March 26, 2020 / 12:27 AM / 2 days ago

UPDATE 1-Mexican banks to offer deferred interest payments, principal on loans - finance minister

(Adds comments from finance minister, background)

MEXICO CITY, March 25 (Reuters) - Mexican banks will offer clients deals to defer interest payments and principal on loans, measures meant to ease some of the economic pain inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic, Mexico’s finance minister said on Wednesday.

“Additionally, we are calling on banks and the financial sector to maintain credit lines that may be needed at this current juncture,” Finance Minister Arturo Herrera said on Twitter.

The bank regulator, the CNBV, will give regulatory leeway to banks so they can focus on helping the Mexican people, the finance minister said.

Mexico’s economy, which was already in a mild recession, has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak and a steep drop in oil prices. (Reporting by Frank Jack Daniel; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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