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Cyprus prepares money controls before banks reopen

Customers enter a Bank of Cyprus branch as a Piraeus Bank branch is seen in the background in Athens, Wednesday, March 27, 2013. Greece's Piraeus Bank reached an agreement Tuesday to buy the Greek operations of three Cypriot banks for euro 524 million ($678 million). Piraeus Bank said Cypriot bank branches in Greece re-open Wednesday, a day earlier than in Cyprus. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) -- Cypriot authorities are preparing limits on how much money depositors can take out of their accounts a day before banks are set to reopen.

A banking official said Wednesday — on condition of anonymity because the measures have yet to be officially announced — that they include restrictions on large-scale money transfers from the country's two largest lenders to avoid a run.

But authorities are looking to raise the daily withdrawal limit from 100 euros to 300 euros (from $130 to $386), while payroll payments will be allowed in order to help businesses.

The restrictions will be kept for at least a week.

Banks have been shut for nearly two weeks as politicians sought a plan to raise the funds that would qualify the country for international bailout loans.