ADB announces $20 billion coronavirus rescue package

Developing members of the bank range from Afghanistan and Myanmar to India and China. Above, shanties at Dharavi, one of Asia's largest slums, in Mumbai. (AP)
Short Url
Updated 13 April 2020

ADB announces $20 billion coronavirus rescue package

  • Fund represents the tripling of a package announced just a month ago
  • ADB warned earlier this month the pandemic could cost the global economy $4.1 trillion

MANILA: The Asian Development Bank said Monday it will roll out a massive $20 billion package to help developing member nations weather the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
The fund represents the tripling of a package announced just a month ago, which the ADB decided to boost as the scale of the contagion’s impact has mushroomed.
Nearly simultaneous shutdowns across the global economy, with workers ordered to hunker down at home against the virus, have set the stage for a deep recession.
Officially reported COVID-19 cases worldwide have topped 1.8 million and claimed around 115,000 lives globally.
“The scope and the scale of the crisis make it imperative for the ADB to expand its support,” bank president Masatsugu Asakawa said in a video statement.
Up to $13 billion in loans will be made available to help virus-hit developing members fill in budget gaps, with another roughly $2 billion set for the private sector.
Developing members of the bank range from Afghanistan and Myanmar to India and China.
The ADB warned earlier this month the pandemic could cost the global economy $4.1 trillion as it ravages the United States, Europe and other major economies.
Markets have been sent spinning as traders fret over the crisis’s long-term impact, though governments and central banks have stepped in to ease the pain, pledging trillions to prop up economies.


Report: Fugitive tech boss was Austrian spy agency informant

Updated 47 min 42 sec ago

Report: Fugitive tech boss was Austrian spy agency informant

  • Jan Marsalek faces allegations of fraud and other charges in connection with the company’s sudden bankruptcy earlier this year
  • German federal police issued a wanted poster for Marsalek in August

BERLIN: German media report that a fugitive former top executive of payment company Wirecard was an informant for the Austrian spy agency BVT.
Jan Marsalek, the former chief operating officer of Wirecard, faces allegations of fraud and other charges in connection with the company’s sudden bankruptcy earlier this year.
Munich-based Wirecard filed for protection from creditors in June after executives admitted that 1.9 billion euros ($2.2 billion) listed as being held in trust accounts in the Philippines probably did not exist.
The Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily reported Friday that German federal prosecutors have evidence Marsalek was a source for the BVT agency. The newspaper cited a German government response to Left party lawmaker Fabio De Masi.
German lawmaker Patrick Sensburg, who sits on the parliamentary intelligence oversight committee, told business daily Handelsblatt that Marsalek may have worked for several spy agencies simultaneously. He didn’t elaborate.
German federal police issued a wanted poster for Marsalek in August. Interpol issued a so-called red notice for him on allegations of “violations of the German duty on securities act and the securities trading act, criminal breach of trust (and) especially serious case of fraud.”
As chief operating officer, Marsalek was in charge of all operational business activities, including sales, and is suspected of having inflated the balance sheet total and sales volume of the company, police said.
Former Wirecard CEO Markus Braun has been arrested, along with the company’s former chief financial officer and former head of accounting.
Police allege that Braun and Marsalek incorporated “fictitious proceeds from payment transactions relating to deals with so-called third-party acquirers in order to present the company financially stronger and more attractive to investors and customers.”