A general view of the financial Central district in Hong KongMore

By Alun John

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Few Asian banks will be able to make loans this year using new rates designed to replace Libor benchmarks, key software vendors say, leaving them facing a scramble ahead of Libor’s demise as the coronavirus pandemic further complicates transition plans.

Global regulators want to stick to the end-2021 date for scrapping the lending rate, despite calls from some in the industry to push back the deadline because of the impact of the pandemic on business activity.

If the banks have not moved all new and existing contracts to reference alternatives to Libor (the London Interbank Offered Rate) by 2022, then more than $300 trillion worth of bonds, derivative contracts

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