File - People queue up to make a transaction at an ATM outside a branch of Bank of Cyprus in Nicosia March 21, 2013. (REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis)
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A high-profile delegation visiting Cyprus is seeking to strengthen Lebanese banks' operations and business involvement in the island country as it seeks the help of foreign lenders to finance trade with the European Union, bankers said Thursday.Bankers at that time told The Daily Star that at least 60 percent of the deposits held by Lebanese citizens in Cyprus had been withdrawn, predicting that Lebanese banks operating on the cash-strapped island would either close down or reduce the size of their operations.But Lebanese banks did not entirely withdraw from the Cypriot market despite the withdrawal of deposits. Unlike most Cypriot banks, Lebanese lenders in the island enjoyed high capital-adequacy ratios and sufficient provisions for nonperforming loans, according to bankers. We shouldn't forget that Cyprus provided shelter and support to the Lebanese who fled the country during the Civil War," Sarrouh said.He said Lebanese banks had strengths that could be used to help the Cypriot merchants and economy.
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