Coronavirus is cost and opportunity for Asia’s banks
Across Asia, banks are extending loan facilities and donating facemasks in an effort both to help corporate clients and to burnish their corporate and social credentials in the face of Covid-19.
Across Asia, banks are rolling over loans, helping with repayments, and working hard to get deals done: anything to help struggling clients deal with the growing threat from the coronavirus Covid-19.
In Singapore, UOB is allocating S$3 billion ($2.14 billion) to small and medium-sized firms that have been hit hardest by the outbreak.
Firms can apply to rework principal repayments, service their loan interest for a 12-month period, and extend working capital financing by up to S$5 million.
HSBC has extended the maturity period on S$600 million worth of trade loans, pre-approved 30-day extensions on all trade loans maturing between February 14 and April 30, and eliminated additional fees or interest penalties.
In Hong Kong, Standard Chartered is waiving, until the end of March, all late payments and interest charges on credit cards and retail mortgages, while Citi is offering commercial clients a one-month maturity extension on new and existing import trade loans, valid until the end of August.
China, source of the epidemic and the country with the most to lose from its spread, is taking its usual top-down approach to problem solving.