ECONOMY

Bank of Cyprus posts 76 million euro nine-month profit

Cypriot lender Bank of Cyprus posted a profit of 76 million euros ($95 million) in the first nine months of the year, helped by the disposal of assets in Ukraine, Romania and Serbia.

It also said its shares would resume trading in mid December after an 18-month suspension.

For the third quarter the bank reported a 5 million euro loss compared with a 50 million gain in the second quarter. Nine month profits were lifted by 60 million euros income from the disposal of assets in Ukraine, Romania and Serbia.

The bank also said the Cyprus Securities Commission had approved the prospectus for listing and trading its shares. It was expected to start on the Cyprus and Athens Stock Exchange on or about December 16, the bank said.

Bank of Cyprus shares were suspended from trading in March 2013, in the midst of a near-meltdown of Cyprus’s banking system in a chaotic international financial bailout.

In early 2013, Bank of Cyprus became the first bank in the euro zone compelled to seize investors’ deposits to stay afloat as a condition for a 10 billion euro bailout Cyprus received from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

The island’s banking sector was heavily exposed to debt-stricken Greece, reporting billions in losses from an EU-imposed haircut on Greek sovereign bonds.

Earlier this year Bank of Cyprus successfully raised 1 billion euros in capital from private investors, including US financier Wilbur Ross and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. [Reuters]