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Singapore extends pandemic-induced loan relief measures into 2021

FILE PHOTO: A woman dines in an empty restaurant, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Singapore, August 12, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File photo

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore said on Monday it would extend relief programmes on mortgages and loans for individuals and small firms into next year because of the prolonged impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The programmes, which include deferrals on mortgage payments and lower interest rates on loans, were introduced in April and were set to expire on Dec. 31.

“Many individuals and businesses will continue to experience cashflow pressures into early 2021,” the Monetary Authority of Singapore and associations representing the city-state’s financial industry said in a statement.

The extended measures will expire in phases over 2021, they added.

Singapore has spent about S$100 billion, or 20% of its GDP, in virus-related relief to support households and businesses.

The government is introducing a programme that provides faster and lower-cost insolvency proceedings for small firms to restructure their debts or shut down because of the pandemic’s impact.

Reporting by Chen Lin; Editing by Gerry Doyle

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