NICOSIA Oct 25 Cyprus has scrapped more
financial restrictions imposed after its international bailout
in March, taking a further step towards undoing currency
controls designed to prevent a run on its banks.
The Finance Ministry said it had scrapped a requirement for
supporting documentation on domestic business transactions
exceeding 300,000 euros ($414,100), though a bank could still
seek such information if it deemed it was necessary.
The ministry also raised the threshold for businesses making
transactions abroad to 1 million euros for each deal from
Cyprus's finance minister had told lawmakers on Monday he
anticipated all currency controls related to domestic
transactions would be lifted by spring 2014..
Friday's decree was the 22nd since the island became the
first euro zone member to enforce capital controls at the end of
March. It is applicable until Nov. 24.
Under the strict financial controls, travellers abroad could
initially not shift more than 1,000 euros out of the country.
This has now been raised to 3,000 euros.
There have also been relaxations on the amount of money
individuals could transfer from one bank account to another for
payments, with the limit now set at 15,000 euros without the
need for approval.
In return for 10 billion euros in aid from international
lenders, the island in March agreed to wind down one major bank
- Laiki - and impose losses on depositors in a second
under-capitalised bank, Bank of Cyprus.
Other subsequent restrictions such as a 300 euro daily
withdrawal limit for individuals, a ban on the cashing of
cheques, a ban on breaking fixed-time deposits and the opening
of an account at another bank remain in place.
European Central Bank data on Friday showed cash withdrawals
from the Cypriot banking system had slowed in September.
($1 = 0.7245 euros)
(Writing by Michele Kambas; Editing by David Holmes)