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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that Slovakia remains among Europe’s stronger economies, with growth continuing to pick up in 2015, driven by strong domestic demand. A push to spend expiring European Union funds has underpinned rising investment while job creation and real wage growth have supported private consumption. Unemployment has fallen significantly since 2013, but is still about 11 percent overall, and is much higher for the long-term unemployed, youth, and women. The outlook is favorable with growth of 3–3.5 percent expected through the medium-term, reflecting sustained domestic demand as well as further contributions from the important export sector as substantial additional foreign auto sector investment is planned.
Gregorio Impavido, Mr. Heinz Rudolph, and Mr. Luigi Ruggerone
CESEE banks are reducing foreign funding sources in response to reduced external imbalances, reduced ability to tap international savings, banking group own strategies, initiatives by some regulators, and consistently with uncertainties surrounding the future of the banking union project. In the medium term, the global regulatory agenda and the high foreign presence and stock of FX loans exert opposite forces on rebalancing trends. In the long-term, any funding “new normal” will be determined by the future design of the EU financial architecture. In the meantime, limiting leverage, the use of FX loans and promoting aggregate saving through macro policies and capital market reforms will increase resilience against shocks going forward.
International Monetary Fund
This technical note for the Republic of Poland on competition and performance explains the Polish pension system and domestic capital market. Competition policies may need to be reviewed, in particular the combination of measures to maintain small pension funds operating while imposing strict caps on fees. If the government decides to continue pursuing policy of promoting competition in returns while reducing fees further, it may need to consider more structural changes in the second pillar, along the lines of the Swedish model.
Ms. Janet Kong and Mr. Manmohan Singh
This paper focuses on asset allocation decisions of life insurance companies in emerging markets. Mature market insurers allocate only a small fraction of their assets to emerging markets because of regulatory constraints, rating pressures, and currency risk. However, global insurers invest directly in emerging markets by setting up subsidiaries rather than through portfolio investment, and this trend is increasing. Local insurers largely remain captive investors of local instruments and provide stability to the domestic securities market. The regulatory regime and the liquidity and depth of local markets play an important role in asset allocation decisions of insurers. Insurance companies are increasingly adopting asset liability management and risk control measures. However, insufficiently developed local markets and regulatory interventions on the liabilities side often limit optimal asset allocation.