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NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus has significantly eased restrictions on money transfers inside and outside the country to help businesses spur a deeply slumping economy.

The Finance Ministry said Thursday that it raised the limit on payments and money transfers abroad that require documentation — but not cumbersome Central Bank scrutiny and approval — from €20,000 ($26,160) to €500,000 ($654,000) euros.

Businesses also can now freely make domestic payments or transfers up to 300,000 euros for goods and services. Anything above that amount needs documentation, but not specific Central Bank approval as before.

Cyprus introduced the restrictions last month to prevent a run on its banks as part of a 23 billion euro ($30 billion) bailout deal with international creditors that forced large savers in the country's two biggest banks to take heavy losses.

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