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Donald Trump hands top job at commerce department to Bank of Cyprus vice-chairman

Oliver Gill
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Donald Trump and Wilbur Ross share a number of similar views on US trade deals (Source: Getty)

President-elect Donald Trump has appointed the vice-chairman of soon-to-be London-listed Bank of Cyprus as his secretary of commerce.

Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross was a key Trump ally during his bid for the White House. Similar to the President-elect, he has criticised the North American Free Trade Agreement and blamed China's entry into the World Trade Organisation in 2001 for rafts of US job losses.

Read more: Trump's stepping down from his businesses to make America great again

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Ross proves anyone, of any age, can wear one of "those" hats (Source: Getty)

Bank of Cyprus – a private lender which only three years ago was laden with EU emergency loans equivalent to 60 per cent of Cyprus' GDP – has had a dramatic turnaround while Ross has been on its board.

It has almost paid back all of its emergency assistance, with just €800m left outstanding – substantially down on the €11.4bn peak in 2013.

And in November it announced plans to list on the London Stock Exchange early in 2017.

Read more: One step closer: Bank of Cyprus' float paves the way for capital raise

Josef Ackermann, Bank of Cyprus' chairman, was quick to thank Ross for his pivotal role.

We congratulate Wilbur Ross on his nomination to the post of US secretary of commerce. Having worked closely with Wilbur on the board of the Bank of Cyprus over the past couple of years and seen, first hand, his tremendous contribution to the successful turnaround of the group, I am confident that President-elect Trump has made an excellent choice.

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