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Peter Windsor, Jeffery Yong, and Michelle Chong-Tai Bell
The paper explores the use of accounting standards for insurer solvency assessment in the context of the implementation of IFRS 17. The paper is based on the results of a survey of 20 insurance supervisors. Overall, IFRS 17 is a welcome development but there will be challenges of implementation. Not many insurance supervisors currently intend to use IFRS 17 as a basis for solvency assessment of insurers. Perceived shortcomings can be overcome by supervisors providing clear specifications where the principles-based standard allows a range of approaches. Accounting standards can provide a ready-made valuation framework for supervisors developing new solvency frameworks.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept. and International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This mission, a follow up to the earlier mission from IMF AFRITAC South (AFS) conducted in March 2017 (STX Mr. Bernie Egan), was designed to further help the authorities in the implementation of Basel II and select elements of Basel III. The main objectives of the mission were to help the CBL finalize the Draft Guidelines to banks on Pillar 1; assist in the implementation of Pillar 2, with attention paid to the Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process (SREP) and the banks´ Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP); and evaluate current disclosure requirements in view of the recent revision of Pillar 3 by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS). The adoption of select elements of Basel III especially those related to definition of capital was discussed.
Mr. Montfort Mlachila, Ahmat Jidoud, Ms. Monique Newiak, Bozena Radzewicz-Bak, and Ms. Misa Takebe
This paper discusses how sub-Saharan Africa’s financial sector developed in the past few decades, compared with other regions. Sub-Saharan African countries have made substantial progress in financial development over the past decade, but there is still considerable scope for further development, especially compared with other regions. Indeed, until a decade or so ago, the level of financial development in a large number of sub-Saharan African countries had actually regressed relative to the early 1980s. With the exception of the region’s middle-income countries, both financial market depth and institutional development are lower than in other developing regions. The region has led the world in innovative financial services based on mobile telephony, but there remains scope to increase financial inclusion further. The development of mobile telephone-based systems has helped to incorporate a large share of the population into the financial system, especially in East Africa. Pan-African banks have been a driver for homegrown financial development, but they also bring a number of challenges.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

La croissance économique en Afrique subsaharienne est tombée en 2015 à son plus bas niveau depuis quinze ans, avec toutefois une grande disparité entre les pays de la région. La chute des cours des produits de base de ces dernières années a ébranlé beaucoup des plus grands pays d’Afrique subsaharienne, dont des pays exportateurs de pétrole tels que l'Angola et le Nigéria, et d'autres produits exportateurs de produits de base, tels que le Ghana, l'Afrique du Sud et la Zambie. La baisse des cours pétroliers a toutefois permis à d'autres pays de maintenir une croissance vigoureuse, dont le Kenya et le Sénégal. Dans de nombreux pays, il est urgent et essentiel de prendre des mesures robustes face aux chocs sur les termes de l'échange. Le rapport aborde également la vulnérabilité de l'Afrique subsaharienne face aux chocs sur les prix de base et note les avancées spectaculaires en matière de développement du secteur financier, et plus particulièrement dans le domaine des services financiers mobiles.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole has fallen to its lowest level in 15 years, though with large variation among countries in the region. The sharp decline in commodity prices has severely strained many of the largest economies, including oil exporters Angola and Nigeria, and other commodity exporters, such as Ghana, South Africa, and Zambia. At the same time, the decline in oil prices has helped other countries continue to show robust growth, including Kenya and Senegal. A strong policy response to the terms-of-trade shocks is critical and urgent in many countries. This report also examines sub-Saharan Africa’s vulnerability to commodity price shocks, and documents the substantial progress made in financial develop, especially financial services based on mobile technologies.

International Monetary Fund
operational guidance to staff on reserve adequacy discussions in the IMF’s bilateral and multilateral surveillance. It is based on the views presented in the policy paper Assessing Reserve Adequacy—Specific Proposals and the related Board discussion. The note addresses key issues related to Staff’s advice on the assessment of the adequacy of reserves and related items, including answering the following questions: What is the expected coverage of reserve issues at different stages of the bilateral surveillance process (Policy Note, mission, and Staff Report)? Which reserve adequacy tools best fit different economies based on their financial maturity, economic flexibility, and market access? What do possible reserve needs in mature markets relate to, and how can their adequacy be assessed? How can reserve adequacy discussions for emerging and deepening financial markets be tailored and applied to better evaluate reserve levels in: (i) commodity-intensive economies; (ii) countries with capital flow management measures (CFMs); and (iii) partially and fully dollarized economies? What reserve adequacy considerations hold for countries with limited access to capital markets? How can metrics for these economies be tailored to evaluate their reserve needs? How should potential drains on reserves be covered? What are the various measures of the cost of reserves for countries with and without market access?
Mr. Mauro Mecagni, Daniela Marchettini, and Mr. Rodolfo Maino
Banking in SSA has undergone very significant changes over the last two decades. Financial liberalization and related reforms, upgrades in institutional and more recently the expansion of cross-border banking activities and the rapid development of Pan-African banking groups are signaling greater financial integration and significant changes in the African banking and financial landscape. Nonetheless, excess liquidity in many countries reflects limited lending opportunities and, despite improvements, asset quality and provisioning remain comparatively low. Dollarization has also been a persistent characteristic in several natural resource-dependent economies. This paper discusses key stylized facts and trends of banking development in SSA, looking at a variety of dimensions such as size, depth, soundness, and efficiency. It also assess the rapid expansion of pan-African banking groups, which have overtaken the role of the European and U.S. banks that had traditionally dominated banking activities in SSA, creating significant cross-border networks and becoming the largest participants in new syndicates and large bilateral loans to finance infrastructure development.
Mr. Charles Enoch, Mr. Paul Henri Mathieu, Mr. Mauro Mecagni, and Mr. Jorge I Canales Kriljenko
Pan-African banks are expanding rapidly across the continent, creating cross-border networks, and having a systemic presence in the banking sectors of many Sub-Saharan African countries. These banking groups are fostering financial development and economic integration, stimulating competition and efficiency, introducing product innovation and modern management and information systems, and bringing higher skills and expertise to host countries. At the same time, the rise of pan-African banks presents new challenges for regulators and supervisors. As networks expand, new channels for transmission of macro-financial risks and spillovers across home and host countries may emerge. To ensure that the gains from cross border banking are sustained and avoid raising financial stability risks, enhanced cross-border cooperation on regulatory and supervisory oversight is needed, in particular to support effective supervision on a consolidated basis. This paper takes stock of the development of pan-African banking groups; identifies regulatory, supervisory and resolution gaps; and suggests how the IMF can help the authorities address the related challenges.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note discusses stress testing (ST) results for the financial system of South Africa. The bank STs suggest that banks have adequate capital to withstand severe shocks, but need larger liquidity capacity to meet regulatory requirements. Even in the severe scenario in which GDP falls for three consecutive years, banks’ capital buffers seem sufficient, although the impact of a large default could be significant. Banks also appear resilient to market risks in both the trading and banking books. Some banks, however, would have difficulty meeting the Liquidity Coverage Ratio without the Committed Liquidity Facility of the South African Reserve Bank.
International Monetary Fund
There has been a rapid expansion of pan-African banks (PABs) in recent years, with seven major PABs having a presence in at least ten African countries: three of these are headquartered in Morocco, two in Togo, and one each in Nigeria and South Africa. Additional banks, primarily from Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, have a regional presence with operations in at least five countries. PABs have a systemic presence in around 36 countries. Overall, the PABs are now much more important in Africa than the long-established European and American banks.