LONDON Dec 7 Cyprus' government wants to "fast
forward" the exit of its stake in the country's Co-Op Bank, the
only lender that received state aid during the country's
financial crisis, Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said on
"We shall probably be fast forwarding the exit of the
government from the Co-Op bank," Georgiades said an Economist
"The state is obliged to exit commencing 2018 but our
intention is probably to expedite the process in a way which may
actually involve the more broad public participation in the
ownership of the Co-Op."
The Co-Op Bank is one of Cyprus's big three banks with
almost 40 percent of the deposits of the country's residents.
It was bailed out with 1.5 billion euros in taxpayers' money
and has a loan book where about half of the loans are
non-performing, mirroring a trend throughout the Cypriot banking
(Reporting by Marc Jones)