No Cyprus aid decision seen Thursday, maybe January - Juncker

BRUSSELS Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:22am GMT

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker said he did not expect a financial aid package for Cyprus to be agreed at a meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Brussels on Thursday.

"I don't think that we can find a definitive solution for Cyprus today," he told reporters as he arrived for the meeting. "It will probably be done in January."

Cyprus, one of the smallest economies in the 17-nation euro zone, sought aid in June to buffer banks substantially exposed to debt-crippled Greece.

It says it has reached a preliminary aid deal with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

The cost of recapitalising the island's banking sector could be as high as 10 billion euros - more than half of Cyprus's annual output.

That would make the bank bailout one of the biggest ever as a proportion of GDP, the island's central bank governor Panicos Demetriades said on Wednesday, second only to the 1997 bank bailout in Indonesia.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas, writing by Barbara Lewis and Sebastian Moffett; editing by Rex Merrifield)

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