit Hong Kong too

Several people have asked why this column has spent so much time over the last couple of weeks looking at the Cypriot banking crisis. At just 0.2 per cent of the euro zone's gross domestic product, they argue that Cyprus is unimportant to Europe and irrelevant to Hong Kong. Who cares if a few dodgy Russian oligarchs take a haircut on their offshore deposits?

2 Apr 2013 - 4:57am 3 comments

Eyes on euro zone's firefighter

The ECB has slashed its key interest rates throughout the crisis and sought to tame borrowing costs to worst-hit countries. Photo: AFP

The European Central Bank (ECB) will hold off from cutting rates or announcing any other policy moves at its meeting next week so as to keep up pressure on governments to solve the euro zone's crisis, analysts said.

1 Apr 2013 - 4:13am

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 bank disaster another episode in Europe's crisis of governance

A crowd lines up outside a Laiki Bank branch in Nicosia, Cyprus. Photo: NYT

Roman Emperor Julius Caesar was famously warned by a seer about the Ides of March, traditionally March 15. On that date this year, banks in Cyprus closed their doors to allow politicians time to decide how to raise €5.8 billion (HK$58 billion) so the country could qualify for a €10 billion bailout from the rest of the euro zone and the International Monetary Fund.

30 Mar 2013 - 3:30am 1 comment

Move those euros

People wait outside a branch of Bank of Cyprus before the reopening of the bank in Nicosia, capital of Cyprus. Photo: Xinhua

One of the delights of being in London is real newspapers like the Daily Telegraph. Not only is it fat and full of news, but wonderfully Brit-centric, with every story angled to include the merest hint of anything or anyone from the British Isles and failing that, the former British colonies.

29 Mar 2013 - 9:24am

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

Talking points

Government reveals clean-air plan

The government steps up its efforts to tackle the city's air pollution quandary as Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing unveils "A Clean Air Plan for Hong Kong".

7 May 2015 - 3:07pm