UAE, Saudi Arabia unveil $40bn stimulus packages to fight crisis

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UAE's Targeted Economic Support Scheme includes a $13bn aid package for banks in the country through collateralised, zero-interest loans. Three of the biggest Arab economies pledged almost $47 billion in stimulus to limit the economic damage of the coronavirus outbreak, joining a global effort meant to soothe markets and salvage growth. Saudi Arabia’s central bank unveiled a 50-billion riyal ($13.3 billion) package to support private businesses, soon after its counterpart in the United Arab Emirates announced a $100-billion dirham ($27.2 billion) programme to assist its lenders. Egypt said it will allocate 100 billion pounds ($6.4 billion) to combat the coronavirus. Timed before the start of the work week in much of the Middle East on Sunday, policy makers are acting as many of the economies in the region are at risk of paralysis, with most countries shutting tourist attractions, closing schools and universities, and limiting public events. The UAE also stopped issuing visas and halted flights to Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey.


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