February 22, 2020 / 12:41 PM / in 4 months

Markets underprice coronavirus risk: UBS chairman on Bloomberg TV

FILE PHOTO: Axel Weber, UBS Chairman of the Board of Directors, attends a session during the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 22, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

VIENNA (Reuters) - Markets are underpricing the risk that the coronavirus outbreak poses to the global economy, and central banks need to help business survive the impact of the virus, the chairman of Swiss lender UBS (UBSG.S), Axel Weber, said.

“There is going to be quite a bit of impact that is going to go beyond the first quarter and that is where fiscal response, providing businesses with some tax relievers, some emergency funding, that is going to be very important for putting businesses through,” Weber said in a Bloomberg TV interview.

Chinese and other central banks in Asia have room to maneuver that goes beyond just adjusting interest rates, he said.

“They run a pretty tight system of controls on investment quotas and they could liberalize that temporarily and try to get investments going,” Weber said.

Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Frances Kerry

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