BUSINESS

Suspension of loan installments for businesses hurt by measures

EVGENIA TZORTZI

TAGS: Banking, Economy

Banks are expected to announce a suspension of installment payments on loans for businesses in specific sectors affected by the coronavirus pandemic, it was reported on Monday.

Kathimerini understands that the payment suspension will refer to the initial capital of the loan and not the interest and will concern businesses in the fields of tourism, transport, catering and retail. 

The suspension of the debt payment – the interest portion will still have to be paid regularly – will apply until September 30 and will only concern companies that were consistent in repaying their loans up until the end of 2019. In this way, companies that have not been affected by the crisis won’t be able to take advantage of the measure. 

For the equity portion, whose repayment will be delayed, there will be an extension of the loan’s length. 

The guidelines on how to support the economy and businesses directly affected by the pandemic were provided at yesterday’s meeting held by Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras with the CEOs of Greek banks.

Official announcements could be made as early as Tuesday by the Hellenic Bank Association (HBA), and each bank is expected to further refine its policy depending on the exposure it has in specific sectors and its capabilities.

The banks also reportedly declared their intention to stand by all businesses and, in addition to facilitating installments, will help manage the crisis by enhancing liquidity in the underlying economy under the guidelines provided by the European Central Bank.

Given that the full effects of the pandemic over the next two months remain unknown, the prevailing view at yesterday’s meeting was that the measures would primarily target specific sectors that are directly affected. 

Among them are tourism, transport, catering and commercial businesses such as retail, with the exception of supermarkets, which have garnered most of the demand of consumers and most of the available liquidity.

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