Some central banks have maintained overvalued official exchange rates, while unable to ensure that supply of foreign exchange meets legitimate demand for current account transactions at that price. A parallel exchange rate market develops, in such circumstances; and when the spread between the official and parallel rates is both substantial and sustained, price levels in the economy typically reflect the parallel market exchange rate. “Recognizing reality” by allowing economic agents to use a market clearing rate benefits economic activity without necessarily leading to more inflation. But a unified, market-clearing exchange rate will not stabilize without a supportive fiscal and monetary context. A number of country case studies are included; my thanks to Jie Ren for pulling together all the data for the country case studies, and the production of the charts.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is still unfolding around the globe. In Asia, as elsewhere, the virus has ebbed in some countries but surged in others. The global economy is beginning to recover after a sharp contraction in the second quarter of 2020, as nationwide lockdowns are lifted and replaced with more targeted containment measures.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
At the request of the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM), the IMF’s Monetary and Capital Markets Department, visited Yangon for a series of missions in 2018 and early 2019 on banking supervision. The objectives of the work were to support the CBM in the development of bank regulation and supervision, its introduction of a more risk-based approach to supervision. The Guide to Risk-Based Supervision sets out approaches to risk assessment and risk mitigation based on international practices. The key risks identified in the Myanmar context include legal, regulatory and reputational risk, strategic risk and group and related parties’ risk as well as credit, market, operational, and liquidity risks. The CBM is implementing the new approach over the period until 2020. While perfecting a complete risk-based approach will take years, the CBM is committed to implementation and is already undertaking risk assessments using the new risk matrix tool as examinations come due.