The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
In recent years, the South Caucasus and Central Asia countries (CCA-6) have received significant foreign exchange inflows. While a healthy reserve buffer is desirable to selfinsure against external crises, holding international reserves also involves costs. We analyze the adequacy of CCA-6 reserves using widely recognized rules of thumb, and simulate optimal reserve levels applying the Jeanne (2007) model. Both the adequacy measures and the model-based simulations indicate that, with the exception of Tajikistan, CCA-6 reserves had increased to broadly comfortable levels by 2006. More recently, reserve adequacy has been tested in Kazakhstan, which has been affected by the 2007 global liquidity crunch.