Coronavirus: The Asian Development Bank prepares for an uncertain future
The ADB’s policy chief tells Euromoney the Manila multilateral is ready for the worst, but wonders what world will emerge from Covid-19, as sovereign states balk at funding needs, and commercial banks step back from funding infrastructure.
The coronavirus will affect the face and focus of development banks and commercial lenders, undermine balance sheets and credit ratings of sovereign states, and even alter how and if multilaterals fund themselves, a top development official warns.
In an interview with Euromoney, Tomoyuki Kimura, director general in charge of strategy, policy and partnerships at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), says the scale of the financial aid to be extended to member countries due to Covid-19 “will be far greater than the support they needed at the time of the Lehman shock”.
Kimura describes the coronavirus as a “more complex” challenge than the global financial crisis (GFC), which he watched unfold from his office in Manila. He said commercial banks had to balance the conflicting needs of shareholders and society, and determine what comes first, profit or people.