At 10am today Wednesday (Dublin time), Cypriot authorities are set to announce the details of near-term banking arrangements. They’re still talking about banks re-opening tomorrow Thursday 28th March, 2013 but the betting on here is that the re-opening is delayed to Tuesday next 2nd April 2013 after the Easter break which is recognized in Cyprus. Although there is nothing solid, notices on Cypriot banks in London yesterday – see above – make no reference to a Thursday re-opening but do say the banks will be closed over Easter.
It seems that depositors with more than €100,000 at Laiki Bank have lost the best part of 100% of the excess over €100,000 with the Wall Street Journal reporting that only 20% of the excess over €100,000 will be returned to depositors and the return “may take years”. The haircut on the excess over €100,000 at the second of the problem Cypriot banks, Bank of Cyprus is reported to be around 40%.
Thousands of job losses are expected at the two banks.
There is still no solid detail on capital controls but they may include a ban on electronic transfers and border checks for those carrying excessive currency. What was described as a “very temporary measure” just yesterday is now being described as measures for “only a short period”. The BBC is reporting capital controls will include a ban on cashing cheques and export limits on euros.
UPDATE: 27th March 2013. Less than 14 hours before banks in Cyprus would be expected to re-open on a typical Thursday, we still don’t know for sure if they will in fact re-open tomorrow, or if they will be kept shut until after the Easter break, with Tuesday 2nd April 2013 being the favorite bet on here. We are getting dribs and drabs of details on the new capital controls, with Greek newspaper Ekathimerini having a convincing-sounding report as to the details. Those leaving Cyprus will not be allowed carry more than €3,000 with them. Here is what €3,000 looks like.
Cypriots can transfer €10,000 abroad per quarter per student for students studying abroad. Other payments abroad must be for commercial imports.
Spending on credit cards abroad is limited to €5,000 per month per person.
UPDATE (2): 27th March, 2013. The BBC, quoting “a spokesperson” for the central bank of Cyprus, is now reporting that banks will open in Cyprus between 12 midday local time (10am Dublin time) until 6pm local time (4pm Dublin time). For what liitle it’s worth, I’d still take that with a pinch of salt. Capital controls are still being finalised.