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International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) Statistics Department (STA) provided technical assistance (TA) on financial soundness indicators (FSI) to the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) during June 15-July 10, 2020. The TA mission took place in response to a request from the authorities, with the support of the IMF’s African Department (AFR). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, the mission was conducted remotely via video conferences. The mission worked with the staff of the NBE on the development of FSIs that are in line with the IMF’s 2019 FSI Guide.1 The main objectives of the mission were to: (i) review the source data, institutional coverage, and accounting and regulatory frameworks supporting the compilation of FSIs; (ii) provide guidance for mapping source data for the banking sector to the FSI reporting templates FS2 and FSD as well as preparing the metadata; and (iii) agree with the authorities on the timeline to begin regular reporting of the FSIs for deposit-takers to STA. The mission also provided technical assistance to the NBE on the compilation of net open positions in foreign currencies.
Cheikh A. Gueye, Asithandile Mbelu, and Mr. Amadou N Sy
This paper studies the impact of declining oil prices on banks in sub-Saharan African oil-exporting countries. Results indicate that banks respond differently to an oil shock depending on their ownership: (i) domestic banks are the most adversely impacted and experience a deterioration in asset quality and liquidity; (ii) foreign-owned banks are the most resilient as they are able to improve asset quality and attract deposits but at the same time, they decelerate credit growth; in contrast, (iii) Pan-African Banks help stabilize overall credit but large banks in that segment experience reduced asset quality. These differentiated results suggest a tradeoff between maintaining credit growth and safeguarding financial stability in an oil slump which could be addressed by both micro- and macroprudential policies.
International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept., International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department, International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, and International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper reviews the Fund’s policy on multiple currency practices (MCPs). There remain strong economic and legal reasons to retain a policy on MCPs. The over-arching aim of the review is to make the policy and its application more effective. Based on this review, the paper proposes initial considerations for reforming features of the policy that have created challenges. • Clarifying the concept of “official action” to focus on measures that segment FX markets. • Eliminating potentiality. • Updating the threshold for permissible FX spreads. • Adjusting approval policies. • Reviewing links with capital transactions. • Considering merits of a remedial framework.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This evaluation assesses the IMF’s work on countries in fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCS), addressing both (i) its engagement through surveillance, lending, and capacity development and (ii) the frameworks and procedures for its engagement. It finds that the IMF has provided unique and essential services to FCS to restore macroeconomic stability and rebuild core macroeconomic institutions as prerequisites for state building, playing a role in which no other institution can take its place. In this critical role, it is broadly acknowledged to have had a high impact. While the IMF has provided relatively little direct financing, it has catalyzed donor support through its assessment of a country’s economic policies and prospects. Notwithstanding this positive assessment, the IMF’s overall approach to its FCS work seems to have been conflicted. Not only has it failed consistently to make hard choices necessary to achieve full impact from its engagement in countries where success requires patient and dedicated attention over the long haul, but past efforts have not been sufficiently bold or adequately sustained, and the staff has tended to revert to treating fragile states using IMF-wide norms, rather than as countries needing special attention. The report proposes six recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the IMF’s FCS work: (i) to issue a statement of high-level commitment to FCS work for IMFC endorsement; (ii) to create an effective institutional mechanism with the mandate and authority to coordinate and champion such work; (iii) to develop comprehensive strategies for individual FCS; (iv) to adapt its lending toolkit to deliver more sustained financial support to FCS; (v) to take practical steps to increase the impact of its capacity development support to FCS; and (vi) to take steps to incentivize high-quality and experienced staff to work on individual FCS and find pragmatic ways of increasing field presence in high risk locations.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economic conditions in Sudan have been challenging since the secession of South Sudan in 2011 and the loss of the bulk of oil production and exports. The authorities have implemented partial policy adjustments to help stabilize the economy and reestablish growth, most recently by allowing for greater exchange rate flexibility and reducing fuel subsidies. The current account deficit (cash basis) is expected to decline by 3.25 percentage points to 2.75 percent of GDP in 2017. Data for the first half of 2017 indicate weaker real domestic demand, partly offset by a strengthening contribution from net exports.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
