ATHENS, March 31 (Reuters) - Bank of Cyprus, the Mediterranean island’s biggest lender, said on Thursday it plans a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange as soon as the second half of 2016, and will de-list from the Athens bourse.
Bank of Cyprus was recapitalised through a ‘bail-in’ of unsecured deposits in 2013 at the height of the euro zone crisis, but returned to profit in 2015.
It said it would maintain its listing on the Cyprus Stock Exchange but did not need to be listed in Athens because it no longer had banking operations in Greece.
Potential inclusion in the FTSE UK Index series would enhance visibility and share liquidity and offer access to a greater pool of international capital, Bank of Cyprus said.
The listing would be subject to regulatory approval and the timing would be dependent on market conditions although the bank aims for the second half of this year.
Under the terms of its rescue Bank of Cyprus was forced to convert 47.5 percent of unsecured customer deposits exceeding 100,000 euros into equity, and absorb assets of its peer Laiki Bank, which was wound down.
The Mediterranean island’s banking crisis led Cyprus to require an EU and IMF bailout of 10 billion euros ($11.4 bln) in 2013.
Cyprus formally exited its economic adjustment programme on Thursday, without requiring the full bailout amount. Bank of Cyprus also successfully raised 1.0 billion euros in capital from foreign investors in 2014. ($1 = 0.8780 euros) (Reporting By Michele Kambas; Editing by Susan Fenton)