SKorea, Singapore get stimulus; casinos hammered


The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed as it continues to spread across the world. Here is a look at some of the latest developments Thursday related to the global economy, particular economic sectors, and the workplace:

MORE STIMULUS: South Korea’s central bank said it will temporarily provide “unlimited” funding to eligible banks and other financial institutions for three months through repurchase agreements as it tries to calm financial markets rattled by the global coronavirus crisis. The Bank of Korea on Thursday didn’t provide an estimate on how much money would be supplied to financial markets through the short-term borrowings.The bank last week cut its policy rate by 0.5 percentage points to a record low 0.75% to help ease the economic fallout from the coronavirus. Meanwhile, lawmakers in Singapore were debating a supplementary “Resilience Budget" to help ease the pain inflicted by travel and business shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic. Singapore's economy contracted by 2.2% in the first quarter of the year and forecasts up to a 4% contraction for the year.

ENTERTAINMENT TAKES HIT: Fitch Ratings said it has downgraded MGM Resorts International's and MGM China Holding Limited's outlooks to negative from stable, citing tight financial conditions and “the severe disruption to global gaming caused by the coronavirus outbreak." MGM has sold and leased back the Bellagio and MGM Grand resorts, its last two flagship Las Vegas Strip assets. Fitch Ratings also said it had put Japan-based Universal Entertainment Corp. on “Rating Watch Negative." It pointed to the closure of the Okada Manila, an integrated casino resort in the Philippines, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

DEBT RELIEF SOUGHT: Sri Lanka’s president Gotabaya Rajapaksa has asked international donor agencies to provide debt relief for all developing nations threatened with severe impact from the pandemic. Rajapaksa asked the head of the World Health Organization to forward the request to multi-lateral lenders. South Asian island nation Sri Lanka needs to repay a staggering $4.8 billion in foreign debt this year and its economy was already ailing after terrorist attacks a year ago by Islamic militants.