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 this paper, we use a bank-level panel dataset to investigate the determinants of bank
interest margins in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) over the period 1998-2013. We
apply the dealership model of Ho and Saunders (1981) and its extensions to assess the extent to which high spreads of banks in the CCA can be related to bank-specific variables, to
competition, and to macroeconomic factors. We find that interest spreads are affected by
operating cost, credit risk, liquidity risk, bank size, bank diversification, banking sector
competition, and macroeconomic policies; but the impact depends on the country.