|17 March, 2020

Bahrain banks must offer borrowers six-month deferral on installments - central bank

The bank said the deferrals must come with no fees and no increase in interest rates unless borrowers agree to shorter periods.

The Central Bank of Bahrain is seen in Manama. Image for illustrative purposes.

The Central Bank of Bahrain is seen in Manama. Image for illustrative purposes.

REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

DUBAI- Bahrain's central bank said on Monday banks, financing and microfinance companies must offer six-month deferrals on installments for borrowers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, according to a circular seen by Reuters.

The bank said the deferrals must come with no fees and no increase in interest rates unless borrowers agree to shorter periods.

The bank also said it will giver retail banks concessionary repo arrangements for up to six months at 0% on a case-by-case basis. It reduced the cash reserve ratio for retail banks to 3% from 5%.

(Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Writing by Yousef Saba and Davide Barbuscia; Editing bby Andrew Heavens) ((Yousef.Saba@thomsonreuters.com; +971562166204))