(Bloomberg) -- Egypt gave small and medium-sized businesses a six-month extension for credit repayments and canceled ATM withdrawal fees for the same period, as the North African nation looks to protect the economy from the effects of the coronavirus.
The central bank also increased the daily withdrawal limits for credit and debit cards, and said lenders will “immediately” provide financing for the import of key commodities.
Egypt’s government announced Saturday it had allocated 100 billion pounds ($6.4 billion) to combat the virus outbreak, without saying what the funding would involve.
The central bank said Sunday it’s monitoring “local and international situations and developments to intervene immediately by taking any necessary measures to maintain banking and monetary stability.”
The Arab world’s most populous nation has reported 110 cases of the coronavirus, including two deaths. Authorities on Saturday ordered schools and universities shuttered for two weeks as the latest step to stem the illness’s spread.
Top scholars at Cairo-based Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world’s most influential religious institution, said Sunday it was permissible to suspend mass prayers to limit further cases.
--With assistance from Tarek El-Tablawy.
To contact the reporters on this story: Mirette Magdy in Cairo at firstname.lastname@example.org;Salma El Wardany in Cairo at email@example.com
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nayla Razzouk at firstname.lastname@example.org, Michael Gunn, Paul Abelsky
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