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Mr. Marc C Dobler, Ender Emre, Alessandro Gullo, and Deeksha Kale
This technical note and manual (TNM) addresses the following issues: advantages and disadvantages of different types of depositor preference, international best practice and experience in adopting depositor preference, and introducing depositor preference in jurisdictions with or without deposit insurance.
Mr. Sami Ben Naceur, Mr. Ralph Chami, and Mohamed Trabelsi
This paper explores the relationship between remittances and financial inclusion for a sample of 187 countries over the period 2004-2015, using cross-country as well as dynamic panel GMM regressions. At low levels of remittances-to-GDP, these flows act as a substitute to formal financial channels, thereby reducing financial inclusion. In contrast, when remittance-to-GDP ratio is high, above 13% on average, they tend to complement formal access and usage channels, thus enhancing financial inclusion. This “U shaped” relationship highlights the role of remittance flows in financing household consumption at low levels, while raising formal household bank savings and allowing for more intermediation, at high levels of remittance-to-GDP.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Republic of Tajikistan’s Request for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF). The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a severe human and economic impact in Tajikistan. Trade and transportation disruptions have led to a sharp drop in remittances and government revenues and created urgent balance of payments and fiscal financing needs. The authorities have responded with an action plan and measures to contain the pandemic. Health spending and targeted support to the most vulnerable households and sectors in the economy are the immediate priorities, and a temporary widening of the budget deficit is appropriate. The IMF’s financial assistance under the RCF is expected to provide a sizable share of the financing needed to implement the anti-crisis measures. Additional concessional and grant financing from the international community will be critical to close the remaining financing gap. Based on authorities’ fiscal consolidation plans, debt is assessed to be sustainable. The authorities have committed to enhance the transparency and governance of their COVID-19 policy response through the publication of an ex-post audit of associated spending and procurement processes. The risk of debt distress remains high, but the capacity to repay the IMF is adequate.
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.
Mr. Peter J Kunzel, Phil De Imus, Mr. Edward R Gemayel, Risto Herrala, Mr. Alexei P Kireyev, and Farid Talishli
The Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) countries are at an important juncture in their economic transition. Following significant economic progress during the 2000s, recent external shocks have revealed the underlying vulnerabilities of the current growth model. Lower commodity prices, weaker remittances, and slower growth in key trading partners reduced CCA growth, weakened external and fiscal balances, and raised public debt. the financial sector was also hit hard by large foreign exchange losses. while commodity prices have recovered somewhat since late 2014, to boost its economic potential, the region needs to find new growth drivers, diversify away from natural resources, remittances, and public spending, and generate much stronger private sector-led activity.
Mr. David A. Grigorian and Mr. Maxym Kryshko
The paper uses a unique survey of remittance-receiving individuals from Tajikistan to study the impact of policy awareness on consumer behavior. The results show that knowledge of deposit insurance encourages the use of formal channels for transmitting remittances and reduces dollarization. Given the size and importance of remittances in Tajikistan, improving financial literacy and better publicizing details of the social safety net may encourage a more frequent use of formal channels for transferring remittances and reduce reliance on foreign exchange for transaction purposes. This is likely to improve bank profitability, enhance financial stability, and improve access to finance.
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.