* ELA funding was legacy of Cyprus financial crisis
* Bank has repaid 11.4 billion euros in total
ATHENS Jan 5 Bank of Cyprus, which was
forced to recapitalise by seizing customer savings in 2013, said
on Thursday that it has fully repaid emergency liquidity
assistance (ELA) to the island's central bank.
The lender said it had repaid 11.4 billion euros in total.
Most of it was a legacy of Laiki, a lender that was shut down
during the financial crisis that gripped Cyprus in March 2013.
Both banks switched to using ELA provided by the Cypriot
central bank in 2012 and 2013 after being cut off from the
European Central Bank's funding window.
Under terms of a 10 billion euro EU/IMF bailout for Cyprus,
Bank of Cyprus was forced to acquire operations of Laiki,
including its ELA debt, and convert into equity a portion of
deposits held by its own clients to recapitalise the lender.
Bank of Cyprus has undertaken extensive deleveraging of
non-core assets since 2013 and successfully raised equity in
2014 as it sought to shore up its finances.
The last outstanding ELA debt was repaid on Thursday, the
bank said in a statement, adding that had repaid 3.8 billion
euros of ELA during 2016 and early 2017.
"This should further strengthen stakeholders' confidence
that the bank is becoming a stronger, safer and a more focused
institution capable of delivering appropriate shareholder
returns over the medium term," Bank of Cyprus Chief Executive
John Patrick Hourican said in a statement.
(Reporting by Michele Kambas; Editing by David Goodman)