Cyprus Co-Operative Bank up for sale

MarketsAssociated Press

The Cyprus Cooperative Bank says it's looking for investors to buy up the lender either in whole or in part.

The bank said Monday it has appointed Citigroup Global Markets to look for investors as part of its strategic plan.

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The deadline for expressions of interest is March 29.

The bank is 77-percent state-owned and is the leader in the amount of deposits held by Cypriots.

But it's weighed down by bad loans — more than 58 percent of the total.

That was a consequence of a 2013 banking crisis that forced Cyprus to accept a rescue deal that included a seizure of unsecured deposits in the country's two largest lenders.

Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said the move would help rebuild confidence and credibility in the bank.