Cyprus' finance minister has resigned just hours after wrapping up talks with creditors that sealed the country's €10bn bailout.
Michael Sarris submitted his resignation to President Nicos Anastasiades Tuesday, multiple Cypriot media outlets have reported, and will be replaced by his cabinet colleague Haris Georgiadis, who is currently serving as labour minister, according to Reuters. Sarris had held the post for only five weeks.
Earlier Tuesday Sarris told reporters his country's first bailout payments will likely arrive in Nicosia next month after concluding terms to a €10bn loan and a fiscal adjustment programme that will extend into 2018. The loans will carry 2.5 percent interest and will be paid back over 12 years, a government spokesperson said Tuesday, with the first payments commencing in 10 years' time.
Cyprus imposed the Eurzone's first capital control legislation last week in an effort to stem the flow of deposits from the nation's banks following its controversial decsion to include them in the rescue of its teetering financial sector. Sarris had said prior to his resignation that he hoped to ease the controls "as soon as possible" but could not specify a specific date. The controls were partially eased Tuesday and included the raising of the ceiling on central-bank approved transactions from €5,000 to €25,000. Individual withdrawls, however, remain limited to €300 each day.
Savers with more than €100,000 in Cypriot banks will see 37.5 percent of the amount over that limit converted in bank shares and an additional 22.5 percent used as a so-called capital buffer to protect the bank against future losses. Of the remaining 40 percent, around 10 percent will be allowed to move freely.
The country's stock exchange re-opened for trading today for the first time in two weeks despite a suspension in the shares of the two biggest banks - Cyprus Popular and Bank of Cyprus - which will begin trading on 15 April. The largest bank to trade on the exchange, Hellenic Bank, fell more than 20 percent and suffered the biggest single-day decline since 1996, according to Bloomberg data.