Cyprus passes law to complete Cooperative Bank takeover

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cypriot lawmakers have approved a law that enables the completion of the takeover of the island nation's troubled Cooperative Bank by the Cyprus-based Hellenic Bank.

The law allows state guarantees backing the multibillion-euro takeover to limit possible losses to Hellenic. It passed on a 32-20 vote Sunday.

The takeover was announced nearly a month ago. Jittery depositors withdrew savings worth hundreds of millions of euros before and after the deal's announcement amid speculation about Cooperative Bank's future.

Lawmakers also approved a batch of laws making it easier for banks to collect on billions worth of bad loans.

Cooperative Bank is 77 percent state-owned and the top bank for domestic deposits in Cyprus. But it's weighed down by bad loans, which represent nearly 60 percent of the total loan book.

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