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PHILIPPINES: BSP and SEC Issue Guidelines to Implement Mandatory Grace Period for all Loans Pursuant to Bayanihan to Recover as One Act

Republic Act No. 11494, otherwise known as the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act”, prescribes a mandatory one-time 60-day grace period for the payment of all existing, current, and outstanding loans falling due, or any part thereof, on or before December 31, 2020, in order to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 situation. 

In this regard, both the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (“BSP”) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) released guidelines to implement this measure.  The guidelines are addressed to all BSP-supervised financial institutions, as well as financing companies, lending companies, and microfinance non-governmental organizations under the SEC Corporate Governance and Finance Department’s jurisdiction (collectively, the “financial institutions”). These guidelines provide that the grace period shall apply to each loan, whether the borrower has a single loan or multiple loans with the institution.

Philippines | Financial Institutions | 05 October 2020
SINGAPORE: COVID-19 & Insurance: Coverage Issues in a Pandemic World

It has been only two months since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, but the world has probably seen only a fraction of the likely long-lasting economic and social impacts of the pandemic. Whilst various social distancing and lockdown restrictions imposed across the world have slowed down the rate of outbreaks, myriad financial losses to both corporate entities and individuals have already skyrocketed. Many affected persons are likely to turn to and eagerly expect their existing insurance coverage to defray some or all of these losses.

This Update discusses the following potentially difficult coverage issues under some of such existing (and pre COVID-19) commercial insurance policies:

  • Loss of profit/revenue and business interruption;
  • Event cancellation;
  • Credit insurance;
  • Public liability; and
  • Management liability.
Singapore | Financial Institutions | 21 May 2020
SINGAPORE: FinTech Solidarity Grant & MAS Support Package to Aid FinTech Firms/FIs Financially

On 13 May 2020, the Monetary Authority of Singapore ("MAS"), Singapore FinTech Association, AMTD Group and AMTD Foundation launched a S$6 million MAS-SFA-AMTD FinTech Solidarity Grant ("Grant") to help Singapore-based FinTech firms weather the storm caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible FinTech firms may apply for the Grant from 18 May 2020 to 31 December 2021.

The Grant complements the S$125 million support package announced by MAS on 8 April 2020 ("Support Package") to sustain and strengthen capabilities in the financial services and FinTech sectors amid the current economic slump. The Support Package took effect from 8 April 2020.

This Update highlights the key features of the Grant and the Support Package for FinTech firms in Singapore.

Singapore | Financial Institutions | 15 May 2020
PHILIPPINES: BSP Grants Relief Measures to Manage the Financial Impact of COVID-19, Temporarily Suspends Administrative Proceedings, and Issues Guidelines for the Implementation of the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (“BSP”) Monetary Board has approved the granting of relief measures to BSP-supervised financial institutions (“BSFIs”) to enable them to extend the same relief measures to their clients, borrowers, and employers in view of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (“ECQ”) imposed by the Philippine government in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the Philippines. The BSP also temporarily suspended proceedings of administrative cases at the BSP’s Office of the General Counsel and Legal Services-Investigation and Prosecution Group due to the Luzon-wide ECQ. It likewise directed all BSFIs to comply with Section 4(aa) of the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act.

On April 24, 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte announced another extension of the ECQ in high-risk areas which include Metro Manila, Central Luzon (except Aurora), the CALABARZON Region (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), the island of Cebu, the provinces of Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro, and Davao City, among other areas until May 15, 2020.

Philippines | Financial Institutions | 14 May 2020
SINGAPORE: Covid-19 Circuit Breaker Measures - Asset Management

On 3 April 2020, the Singapore Multi-Ministry Taskforce announced that an elevated set of safe distancing measures will be in place from 7 April 2020 until 4 May 2020. Notably, there will be a suspension of activities at all workplace premises, subject to certain exemptions for selected essential services ("Essential Services"). Entities providing asset management services ("Fund Management Companies") are included as providers of Essential Services. In this Update, we highlight the key aspects of the exemption for Fund Management Companies and the requirements they are subject to during this period.

Singapore | Financial Institutions | 06 April 2020

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