Cyprus

On June 26, 2019, the Directive (EU) 2019/1023 of the European Parliament and of the Council of June 20, 2019 on preventive restructuring frameworks, on discharge of debt and disqualifications, and of measures to increase the efficiency of procedures concerning restructuring, insolvency and discharge of debt, and amending Directive (EU) 2017/1132 (the “EU Restructuring Directive”), were formally published in the Official Journal of the European Union, the Cyprus Mail reported.
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On 3 December 2020 the Cyprus Parliament voted for the extension of relevant tax provisions of the Cyprus tax legislation with respect to the debt restructurings, Mondaq reported. The debt restructuring provisions allow for certain tax relief incentives for transactions which involve the transfer of Cyprus immovable property by a borrower (the definition of "borrower" has been extended recently to include any related person to the primary borrower) and/or debtor and/or guarantor to a qualified lender.

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Cyprus Hotels Struggle With Insolvency

Following a summer marred by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic the situation being faced by the island’s hoteliers remains dire, and prospects are bleak, the Cyprus Mail reported. According to the Cyprus Hotel Association (Pasyxe) and the Association of Cyprus Tourist Enterprises (ACTE), which counts among its members some of most prominent luxury hotels in the island, the financial situation at the moment does not leave room for optimism.

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Banking officials are warning Cypriot authorities to not dilute legislation aimed at helping banks on the east Mediterranean island nation from getting to grips with their huge bad loan problem, the International New York Times reported on an Associated Press story. A source familiar with the situation, who isn't authorized to speak publicly, said Wednesday that proposed amendments "point in the direction" of some watering down to the recently passed legislation that has enabled banks reduce their bad loans.

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Cyprus is weighing an early repayment for part of a 2.5 billion-euro ($2.8 billion) Russian loan that dates back to the low point of the financial crisis, two government officials said, after yields on the country’s 10-year debt hit a record low last week, Bloomberg News reported. While the government is seriously considering early repayment, no final decision has been made yet, said one of the officials, who asked not to be named citing the ongoing decision-making process.

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Investors demanded a hefty premium from Bank of Cyprus as it raised fresh capital this week, illustrating the continuing toll that heightened market volatility is taking on eurozone financials, the Financial Times reported. The Mediterranean lender is having to pay the highest coupon yet seen on a European contingent convertible bond, demonstrating the lengths that some of the continent’s weaker lenders will have to go to raise capital if market volatility continues.
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Bank of Cyprus has struck a deal to sell a €2.7bn non-performing loan portfolio in a “transformative” deal for the bank that was one of the highest-profile casualties of the eurozone crisis, the Financial Times reported. The agreement to sell the loan portfolio to Apollo Global, the US-based private equity firm, for €1.4bn comes as European banks have ramped up sales of bad loans following pressure from the ECB to clean up balance sheets.
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Cypriots will return to the ballot box on Feb. 4 to choose a leader who can oversee the Mediterranean island’s economic recovery nearly six years after the country came close to financial collapse, Bloomberg News reported. Incumbent President Nicos Anastasiades, 71, will face Stavros Malas in the runoff after taking 35.5 percent of the vote compared with 30.3 percent for Malas, an independent candidate backed by the leftist Akel party, according to Cypriot Interior Ministry figures.
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Offshore driller Ocean Rig UDW Inc is preparing to explore a sale amid pressure from some of its largest shareholders to review its strategic alternatives, according to three people familiar with the matter. The move will be a key test of Ocean Rig’s value after it emerged from Chapter 15 bankruptcy in September, Reuters reported. Its business has suffered as low oil prices have made offshore drilling less economically attractive and pushed more oil exploration onshore.
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Bank of Cyprus, the only eurozone bank to forcibly bail in depositors during the financial crisis, has been fined €18m by the island’s competition regulator for abusing its dominant market position in the credit cards, the Financial Times reported. The bank, which was restructured as part of the €10bn international rescue of the Cypriot banking sector in 2013, said in a statement on Wednesday it would appeal the fine “through all available court processes”. The Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition announced the fine on May 22.
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