Stock exchange trading of Cyprus is expected to resume on 2nd April. Though it will be limited trading, it’s a good sign that trading will start again after being closed for more than 2 weeks. The European country went through a banking crisis and was also ejected from the Euro region. The decision of limited trading was announced by the Chief Executive Officer of the Stock Exchange, Nondas Metaxas.
According to Metaxas, crisis committees have been created at the exchange and the members of these committees are having continuous meetings. So far, 3-4 meetings have been held and several scenarios have also been discussed. Metaxas stated that he expects the trading to resume on Tuesday morning, but, this still cannot be confirmed with 100% certainty.
The initial plans were of allowing the bourse to start trading on 28th March. On the very same day, the banks of the country opened for the first time in almost 2 weeks. There was uncertainty regarding new capital controls and hence, the bourse was kept shut. Incidentally, a $385 daily limit has been imposed on bank withdrawals. Apart from that, certain restrictions have been put on transfers to bank accounts outside Cyprus.
In the early hours of 25th March, Cyprus reached a 10 billion Euro bailout agreement. According to the deal, the President of the country, Nicos Anastasiades agreed to shut down the Cyprus Popular Bank as he wiped out the deposits having insured limit above 1,00,000 Euros. Depositors of the bank lost as much as 40% of the uninsured savings. The Parliament of Cyprus rejected an earlier deal which asked for imposing losses on all the depositors.
15th March was the last date when stock trading was held for the last time. The benchmark gauge of this island country, Cyprus General Market Index has tumbled by 11% through 15th March from start of 2013. If compared to the highest value experienced on October, 2007, the gauge has declined by 98%. When it comes to the benchmark gauge of Europe, Stoxx Europe 60 Index has tumbled by 23% from its October, 2007 high.
On a whole, Cyprus Popular Bank and Bank of Cyprus account for 59% of the weighting of stock exchange gauge of Cyprus. Both the companies are listed in Athens as well. The 3rd biggest lender, Hellenic Bank makes up another 15%.