DUBAI – The United Arab Emirates central bank has urged commercial lenders to use the $70 billion-worth of capital and liquidity measures launched by the regulator to support the economy during the coronavirus outbreak.
The UAE, which as of April 12 had registered 4,123 virus cases, has sought to stem the spread of the disease by bringing vital sectors such as tourism and transport to a near halt.
To offset that, the central bank has announced over the past few weeks measures worth $70billion to guarantee liquidity in the banking system, so banks can support private sector corporates, small enterprises and individuals.
Since the launch of the support scheme on March 14, the central bank has provided 10 billion ($2.72 billion) dirhams in the form of lowered cash reserve requirements, it said in a statement late on Sunday.
Such funds ‘are to be deployed to directly benefit companies and consumers who have been adversely impact by the pandemic’, it said.
‘We urge banks and financial institutions to act in the best interest of retail clients, private sector corporates and SMEs (small and medium enterprises), which are the growth engine of our economy’, governor Abdulhamid Saeed said in a statement.
He urged banks that had not yet confirmed their participation in the scheme to do so at the earliest.