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Consistent cashflow SMEs’ top concern in riding out impact of coronavirus outbreak: DBS poll, Banking News & Top Stories

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SINGAPORE – Smaller firms are have one concern above all others during the virus outbreak – generate enough cashflow to meet operational costs so the business can stay afloat, a DBS Bank poll showed.

The survey polled about 100 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) earlier this month (February), the bank said on Thursday (Feb 13)

Those SME concerns have prompted the bank to provide liquidity relief packages to address urgent cashflow needs.

DBS said it will offer a six-month debt moratorium on principal repayments for property loans to SMEs as well as on mortgages for home owners here.

The relief measures will be “available upon application to customers with good repayment histories”, it added.

OCBC Bank said on Thursday that it is working closely with customers to mitigate the fall-out from the outbreak.

“Flexibility is offered to accommodate each customer’s financial position,” it noted.

Its measures include allowing customers to restructure their loans and providing a moratorium on principal repayment, including home mortgages and business loans.

It will also extend the due date of the affected business’ trade finance bills and bridging loans in the form of additional working capital financing to affected businesses.

United Overseas Bank announced an assistance package on Wednesday (Feb 12).

It has allocated $3 billion for corporate customers, especially SMEs, that need help to offset the impact the virus is having on their businesses.

It will allow affected firms to rework their principal repayments and to service only their loan interest for up to one year. It will also extend up to one year working capital financing of up to $5 million and offer financing liquidity against mortgage security.

It will assess on a case by case basis how to help its retail customers.

A HSBC spokesman told The Straits Times on Thursday that the bank will work with its customers “to review their current situation and identify appropriate arrangements”.

awcw@sph.com.sg



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