Nicosia says some bailout provisions need tweaking
NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cyprus said yesterday it was not trying to wriggle out of terms of an EU-IMF bailout imposed on the island, but added that some provisions of the deal needed tweaking to address problems in its battered banking sector. “Every effort will be applied so our positions are met with understanding by our partners... We are not seeking renegotiation but an adjustment of certain measures,” Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades told reporters. The eurozone island nation was forced to shut one bank and seize deposits in a second to qualify for 10 billion euros in aid from the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Union in a bailout in March. Anastasiades, who has criticized the bailout as being ill-conceived, said he would use an EU leaders’ meeting this week to voice his concerns. He did not go into specifics but said what he would seek was related to solving problems in the island’s banking sector. Anastasiades said he would also try to meet with ECB President Mario Draghi. eurozone. “I have absolutely no recollection that the IMF called for anything that would be stronger... in terms of conditionality or the scheduling,” he told Reuters Insider Television in an interview. “It seems to me that there is some kind of reconstruction of what has happened. Secondly, in any case the IMF would be well inspired in my opinion to have an analysis on the system as a whole, because what was happening in Europe was not only [in] Greece,” he said.
France’s Total has signed an outline deal to invest in facilities to export gas from Cyprus, which wants to exploit its reserves rapidly to help it emerge from financial crisis, government sources said yesterday. Total, Italy’s Eni, South Korea’s Kogas and Noble Energy are among the energy firms that have signed deals to explore Cyprus’s newfound gas potential. Government officials in Cyprus said that Total had signed a memorandum of under- standing on a second liquefied natural gas (LNG) production line, known as a train in the industry. The estimated cost would be $3 billion, they said, which would be in addition to the estimated $6 billion cost of the first LNG train.
The biggest jump in iron ore shipping rates since September is spurring speculation that demand from Chinese steelmakers is rebounding after stockpiles of the second-biggest seaborne cargo dropped to a five-year low. “Stockpile levels in China are very, very low and rising Capesize rates are the first sign that demand for iron ore is returning,” said Eirik Haavaldsen, a shipping analyst at Pareto in Oslo. Shipowners are now getting more bullish, with Greek companies ordering more Capesizes in the first quarter than at any time since 2008, according to Golden Destiny, a shipbroker in Piraeus.