Cyprus, EU close in on bailout deal: Midday roundup

A Cyprus bailout deal has been reached between the country and international lenders and approved by members of the EuroZone, in the early hours of this morning.

Few details of the arrangements are known, but it involves heavy levies on the country’s biggest banks, although smaller banks appear to have been spared.

Cypriot newspaper the Cyprus Mail said officials announced no charges will be incurred against any Cypriot bank with under 100,000 euros.

Reuters report a “good bank” and a “bad bank” will be established as part of the deal and the Popular Bank of Cyprus will effectively be closed, with deposits below 100,000 euros being transferred to the Bank of Cyprus to create a “good bank”.

Shares higher on news of Cyprus deal

The Australian sharemarket has opened higher this morning, following news from Europe where a deal is emerging between Cyprus and the European Union to keep the country afloat.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 36 points or 0.7% to 5,004 at 12.20 AEST. Last week in the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 90.5 points or 0.6% to 14,512.

Westfield sells US shopping stakes

Westfield Group has announced it sold half the shares in its six shopping centres in Florida, to O’Connor Capital Partners for nearly $US700 million.

“This agreement carries on the group’s strategy of introducing joint venture partners into our assets globally as well as disposing of non-core assets,” Westfield co-Chief Executive Officer Peter Lowy, said in the statement.

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