ESM approves 600 mln euros disbursement to Cyprus

BRUSSELS, July 7 (Xinhua) -- The Board of Directors of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) approved on Monday the disbursement of 600 million euros (816 million U.S. dollars) to Cyprus.

This follows the positive assessment of the fourth quarterly review of Cyprus's macroeconomic adjustment program and approval of the supplemental Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Cyprus by the ESM Board of Governors.

"Cyprus continues to make good progress in many fields, most notably in achieving fiscal targets and steadily moving out of recession," ESM Managing Director Klaus Regling said.

"The successful completion of the review shows that the Cypriot authorities are strongly committed to the program. Further efforts are necessary to successfully deal with remaining challenges, such as the removal of capital controls, reducing non-performing loans, generating sustained economic growth and reducing the level of unemployment, "Regling added.

The current disbursement will bring the total amount of ESM financial assistance for Cyprus to 5.35 billion euros. The remaining portion of the approximately 9 billion euros committed to Cyprus by the ESM is scheduled to be paid in quarterly disbursements until 2016.