International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, and International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This paper provides background for a further round of discussions on the Fifteenth General Review of Quotas (hereafter 15th Review). The paper builds on work presented in previous staff papers and Directors’ views expressed in three meetings of the Committee of the Whole in September 2017 and February 2018. No proposals are presented at this stage, pending further Board guidance on possible approaches to narrowing the current differences of views.
This 2020 Article IV Consultation discusses that San Marino is now facing very significant challenges owing to the recent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, which has taken a heavy toll on local population and businesses. The staff report reflects discussions with the Sammarinese authorities in January 2020 and is based on the information available as of January 31, 2020. It focuses on San Marino’s near- and medium-term challenges and policy priorities and was prepared before COVID-19 became a global pandemic and resulted in unprecedented strains in global trade, commodity, and financial markets. It, therefore, does not reflect the implications of these developments and related policy priorities. The outbreak has greatly amplified uncertainty and downside risks around the outlook. Staff is closely monitoring the situation and will continue to work on assessing its impact and the related policy response in San Marino and globally. With no credible measures to restore banking system health and in the face of a continued weak external environment, economic growth is projected to remain subdued in the coming years. Slow progress in repairing the banking system and failure to restore fiscal sustainability are the key and material risks.
This Article IV Consultation highlights that deep-rooted weaknesses in the banking system have undermined economic activity and are now threatening financial stability and fiscal sustainability. Significant deposit outflows have left the banking system with low liquidity, while persistent losses and high non-performing loans (NPLs) resulted in sizable recapitalization needs, particularly in the state-owned bank. Growth is projected to remain subdued in the coming years, reflecting continued banking sector deleveraging and a less favorable external environment, most notably in Italy. Slow progress in repairing the banking sector, and full and upfront recognition of the state’s financial commitments to the banking system are the key risks. Urgent actions are needed to restore banking sector viability and credit supply, safeguard public finances, and promote sustained economic growth. It is recommended to strengthen labor supply by better targeting social benefits and further relaxing the hiring process of non-residents.