Coronavirus: Twenty-six banks utilize $12 bln from UAE’s central bank support scheme

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A total of 26 banks operating in the UAE utilized 44 billion dirhams ($12 billion) of the relief liquidity funds allocated by the government to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, state news agency WAM reported on Wednesday.

“Up to date, banks operating in the UAE availed 88 percent of the AED 50 billion liquidity facility, equivalent to AED 44 billion of allocated funds. A total of 26 banks availed the Targeted Economic Support Scheme (TESS) liquidity facility, with 17 banks drawing down 100 percent,” the Board of Directors of the UAE’s Central Bank said.

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In mid-March, the UAE’s central bank announced TESS, a comprehensive initiative to contain the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy worth 100 billion dirhams ($27.2 billion).

Fifty billion dirhams of that scheme was allotted to helping banks and financial institutions under the central bank’s jurisdiction.

This facilitated temporary relief from the payments of principal and interest on outstanding loans for all affected private sector companies, SMEs and customers in the UAE. It also increased the banks’ lending capacity.

A few days after the UAE announced TESS, ratings agency Moody’s said the stimulus package would “soften” the coronavirus blow to the country’s economy and banks.

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