Coronavirus: UAE central bank defers virus-related loan payment deferral

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The United Arab Emirates will extend a key component of its coronavirus relief package – loan payment deferrals – through June 2021, the central bank said.

Retail and corporate customers affected by the pandemic originally had until the end of this year to tap into a 50 billion dirham ($13.6 billion) zero-cost facility the central bank made available to lenders so customers could defer loan payments.

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The extension “will provide relief for retail, small and medium sized enterprises, and corporate banking customers, said central bank Governor Abdulhamid Saeed Alahmadi.

“We believe that this initiative will shield the economy from the impact of the pandemic and place us in an ideal position to recover, once the pandemic is over. The UAE was hit hard this year by a combination of lower oil prices and the spread of the virus.

The International Monetary Fund sees the economy shrinking 6.6 percent in 2020 before gradually recovering.

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