UAE, Saudi central banks roll out $40 billion stimulus for virus-hit economies
The central banks of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, the two largest Arab economies, on Saturday announced stimulus plans worth a combined $40 billion to ease the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in their respective countries.
The UAE regulator plans to support banks and businesses in the country, where the outbreak is affecting major economic sectors such as tourism and transport, with a 100 billion dirham ($27 billion) economic plan, it said on Saturday.
In a separate statement, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority said it had prepared a 50 billion riyal ($13.32 billion) package to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) cope with the economic impacts of coronavirus.
The disease has so far infected 85 people in the UAE and 105 in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi funding aims to grant SMEs six-month deferrals on bank payments, concessional financing and exemptions from the costs of a loan guarantee program, SAMA said.
Concerts, sporting events and industry conferences have been canceled or postponed in the past few weeks in the UAE to contain the spreading of the new coronavirus.