NICOSIA – The Central Bank of Cyprus has appointed a special administrator to run the island's largest commercial lender, Bank of Cyprus, which was saved from collapse by a painful bailout for the island agreed with international lenders on Sunday.
Dinos Christofides, an accountant and banker with close to 40 years experience, told Reuters he had been appointed on Monday night, saying he would oversee "the restructuring of the bank and the absorption of part of Cyprus Popular Bank".
"It means that from now until further notice I will be running the bank," he said. "It could be short term ... or it could be longer."
As part of its bailout deal, Cyprus agreed to fold small deposits of Cyprus Popular Bank, also known as Laiki, into Bank of Cyprus. Laiki will be shuttered under the terms of a 10 billion euro ($13 billion) rescue package agreed on Monday in Brussels with international lenders to avert a financial meltdown on the Mediterranean island.
The Central Bank of Cyprus confirmed Christofides' appointment in a note on their website.
Earlier on Tuesday, Reuters reported that Bank of Cyprus Chairman Andreas Artemis had submitted his resignation, and that the matter would be considered at a board meeting on Tuesday afternoon.
Christofides said he had spent the day with the central bank's governor and deputy governor and had not yet spoken to the Bank of Cyprus' board or executives.
(Additional reporting by Michele Kambas; Editing by Giles Elgood)