The Cyprus’ House of Representatives is due to meet later today to approve a bill for a “one-off” levy on bank depositors in the country.
However, passing the bill in parliament is still far from certain. Tuesday’s vote originally planned Sunday has been twice postponed. Additionally, three parties specifically DIKO with eight seats in the parliament, Akel with 19 seats and Edek with 5 seats already indicated that they will oppose the bill.
A weekend announcement that a 6.75 per cent to 9.9 per cent levy on all bank accounts as part of a 10 billion euro ($13 billion) bailout package for Cyprus revived fears in the Euro zone and financial markets tumbled on Monday.
Elected last month, Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades sought to soften the initially proposed levy to ease the burden on small savers.
Meanwhile, the Cyprus Stock Exchange suspended trading on Tuesday and Wednesday, while banks remain closed until at least Thursday and Fitch Ratings put a number of Cyprus banks on negative ratings watch.
European stocks dropped for the third consecutive day ahead of the levy vote. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.4 percent to 295.52 at 8:09 a.m. in London. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures slipped less than 0.1 percent but has bounced back to -0.4 per cent while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose by 0.4 percent.
Commodities are generally lower, Brent oil -0.5 per cent, copper -2.8 per cent (to a 4-month low),and gold played safe-haven and bounced by 0.8 per cent.