The waiting game for worried Bank of Cyprus customers is finally over after the Ministry of Finance and the central Bank agreed to impose a 47.5% haircut on all deposits over 100,000 yesterday.
47.5% of those deposits will be converted into Bank of Cyprus shares in order to recapitalise the bank and take it out of administration.
While the figure is a heavy blow, it could have been much worse, with figures being bandied round of a haircut of at least 60% after the March crisis which saw Cyprus needing a 10 billion loan from Europe.
Now that the uncertainty is over and the Troika have agreed to the haircut percentage, Cyprus is assured of getting the remaining tranches of the 10 billion bail-out. Confidence in the banks, however, remains low as deposits continue to decline and capital controls remain in place. It will be a long hard road to economic recovery on the island.
The Republic of Cyprus has finally succumbed and issued a sole licence for a casino resort in Cyprus. Location of the resort is still to be decided, but it is refreshing to see that the government is looking for positive ways to kick-start the economy.
For years, the Orthodox Church stongly opposed gambling in the Republic and the former president Christophias, vowed he would never allow a casino to open in the South. In the meantime, thousands of Cypriots simply crossed the border to spend their money in one of the 24 casinos operating in the Turkish controlled North.
While the decision has undoubtedly angered the Church, it has also stirred up controversy as smaller regions like Paphos are lobbying for multiple licences to be issued by region. The likelihood is that either Limassol or Nicosia will be the location for the new casino resort, pulling potential tourist money away from smaller regions. That said, given that locals will use the casino as much as any foreign visitors, it makes sense to locate it in one of the more heavily populated regions, somewhere between Limassol and the capital being the most sensible.
At last, you can drink a pint of real ale, brewed in the traditional way right here in Cyprus.
The Aphrodite's Rock brewery company has fought hard for over 3 years to obtain a licence, but now they have it and they are producing a range of real ales to suit all tastes. Located in Paphos, just outside the village of Tsada, the brewery is open to the public for tasting every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 11.00 and 15.00.
Cyprus Real Ale!
Favourites already sampled include Lian Shee, an Irish red ale, Yorkshire Rose, a traditional English best bitter and my personal favourite so far, Stratford Gold, as it's light, hoppy and golden.The real ale is also available to buy from numerous pubs and restaurants in the Paphos area and, as word grows, the number of outlets is being extended across the island. Read more about Aphrodite's Rock brewery on my Cyprus beer page.
Visitors to the island this summer won't see any sign of the economic woes that affected the island back in March. While the pain of bank deposit haircuts is still being felt by the locals, the island's tourist season is in full swing and tavernas, hotels and bars are ready to welcome you.
There are no problems getting money out of cash machines and you can pay by card or cash as you wish in various establishments across the country. There are also many last minute holiday bargains to be had, so if you haven't yet booked your summer holiday, give Cyprus a go for 2013. Check out my late holiday deals page now.
That's all from my Cyprus Latest News Aug13.
See you next time.
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