Economy

Cyprus capital controls seen gone by year's end

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus' central bank chief says he expects all restrictions on bank money transfers and withdrawals to be lifted by the end of the year.

Panicos Demetriades says most, if not all, domestic capital controls are likely to be eliminated in the next few weeks. Demetriades was quoted by the Cyprus News Agency Friday as saying that getting rid of all restrictions — including unlimited money transfers abroad — depends on confidence being fully restored in the banking system and on the government making substantial progress in implementing the country's rescue program.

The controls were imposed to prevent a run on the banks after Cyprus agreed in March on a multibillion-euro international rescue plan that mandated a raid on uninsured deposits in the country's two top lenders.

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