The global economy is expected to shrink by 3.0% during 2020 in a stunning coronavirus-driven collapse of activity that will mark the steepest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.

The IMF, in its 2020 World Economic Outlook, predicted a partial rebound in 2021, with the world economy growing at a 5.8% rate, but said its forecasts were marked by “extreme uncertainty” and that outcomes could be far worse, depending on the course of the pandemic.

EU finance ministers have agreed a €500bn (£430bn; $540bn) rescue package for European countries hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

When addressing his nation regarding the Covid19 pandemic, Vladimir Putin made an unexpected announcement regarding Russian Double Tax Treaties:  all dividends which are withdrawn to foreign accounts will suffer a 15% withholding tax. This is opposed to the current 5% rate applicable when the recipient of the dividends invests at least EUR 100,000 in the capital of the payer company; otherwise, the rate is 10%.

President Nicos Anastasiades announced that restrictions on free movement and other measures adopted by the government to stem the spread of the coronavirus will remain in effect until the end of April.

A government financial support package is expected to help limit coronavirus-related impact on banks’ asset quality, Moody’s ratings agency has said.

The financial support package of €700m is equivalent to 3 per cent of GDP, of which €450m are fiscal measures and €250m liquidity support with no fiscal effect on government finances.

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