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Kuwait reveals stimulus package to deal with coronavirus pandemic

Central Bank of Kuwait asked lenders to postpone loan repayments for three months

Kuwait has revealed a stimulus package to help the country deal with the coronavirus pandemic and the escalating oil price war.

The stimulus package approved by the cabinet aims to provide liquidity for small- and medium-sized enterprises to meet their obligations.

The Central Bank of Kuwait has also asked banks in the country to postpone loan repayments for three months to provide relief to companies that have been impacted by the global slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Reportedly, the sectors most impacted by the pandemic in Kuwait include aviation, hospitality and real estate. Kuwait was the first Gulf country to cancel aviation operations and impose a partial curfew to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The slump in global oil prices is also affecting Kuwait. Lower oil prices are expected to lead to a higher government fiscal deficit this year.

Last month, Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait Dr. Mohammad Al-Hashel announced a $33 million fund to help he Kuwaiti government fight the novel coronavirus. He further revealed that the funds will be provided by local banks.

The central bank also revealed its decision to support its financial sector over the coronavirus outbreak, including by providing cash to commercial banks.

Other measures undertaken by the apex bank include suspending fees on point of sales devices and ATM withdrawals, increasing the limit for contactless payments to $81.44 and providing financial and moral compensation to the banking sector employees.

During the same period, the central bank also cut interest rates in an effort to ease the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

As of March 31st, Kuwait had registered 289 coronavirus cases.

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