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UAE Central Bank urges banks to step up anti-money laundering efforts

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The United Arab Emirates central bank said banks should increase anti-money laundering efforts to safeguard financial stability in the country.

“To mitigate the risk of financial crimes … banks are urged to put more efforts towards combating money laundering and financing of terrorism,” it said in a statement.

The bank said more than 300,000 individuals, close to 10,000 small and medium enterprises, and more than 1,500 private companies had benefited from a 50 billion dirhams ($14 billion) liquidity scheme introduced to cushion against the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, the UAE reported its highest daily number of coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic.

In a separate report, the central bank said this week the UAE economy would likely contract by 5.2% this year, revising down a previous 3.6% contraction forecast, as virus containment measures hurt sectors such as trade and tourism.

It said manufacturing production shrank “due to supply chain disruptions, limited export opportunities and subdued domestic demand.”

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)

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