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Cyprus’ Comeback

Cyprus’ Comeback

After weeks of speculation that a return to international markets was imminent, Cyprus formally issued a €750 million 5-year bond on Wednesday, three years after its exclusion from the international markets in May 2011.


The issue was oversubscribed by four times, garnering offers of up to €2 billion, thus enabling Cyprus to issue a €750 million bond, instead of the intended €500 million.


The coupon rate has been set at 4.75% with a 4.85% yield.


Commenting on the occasion, Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said: “Cyprus, as of today, is in the markets. The months-long effort was an absolute success.”


Clarifying how the capital will be allocated, Georgiades assured that it will not be utilised to exit the island’s adjustment programme early, but rather allocated to domestic debt that matures shortly, thus helping to restore liquidity and the capital adequacy of the economy and the banking sector.


The Finance Minister made clear: “This issue in no way means that the difficult consolidation and reform programme has been terminated or completed.


“On the contrary, due to this effort we regained the investor confidence one and a half year earlier that the initial target,” he stressed.


Georgiades also noted that yesterday’s issue was not a one-off action.


“It was another step towards the consistent presence of Cyprus in the capital markets and its consistent capability to finance its needs. Therefore, our aim is, when the conditions allow it, to have even better terms,” he explained.


Having been excluded from the international capital markets since May 2011, Cyprus received a €10 billion bailout from its Troika of international lenders to help restore its troubled banks and to cover its financing needs. 


On March 2013, the Cypriot authorities agreed with the Troika of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund on a financial adjustment programme, which featured a haircut on banking deposits, to recapitalise its largest lender, the Bank of Cyprus, which absorbed part of the Laiki Bank, which in turn has been wound down. The programme will cover financing needs up to the first quarter of 2016. 


The Finance Ministry’s initial target was to tap the internatioanl markets on the last quarter of 2015 or early 2016.


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