UPDATE 1-UAE central bank urges banks to step up anti-money laundering efforts

(Adds details)

DUBAI, Sept 24 (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates central bank said banks should increase anti-money laundering efforts to safeguard financial stability in the country.

“To mitigate the risk of financial crimes ... banks are urged to put more efforts towards combating money laundering and financing of terrorism,” it said in a statement.

The bank said more than 300,000 individuals, close to 10,000 small and medium enterprises, and more than 1,500 private companies had benefited from a 50 billion dirhams ($14 billion) liquidity scheme introduced to cushion against the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, the UAE reported its highest daily number of coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic.

In a separate report, the central bank said this week the UAE economy would likely contract by 5.2% this year, revising down a previous 3.6% contraction forecast, as virus containment measures hurt sectors such as trade and tourism.

It said manufacturing production shrank “due to supply chain disruptions, limited export opportunities and subdued domestic demand.”

$1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham Reporting by Davide Barbuscia; editing by John Stonestreet and Mark Potter