IMF backs Cyprus bid to help small depositors-Lagarde

FRANKFURT, March 19 Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:33am EDT

FRANKFURT, March 19 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund supports the Cypriot government's efforts to ease the pain for smaller depositors under a levy that is part of an international bailout for the island, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Tuesday.

"We are also obviously extremely supportive of the Cypriot authorities' intentions to introduce more progressive rates in the one-off levy or deposit-share swap within the agreed financial envelope of 5.8 billion (euros)," she told a conference.

Lagarde also said Cyprus needed to reduce the size of its banking sector and restructure it.

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