Cyprus further relaxes restrictions on money transfers abroad

NICOSIA, Cyprus – Cyprus has further eased limits on money transfers out of the country by doubling the amount businesses can transfer abroad for any transaction without prior Central Bank approval to 2 million euros ($2.47 million).

A Cypriot Finance Ministry decree Friday also doubles personal, domestic bank money transfers abroad to 10,000 euros ($12,300) per month. The amount of cash that individuals can carry on them while exiting the country also doubles to 6,000 euros.

The central bank has already lifted all restrictions on money movements within the country. The limits were imposed to head off a run after a 10 million-euro rescue deal Cyprus agreed with international creditors in March last year authorized bank deposit seizures to prop up the country’s ailing financial sector.

The Finance Ministry said that good progress in meeting the rescue program’s fiscal targets, as well as in reforming the banking sector, allowed authorities to act. It said a further loosening of restrictions will be done gradually.

Cyprus has consistently beaten dour projections regarding its post-bailout economic performance, posting a smaller public debt and a shallower recession than expected.

Officials have said they expect the economy to grow 0.4 per cent next year, which would bring an end to a three-year recession.