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Cypriot banks limit ATM withdrawals to about 100 euros


08:45, March 25, 2013

NICOSIA, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Some Cypriot banks have imposed a limit of 100 euros (130 U.S. dollars) on daily cash withdrawals from ATM machines, as crucial talks are underway in Brussels for a bailout accord.

A spokesman for the Cyprus Popular Bank, which had previously set a limit of 260 euros per day, confirmed that the limit has been lowered to 100 euros on instructions of the Central Bank.

The measure aims at preventing a run on the banks as a possible merger of the two bigger lenders is on the table.

Holders of Bank of Cyprus and Hellenic Bank cards said they were allowed to withdraw 120 euros.

Cypriot politicians who were briefed on the talks Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades is having in Brussels with EU and IMF said there is still an impasse over the sum received by Cyprus Popular Bank in the form of emergency liquidity support.

A sum of between 5 and 9 billion dollars is mentioned.

Bailout negotiations broke up Saturday night as the International Monetary Fund insisted that the Bank of Cyprus be split in a good bank to take over guaranteed deposits of under 100,000 and good loans and the bad section to be left with deposits of over 100,000 and the bad loans and be liquidated after some years.

Discussion at Eurogroup level was put off by two hours to 1900 GMT as behind the scenes bargaining is going on.

A source at the Presidential Palace said, "The Cypriot side is trying to safeguard what it has been claiming all along." (1 euro = 1.30 U.S. dollars)

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