Cyprus gov’t thinking to bail out losing investors who owe banks

NICOSIA (Reuters) – Government authorities may bail out investors stung by the collapse of the Cyprus bourse three years ago by assuming their debts, officials said yesterday. Banks are owed an estimated 250 million pounds ($486.8 million) by investors who sank money into the island’s stock market in 1999, when it rose 688 percent, only to see stocks plunge the following year. «The government is looking at a range of options,» government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides told reporters. One formula being considered is for 40 percent of the total debt to be assumed by the government to pay off. Thirty percent would be paid by investors and banks would be requested to write off the remaining 30 percent, the daily Politis reported.