AMF gather regional central banks to discuss COVID-19 impact on sector

Hossam Mounir
2 Min Read

The Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) organised, on Sunday, an extraordinary virtual meeting of deputy governors from regional central banks and Arab monetary institutions.

The meeting, held in cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), took place to assess the financial sector’s weaknesses across the region, both during and after the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The meeting was also attended by senior officials concerned with financial stability, with representatives from international financial institutions, including: the IMF; the Bank for International Settlements (BIS); the Financial Stability Board (FSB); and the Financial Stability Institute (FIS); in addition to the AMF.

According to an AMF statement, the meeting discussed the impacts of the pandemic on the Arab world’s financial sector and the policy responses to address the pandemic’s effects on Arab countries. It looked to review the potential size of losses resulting from asset depreciation or write-offs, the risks of liquidity pressures, and the expected impact on the safety and resilience of regional banking systems.

The meeting also addressed important issues such as achieving a balance of support between the economy and banks through accommodating monetary policy, and providing liquidity and banking intervention.

This ran alongside a discussion of policy priorities to address the effects of the current crisis, whilst shoring up the Arab region’s financial sector policy frameworks. The latter would see partial and macro prudential supervision, non-performing loans and solution techniques, support for sustainable financing, and the provision of credit to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

AMF Director Abdul Rahman bin Abdullah Al-Hamidi said that the exceptional meeting followed on from consultations and discussions on the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic between regional monetary authorities. The discussions have focused on the impacts on the financial sector in the Arab region, and to discuss lessons learned.

Al-Hamidi emphasised the interest of the participants in such regional meetings to transfer knowledge and exchange experiences and expertise regarding the economic and financial implications of the pandemic.

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