Kuwait central bank announces stimulus to support vital sectors, SMEs

Kuwait’s central bank announced a stimulus package to support vital sectors and small and medium enterprises amid the fallout from the coronavirus epidemic. (Reuters)
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Updated 02 April 2020

Kuwait central bank announces stimulus to support vital sectors, SMEs

  • Liquidity and capital adequacy requirements for banks reduced, risk weighting for SMEs cut

DUBAI: Kuwait’s central bank announced a stimulus package on Thursday to support vital sectors and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) amid the fallout from the coronavirus epidemic.

The Central Bank of Kuwait has reduced liquidity and capital adequacy requirements for banks and cut risk weighting for SMEs, it said in a statement.

The bank cut capital adequacy requirements by 2.5 percent and eased the risk weighting for SMEs to 25 percent from 75 percent. It also raised the maximum lending limit to 100 percent from 90 percent and increased the maximum financing for residential real estate developments to the value of the property or the cost of development.

It said the measures would encourage banks to lend more and help vital sectors and SMEs “overcome the current circumstances.”

CBK said it would closely monitor banks to ensure the package meets its intended purpose “and will not hesitate to take further measures to meet the higher interest of the national economy.”

On Wednesday, Kuwait announced measures to shore up its economy against the pandemic, including soft long-term loans from local banks, and the central bank asked banks to ease loan repayments for companies affected.

Kuwait, which as of April 1 had registered 317 cases of the new coronavirus, was the first Gulf country to ground all passenger flights and impose a partial curfew to stem the spread of the highly infectious respiratory illness.


Iran: Oil product exports hit record high despite US sanctions

Updated 22 January 2021

Iran: Oil product exports hit record high despite US sanctions

  • ‘The enemy and Trump wanted us to perish and die, our exports to reach zero’
  • ‘We set the highest record of exports in the history of the oil industry during the embargo period’

DUBAI: Iran has achieved record high exports of petroleum products despite US sanctions, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said in televised remarks on Friday.
Zanganeh said former US President Donald Trump and his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, had “joined the dustbin of history, but we are alive and working with more hope to build the country.”
“The enemy and Trump wanted us to perish and die, our exports to reach zero,” he said.
“We set the highest record of exports in the history of the oil industry during the embargo period.”
Trump abandoned the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and imposed sanctions on the Iranian energy and banking sector.
It is estimated that Iran exports less than 300,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), compared with a peak of 2.8 million bpd in 2018.
US President Joe Biden has said that if Iran resumed strict compliance with the nuclear agreement — under which it restrained its nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions — the United States would too.
However, two of Biden’s top national security nominees said on Tuesday that the United States was a long way from making a decision to rejoin the deal.
Iran has significantly increased exports of petroleum products in recent years although oil products, like crude, fall under US sanctions.
Unlike crude oil, where the ultimate buyer is a refinery, other products can find their way to potentially thousands of small-scale industrial or residential buyers, making them difficult to trace.