KEY ISSUES Context: Sudan’s economy has yet to recover from the shock of South Sudan’s secession three years ago, which took away three-quarters of oil production, half of its fiscal revenues, and two-thirds of its international payments capacity. Despite progress in implementing policies to address the resulting imbalances, inflation remains high and growth sluggish. Macroeconomic adjustment has been complicated by structural weaknesses, a heavy debt burden, U.S. sanctions, and volatile domestic and regional political factors. The authorities embarked earlier this year on a stabilization program supported by a Staff-Monitored Program (SMP). The program runs through end-2014, and the authorities have not yet decided if they want a new SMP; the mission for the third SMP review in December will discuss the matter with them. Developments, outlook, and risks. Economic performance this year has been mixed as growth has remained subdued and inflation still high at about 40 percent. Growth is expected to rebound in 2015, but the outlook remains uncertain. The risks are largely tilted to the downside, although prospects of a successful national dialogue could lead to resolution of domestic conflicts and improved international relations. Article IV. Discussions focused on policies to secure macroeconomic stability, strengthen social safety nets, and a move to sustainable and inclusive growth. Fiscal consolidation (through revenue mobilization and expenditure rationalization, including a gradual phase-out of fuel subsidies) should continue, accompanied by increased public investment and social spending. Tight monetary policy and lower central bank financing of the government should help lower inflation. There is also a need for steps to lower the large premium in the foreign exchange market. Stronger supervision is needed to improve banks’ resilience. More should be done to improve the business climate to boost growth. Program performance: The program remains on track. The authorities continue to minimize non-concessional borrowing and maintain satisfactory track record of payments to the Fund. They recently devalued the official exchange rate by 3 percent to help address external imbalances, which together with a large appreciation of the parallel market rate, has helped lower the premium. Going forward, priority should be given to further reducing inflation by continuing fiscal consolidation, tightening monetary policy, and gradually closing the gap between the official and parallel exchange rates. Debt relief. Relief requires reaching out to creditors, normalizing relations with international financial institutions, and continuing to establish a track record of cooperation with the IMF on policies and payments. The authorities’ agreement with South Sudan to extend the “zero option” by two years is a positive step.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
KEY ISSUES Political Context: Sudan is embarking on a difficult national dialogue with the opposition and some armed groups in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan regions. The objective is to break the current destructive cycle of instability and prepare for the upcoming presidential election in 2015. This dialogue, if successful, could help create the conditions needed to address the challenges that emerged after the secession of South Sudan, including sustaining a much-needed broad economic recovery and adjusting the economy to its new potential. The current staff monitored program (SMP) is providing an adequate policy framework and a path in this direction. Macroeconomic situation and outlook: Tight monetary conditions and improved fiscal performance, together with lower food prices, contributed to lower inflation at end-March. However, the curb market exchange rate further depreciated against the U.S. dollar on account of the uncertainties in the oil market triggered by the South Sudan conflict, further widening the gap between the official and curb market rates to more than 50 percent. The outlook for 2014 remains broadly favorable, with growth expected to reach 2.5 percent, and inflation to continue its downward trend to about 18 percent. Program performance: Performance under the SMP through end-March 2014 was affected by adverse shocks and security spillovers. All end-March quantitative benchmarks were met, except for the ones on net international reserves and net domestic assets of the Central Bank of Sudan (CBOS). The indicative targets on social spending and the non-oil primary deficit were also missed by a slight margin. Corrective actions have been taken to ensure that these targets will be met in the second quarter. Urgent measures are needed to address the gap between the official and curb market exchange rates. The authorities have also made good progress toward meeting their end-June structural benchmarks. Risks remain large and tilted to the downside. The uncertain political transition, the volatile domestic oil market, and the fragile security environment may slow down the reform momentum. The recent peace agreement between the warring factions in South Sudan, if implemented, would improve the risk outlook.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The IMF's 2012 Annual Report chronicles the response of the Fund's Executive Board and staff to the global financial crisis and other events during financial year 2012, which covers the period from May 1, 2011, through April 30, 2012. The print version of the Report is available in eight languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish), along with a CD-ROM (available in English only) that includes the Report text and ancillary materials, including the Fund's Financial Statements for FY2012.

International Monetary Fund
Economic growth is estimated to have moderated further in 2010 to about 5 percent, reflecting slower growth in both the oil and non-oil sectors. The overall commitment fiscal deficit for 2010 is now estimated at 2.7 percent of GDP, about 0.6 percentage point of GDP below the program target. Monetary policy was expansionary in the first half of 2010, but was subsequently tightened. The current account deficit narrowed during the first three quarters of 2010 largely driven by an increase in oil exports.