Cyprus repays crisis-era IMF loan ahead of schedule

Cyprus says it has paid off ahead of schedule an International Monetary Fund loan

NICOSIA, Cyprus -- Cyprus has paid off ahead of schedule an International Monetary Fund loan that was part of a multi-billion euro financial rescue deal in 2013, the finance minister said Tuesday.

Minister Constantinos Petrides said the loan's early repayment would bolster the country's credibility in the eyes of investors and improve its ability to raise money directly from international markets.

Cyprus managed to repay the loan thanks to a pair of low-interest bond issues. It secured 1 billion euros from a 10-year bond issued at a 0.73% rate. A 20-year issue raised 750 million euros at 1.33%. The bonds were seven times oversubscribed, a record for the country, Petrides said.

“This demonstrates the depth of trust that international markets show toward Cyprus' economy," Petrides said in a statement.

The minister said the bond issues cover most of Cyprus' financing needs for the year and save the country 15 million euros in interest payments on the IMF loan.