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US-based investor acquires distressed BoC deposit

Investment firm MeritKapital has brokered the sale of a high value Bank of Cyprus (BoC) deposit that was affected by the cash seizure imposed as part of the island’s €10 billion bailout, it emerged on Thursday.

“The distressed deposit, belonging to an entity unrelated to Meritkapital Limited, has been purchased by a large US-based investor for a competitive purchase price,” a news statement said.

It is believed that that this was the first such transaction, the statement said, demonstrating “that a distinct market now exists for this type of distressed BoC deposit.”

“With many buyers wishing to invest in these distressed deposits, an alternative solution now exists for many large deposit holders who are in need of liquidity or who wish to diversify their holdings.”

As part of the bailout, international lenders demanded the winding down of Laiki Bank and the restructuring of BoC, which entailed being lumped with most of Laiki’s assets, including €9.2 billion in emergency liquidity assistance.

BoC shareholders were wiped out while large depositors saw a 47.5 per cent haircut– or bail in — on deposits to recapitalise the lender.

Deposit holders are subject to temporary restrictions, which limit cash withdrawals and money transfers.


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