Miss Mercedes Vera Martin, Mr. Tarak Jardak, Mr. Robert Tchaidze, Mr. Juan P Trevino, and Mrs. Helen W Wagner
External shocks since 2014—lower oil prices and slower growth in key trading partners—have put financial sectors, mainly banks, in the eight Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) countries under increased stress. Even before the shocks, CCA banking sectors were not at full strength. Asset quality was generally weak, due in part to shortcomings in regulation, supervision, and governance. The economies were highly dollarized. Business practices were affected by lack of competition and, in most countries, connected lending, which undermined banking sector health. Shortcomings in financial regulation and supervision allowed the unsound banking practices to remain unaddressed. The external shocks exacerbated in these underlying vulnerabilities. Strains in CCA banking sectors intensified as liquidity tightened, asset quality deteriorated, and banks became undercapitalized. These challenges have required public intervention in some cases.
This paper presents key findings of the Sixth Review for Tajikistan under the Extended Credit Facility. Real GDP growth for 2011 reached 7.4 percent, driven mainly by agriculture, construction, and services. The authorities plan to maintain a conservative fiscal stance in line with the macroeconomic framework agreed during recent reviews, targeting a deficit of 0.5 percent of GDP. The fiscal stance for 2012 remains appropriate, but further consolidation will be necessary over the medium term to maintain fiscal and external sustainability.
This paper on the First Assessment Under the 2008 Staff-Monitored Program (SMP) for the Republic of Tajikistan discusses the ongoing global financial crisis. The main purpose of the SMP is to allow the authorities to reestablish their credibility after a serious episode of misreporting to the IMF. Revenue collection was stronger than projected, mostly reflecting high nominal growth and imports. Monetary and exchange rate policies will have to focus on maintaining external stability. Moreover, a possible sharp depreciation of main trading partners’ currencies may require further exchange rate adjustment.
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
Economic activity is on the upswing in Tajikistan, bolstered by higher hydroelectric power production. The government is working to address the structural energy deficit and achieve energy independence, raise social expenditures, maintain a flexible exchange rate regime, and continue structural reforms. Medium-term fiscal consolidation will be essential while striking a careful balance between social and capital spending. Macroeconomic policies should shift from an anti-crisis to a post-crisis footing. Follow-through on structural reforms is essential both for continued donor support and for meeting medium-term macroeconomic objectives.
The Republic of Tajikistan’s Financial System Stability Assessment and reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes are examined. The Tajik financial system is small despite recent rapid growth. Overall, banks remain well capitalized and liquid, but the brisk expansion of their loan portfolios is rapidly eroding capital buffers in a context where governance and supervision of the financial system raise concerns. The governance, regulatory, and supervisory frameworks for the financial sector should be strengthened. The key areas for the banking sector include licensing, remedial actions, and disclosure of significant shareholders and beneficial ownership.
Economic activity in Tajikistan continues to recover from the global crisis, but a range of vulnerabilities remain. Real GDP grew at an estimated 7.5 percent through the first nine months of 2011. The political environment appears broadly stable, but there are underlying tensions. The worst of the food and fuel price shocks has been weathered without civil unrest, partly owing to measures to ensure supplies, higher remittances, and a general understanding by the population that remedies are limited given resource constraints.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper highlights Tajikistan's macroeconomic environment and gives an overview of the financial sector and its stability, and discusses its regulatory, supervisory, crisis prevention, and management framework. The economy of Tajikistan is entering a downturn, and the banking sector is showing substantial weakness. GDP growth has been on a declining trend. Inflation is also projected to rise further. The external position continues to deteriorate, putting pressure on the somoni and eroding already low external buffers. The financial sector of Tajikistan is dominated by banks, which account for 84 percent of total financial sector assets. Dollarization in the financial sector has been increasing and remains a challenge for foreign exchange risk and credit risk management.
The proposed Staff-Monitored Program (SMP) in Tajikistan includes a balanced budget objective with a view to securing the inflation goal. While public financial management has improved, there is an agreement that monitoring and corporate governance of state-owned enterprises should be enhanced. Monetary policy will aim at containing inflation by targeting reserve money while building up official foreign exchange reserves. To mitigate risks of future debt problems, the program includes a well-defined and cautious debt strategy. The authorities are taking steps to reinvigorate their cotton sector reform efforts.
The 2006 Article IV Consultation on the Republic of Tajikistan explains political and economic developments. Although Tajikistan’s external debt profile has improved significantly, total public and publicly guaranteed debt is projected to increase significantly, mainly because of large project-related disbursements from China. Any financial resources directed to the private sector, particularly if subsidized, should be channeled through the budget in a transparent manner. Executive Directors welcomed the authorities’ intention to put in place a debt management strategy that will prevent public debt from exceeding 60 percent of GDP.