File - NPLs make up nearly half of Cyprus banks’ lending.
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Banks in recession-hit Cyprus, reeling from a financial crisis, are struggling with non-performing loans that make up nearly half their lending and are hampering efforts to finance a cash-starved economy.So the government, lenders and borrowers are seeking ways to reverse the trend without further damaging an economy forecast to contract by 8.7 percent in 2013 and another 3.9 percent this year.The total of NPLs – defined as loans more than three months in arrears or rescheduled several times – was 23 billion euros ($31 billion) at the end of September, according to the latest central bank figures.A source at the central bank has said 6 billion euros, or 26 percent of NPLs are owed by just 30 borrowers.Marios Clerides is CEO of the Cyprus Cooperative Central Bank, which manages the cooperative banks nationalized under the bailout.
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