By Carlos Guillen
Equity markets have put a solid end to the Dow Jones Industrial Average's ten day streak of achieving record highs, as today at the open of the trading session the Dow lost close to 95 points in the first minute. And the culprit for today's red session is ... yes you guessed it, Cypress.
The news that has sent markets around the world lower today was that Cyprus will receive a 10 billion Euro ($12.9 billion) bailout from the euro-zone that have some rather unorthodox strings attached, most notably the imposition of a levy on private bank deposits. This represents the first time depositors have been asked to contribute to a financial-rescue plan during the long-running euro-zone debt crisis. While the news is not clear at the moment, it appears that depositors in this small nation are doing the most logical thing, which is taking their deposits and heading for the hills.
This is causing concern around the world as depositors everywhere have always placed their trust in the fact that banking institutions would always protect their cash with no risks. However, the initial plan so far calls for a 6.75 percent tax on deposits up to 100,000 Euros and a tax of 9.90 percent on deposits above 100,000 Euros. It is not surprising that anger is ramping higher in Cyprus and that concern is growing in peripheral countries that this can actually take place. Of course, this fiasco has re-ignited the belief that Cyprus will have to leave the euro-zone and that the debt crisis has not been mitigated.
Russia Threatens Cyprus Bailout
By David Urani
The EU is calling for Cypriot bank deposits to be taxed, and this is a big cause of concern that's delaying the $13 billion bailout for the country. It's a brash move to say the least, and the government has its banks closed until Friday which makes sense given that it's likely to cause an immediate run out of the banks. Of course if you are an individual with your savings held in these banks, held hostage at the whim of a few politicians, you're going to seriously consider putting it somewhere else. But the issue gets bigger than that.
A key sticking point to that plan now is in Russia's Greek deposits, as Cyprus has long been a widely used place for Russian businessmen and politicians to put savings. They like to put money in Cyprus because it is less prone to the corruption that comes with Russia, and it has a slightly lower corporate tax rate. There is approximately $19 billion worth of Russian deposits in Cyrus, and Russian banks have approximately $12 million at the Cypriot banks. Another risk is the $40 billion worth of loans to Russian companies based in Cyprus, for which loan repayments could be blocked by the Cypriot government.
Consequentially, the Russian government has officially expressed disappointment. If they were to pull that money out, it could essentially render the bailout useless. And having not been involved in the decisions being made by the EU and Cyprus, they are now reconsidering extending their €2.5 billion bailout loan to the country made in 2011.