ECONOMY

Big borrowers urged to pay up and help out Cyprus banks

Big business needs to repay debt to struggling banks if Cyprus is to enjoy a sustained economic recovery, Central Bank chief Chrystalla Georghadji (photo) said on Tuesday.

“I want to take this opportunity to call on large corporate businesses to use some of the surplus funds generated in the recent boom years to meet their repayments and cooperate with their lenders in restructuring their debts,” Georghadji told a conference.

Around 30 big borrowers, including property developers and hotels, are estimated to owe roughly 6 billion euros in bad loans to struggling Cypriot banks.

President Nicos Anastasiades told the conference the country has seen the worst and is on a solid footing.

He added that the beleaguered banking system that nearly collapsed last year is now in better shape and foreign investment has helped the largest lender, Bank of Cyprus, and Hellenic Bank to recapitalize.

“The Cypriot economy and the banking sector have already been stabilized… there has been significant progress toward the creation of a new economic model for the country.”

[AFP]