The United Arab Emirates’ central bank said on Saturday it was temporarily relaxing two key requirements to improve liquidity and funding needs of banks to encourage them to lend more to businesses under the COVID-19 economic stimulus plan.

Banks will be allowed to go below the 100 percent ‘net stablefunding ratio’ (NSFR) but not below 90 percent, and above the 100 percentrequirement for ‘advances to stable resources ratio’ (ASRR) butno higher than 110 percent, until December 31, 2021.

“This step comes as an additional measure encouraging banks to strengthen the implementation of the Targeted Economic Support Scheme and support their impacted customers in overcoming the repercussions of COVID-19 pandemic,” the central bank said in a statement.

The central bank has announced about $70 billion worth of economic stimulus to help businesses cope with the outbreak of the coronavirus outbreak. The economy is likely to contract by 3.6 percent this year, the central bank said in June.

The net stable funding ratio is a liquidity standard requiring banks to hold enough stable funding to cover the duration of their long-term assets.

The advances to stable resources ratio measures loans and advances as a share of stable sources of funding.

“The relaxation of NSFR and ASRR will provide banks with enhanced flexibility in managing their balance sheets,” the UAE central bank said.