By Gavin Gibbon
Banks and finance companies ordered to review and update business continuity plans
Banks in the UAE have been urged to reschedule loan contracts, grant temporary deferrals on monthly loan payments and reduce fees and commissions for customers, in order to help cushion the financial blow from the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) announced the measures in a statement on Sunday “in order to minimise the adverse effects of the coronavirus outbreak on the UAE economy”.
The statement added: “Financial institutions in the UAE are well-capitalised and are in a good position to support customers that have been affected by coronavirus, without jeopardising their own safety and soundness.”
CBUAE has also advised all banks and finance companies to review and update business continuity plans.
“CBUAE continues to closely monitor the situation, and, if necessary, will provide additional guidance and direction,” the statement said.
The Dubai Financial Market dipped 4.5 percent on Sunday, while its sister market in Abu Dhabi was down 3.6 percent at the close of trading.
There have been 21 cases of coronavirus confirmed in the UAE, with five people recovered and two people still in a serious condition.
Worldwide, nearly 3,000 people have been killed and about 87,000 infected since the virus was first detected late last year in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
Matt Maley, an equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co, said it was still too early to look at worst-case scenarios.
"That said, today's markets are highly impacted by momentum-based mechanised trading. If things get going in one direction, it's very hard to turn around," he told Bloomberg News.