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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Cyprus banks back on ratings notice ]

Cyprus banks back on ratings notice

MOODY'S Investors Service placed three Cypriot banks on review for a possible downgrade yesterday, citing heightened risks to the banks from their exposure to Greek debt.

The banks under review are Bank of Cyprus, Marfin Popular Bank, and Hellenic Bank. Moody's said the action followed its decision on May 9 to place Greece on review for a possible downgrade, which suggested that the likelihood of a Greek sovereign debt restructuring could be rising.

The review of Cypriot banks reflected its concerns over heightened risks related to their sizeable exposure to Greek debt and significant lending to the Greek private sector. Moody's said there were also funding risks which could arise in the event of a potential Greek debt restructuring.

According to Cyprus's finance ministry, Cypriot banks hold about €5.1 billion worth of Greek bonds.

Moody's said the exposure was estimated at about 68 per cent of the rated banks' aggregate pro forma Tier 1 capital.

"Although Moody's recognises that the banks currently maintain solid capitalisation levels overall, our review will assess shock absorption capacity on a case-by-case basis under a stress scenario," Moody's said.

It said it also wanted to assess the Cypriot government's willingness and ability to extend systemic support to its banking sector in the event of a possible Greek debt restructuring.

Moody's cut Cyprus's sovereign ratings two notches in February to A2 on concerns at the exposure of the banks to Greece and structural problems in the island's economy.

Standard and Poor's has cut Cyprus twice since last November, while Fitch has placed Cyprus on a negative watch for a possible downgrade.



(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.



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