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Cyprus may seek funds outside EU in bid for €4bn

CYPRUS could seek up to €4bn in a bailout if it turns to the EU for help, but the country needs an immediate €1.8bn to recapitalise one of its banks, a Cypriot politician said in Dublin yesterday.

Deputy Europe Minister Andreas Mavroyiannis said no decision had yet been taken about how to bail out his country's hard-hit banking system.

He suggested Cyprus could also get help from Russia and China.

"It can be a combination (of bilateral and European money). Whatever it is it will have a part of European money or conditionality. I don't know if it will be Russia or China."

Eurozone member Cyprus has been shut out of capital markets for more than a year, with many of its banks overexposed to the Greek debt crisis.

It must find the equivalent of 10pc of GDP by June 30 to recapitalise Cyprus Popular Bank if no private investor comes forward.

Mr Mavroyiannis said that were Cyprus to tap the EU bailout fund, it might ask, as a safety buffer, for more than the €1.8bn it currently needs.

It could be €3bn or €4bn maximum. (Reuters)

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