This paper discusses the Republic of Moldova’s IMF staff report for Request for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility and Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument. The IMF support will help finance the health and macroeconomic stabilization measures, catalyze donor support, and shore up confidence in Moldova. While downside risks have intensified, public debt remains sustainable with low risk of distress. Beyond the immediate response, the authorities have reinforced their commitment to engage in a governance-focused arrangement with the IMF in the coming months. The IMF stands ready to support Moldova in addressing its immediate and medium-term policy challenges. The authorities’ policies aim at mitigating the economic and social impact of the crisis and supporting the recovery, while maintaining macroeconomic and financial stability. They have ramped-up spending to respond to urgent healthcare needs, provided temporary tax relief and subsidized credit schemes to protect employment and businesses, and strengthened social assistance and unemployment programs. The National Bank of Moldova is ensuring orderly exchange rate adjustment and preventing liquidity distress. Financial policies continue to focus on prudent restructuring of banks’ credit portfolios subject to maintaining loan classification and provisioning standards.
This Selected Issues paper provides a systematic assessment of Moldova’s governance and institutional frameworks. It follows guidelines approved by the IMF executive board, which were developed to deliver systematic and even-handed analysis on macroeconomically critical governance and institutional vulnerabilities. This paper also focuses on seven key areas for IMF engagement: corruption, rule of law, regulatory framework, fiscal governance, financial sector oversight, anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism, and central bank governance. The analysis is based on internationally comparable data, diagnosis from IMF technical assistance reports, as well as other expert assessments. Strengthening the judiciary and rule of law and accelerating state-owned enterprises (SOE) reform are clear priorities. The widespread nature of governance vulnerabilities and institutional weaknesses in Moldova, combined with capacity constraints, creates challenges for policy formulation and prioritization. Policy efforts should therefore focus on strengthening rule of law and reforming Moldova’s judiciary system, as well as building capacity and increasing the autonomy of key institutions. Steadfast SOE reform would foster competition, investment, and productivity, while reducing fiscal risks.
This paper presents 2019 Article IV Consultation with the Republic of Moldova and its Sixth Reviews Under the Extended Credit Facility and Extended Fund Facility Arrangements. Moldova’s economic growth remained solid in the first three quarters of 2019, with output expanding nearly 5 percent, supported by strong domestic demand. The three-year program has been broadly successful in achieving its objectives. Comprehensive reforms have rehabilitated the banking system and strengthened financial sector governance, entrenching macrofinancial stability. Prudent and well-coordinated policies are needed to safeguard the progress achieved. Decisive governance and institutional reforms are necessary for faster, sustainable, and inclusive growth. Safeguarding central bank independence is a priority. The inflation-targeting (IT) regime remains appropriate, but additional efforts are needed to improve policy credibility, promote exchange rate flexibility, and disincentivize foreign currency intermediation. Widespread governance and institutional vulnerabilities are major impediments to accelerating income convergence. Addressing these could have significant growth dividends through faster capital accumulation, reduced labor and human capital headwinds from emigration, and higher productivity.
This paper discusses Republic of Moldova’s Fourth and Fifth Reviews Under the Extended Credit Facility and Extended Fund Facility Arrangements, Completion of the Inflation Consultation, and Request for Extension of the Arrangements and Rephasing of Access. The Moldovan authorities have taken decisive corrective measures to bring the Fund supported program back on track and to achieve its objectives of ensuring macroeconomic stability and advancing reforms. Going forward, it is critical that the authorities continue to pursue prudent policies and structural reforms aimed at strengthening the financial sector, maintaining fiscal sustainability, and creating space for social and infrastructure spending. Policies remain focused on cleansing the financial sector, ensuring growth friendly fiscal policy, and enhancing transparency in the energy sector. The authorities are committed to completing the rehabilitation of the banking system, addressing vulnerabilities in the non-bank sector, promoting predictable energy tariff setting, and maintaining fiscal sustainability to preserve space for social and infrastructure spending.
This Technical Assistance Report on the Republic of Moldova provides details of IMF mission to review available source data for deposit takers and other sectors including other financial corporations (OFCs); and to review the current financial soundness indicators (FSI) compiled by the National Bank of Moldova with a view to ensure methodological consistency of the FSI compilation with the IMF’s FSI Compilation Guide 2006. The mission found some deviations from the FSI Guide in key indicators currently compiled based on the International Financial Reporting Standards and Basel III principles as well as national supervisory standards. Some methodological deviations include the measurement of capital. In order to support progress in the above work areas, the mission recommended a detailed action plan with several priority recommendations. It is recommended to expand the coverage of the OFCs sector to include the non-bank credit organizations (microfinance institutions and leasing companies) in collaboration and coordination with the National Commission for Financial Markets.
The economy strengthened in 2017. Higher-than-expected GDP growth was driven by strong domestic demand and a positive external environment. Inflation slowed, driven by regulated and food prices, prudent policies and exchange rate appreciation, to below the target of the National Bank of Moldova (NBM).
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights that growth in Moldova is expected to be about 3 percent in 2018. Inflation is forecast to return to target in 2018, following a pickup in 2017. The banking sector has been stable, the fiscal performance has improved and Moldova’s external position has strengthened. The outlook, however, is still subject to substantial risks. The program is broadly on track, but continued reform efforts are needed to accelerate growth and improve living standards. Important progress has been made toward cleansing the financial sector, though with delay, including by strengthening supervisory and regulatory frameworks and increasing management and ownership transparency.
This paper discusses Moldova’s First Reviews under the Extended Credit Facility and Extended Fund Facility Arrangements and Request for Modification of Performance Criteria. The program is broadly on track, enjoys strong country ownership, and is supported by policymakers’ firm commitment to sound economic management. The authorities continue to make significant progress in tackling long-standing vulnerabilities in the financial sector and advancing structural reforms. These efforts have helped strengthen financial stability, and growth has resumed. The economy is projected to grow 4.5 percent in 2017, higher than previously expected. Continued steadfast program implementation is vital.
Since late 2014, Moldova’s economy has been hit by a number of domestic and external shocks. Chief among them is the exposure of extensive and well-orchestrated fraud in the banking system, resulting in the closure of three banks at a public cost of 10 percent of GDP. During the following period, confidence collapsed, external concessional financing largely froze, and international reserves fell by one-third, prompting significant tightening of monetary conditions. Domestic political turmoil, marked by three changes in government, constrained solutions and delayed collaboration with the international community on possible financial support.