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Central Bank announces lifting of exchange restrictions
2003-08-04 10:39:55

Nicosia, Aug 4 (CNA) - The Cyprus Central Bank has announced the lifting of certain exchange restrictions, in the context of the preplanned gradual lifting of all restrictions by Cyprus' accession to the European Union in May 2004.

A Central Bank press release notes that the lifting of the restrictions is occurring earlier than the deadline agreed on with the EU and will have an immediate effect.

The restrictions lifted concern current international exchanges, personal expenses, international cards, capital transfers and exchange restrictions for non-residents of Cyprus.|

Regarding current international exchanges, all remaining restrictions are lifted, specifically those concerning prepaid imports, foreign currency in cash to be sent abroad for local purchases and payments to non-residents.

On personal expenses, all exchange restrictions regarding the issuing of currency to be used for personal expenses of residents of Cyprus travelling abroad for business, recreation, study or medical treatment purposes, are lifted.

Furthermore, the issuing of international cards for Cyprus residents and payments of exchanges carried out with these cards are liberalised.

Regarding capital transfers, all exchange restrictions are lifted on immigration exchanges, as well as money gifts from parents to children permanently living abroad.

Restrictions on investments, foreign bank deposits, and purchasing of mutual funds, insurance products and houses abroad, will continue to be in effect.

Also, non-residents of Cyprus will be able to participate in bank capital shares on the Cyprus Stock Exchange, while income from the sale of assets and stocks will now be able to be turned into foreign currency.

After the lifting of these restrictions, those remaining concern the short-term renting of houses in foreign currency, loans to non-residents of Cyprus in Cyprus pounds, the free exchange of Cyprus pounds into foreign currency and the partial capital transfers.

These remaining exchange restrictions will be lifted when Cyprus becomes a full member of the EU in May 2004.


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