Cyprus finance minister says 4th bailout assessment positive, economy to shrink less in 2014

Cyprus' finance minister says international creditors have given a fourth straight positive review to the country's financial rescue program and are projecting that its economy will shrink this year slightly less than earlier forecasts.

Harris Georgiades told reporters Saturday the economy will contract 4.2 percent of gross domestic product in 2014, 0.6 percent better than an earlier projection.

Georgiades said Cyprus' strict adherence to the terms of its 10 billion-euro ($13.7 billion) bailout from other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund is working.

But difficulties remain, including a weakened banking sector that still faces a significant number of bad loans.

Georgiades said the Cyprus expects the next bailout tranche of over 600 million euros ($821.8 million) by the end of June.