Cyprus agrees to tough capital controls

NICOSIA : Cyprus's central bank will impose capital controls to prevent funds going abroad, limiting what travellers may take out, restricting credit card purchases and slapping a ban on cashing cheques, local media reported Wednesday night.

Under a decree that would initially be valid for seven days, individuals will be prohibited from taking more than 3,000 euros (112,000 baht) in cash on each trip abroad and limited to 5,000 euros a month in credit or debit card purchases while out of the country.

At the same time, firms would have to provide supporting documentation for all imports of more than 500 euros.

There was no immediate official confirmation of the details of the controls, published by the Phileleftheros and Katherimini newspapers.

Banks have been closed since March 16 as the near bankrupt island negotiated a bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

The Central Bank of Cyprus said indications were the country's banks would reopen today, as scheduled, although it did not confirm this.

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Writer: AFP
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