NICOSIA Jan 19 Cyprus said on Saturday that
consultations on defining a bailout sum for its Greece-exposed
banks were still in progress, effectively overshooting a
deadline to decide how much aid the cash-strapped island will
need from lenders.
Evaluating bank capital needs is crucial to determining how
much Cyprus should receive in badly needed financial aid. The
island, one of the euro zone's smallest economies, sought IMF
and EU financial assistance in mid-2011.
"The assessment of technical details for the calculation of
capital needs of banking institutions in Cyprus is still in
progress," the island's central bank said.
No further details were available.
Cypriot banks were badly burnt by an EU-sanctioned writedown
of Greek sovereign debt held by private investors.
Investment managers PIMCO are carrying out the review of
bank capital needs, and its findings are being assessed by a
steering committee made up of lenders and Cypriots.
A definitive result had been expected by Jan. 18.
A preliminary estimate of a draft bailout deal said Cyprus
could need up to 10 billion euros to plug holes in its banking
On that basis, its total bailout including fiscal
requirements could reach 17.0-17.5 billion euros, equivalent to
the island's annual economic output.
A European Union official said on Friday that a bailout for
Cyprus is likely to be concluded only in the second half of
March, after Cypriot elections next month.
(Reporting By Michele Kambas; Editing by Susan Fenton)