The 2019 Financial Soundness Indicators Compilation Guide (2019 Guide) includes new indicators to expand the coverage of the financial sector, including other financial intermediaries, money market funds, insurance corporations, pension funds, nonfinancial corporations, and households. In all, the 2019 Guide recommends the compilation of 50 FSIs—13 of them new. Additions such as new capital, liquidity and asset quality metrics, and concentration and distribution measures will serve to enhance the forward-looking aspect of FSIs and contribute to increase policy focus on stability of the financial system.
The boom and bust in capital flows to the New Member States of the European Union have received a considerable amount of attention; foreign direct investment and bank flows to the region and countries’ participation in regional supply chains have been well-documented. Relatively little has, however, been written about capital flows to the Western Balkans economies, which are often perceived to be ‘late arrivals’ to large capital flows. This paper aims to examine how capital flows to the Western Balkans compare with flows to the New Member States, in terms of levels as well as dynamics. We find that while financial integration took off somewhat later in the Western Balkans than in the New Member States, it has increased rapidly, despite still much lower capital account openness. Capital inflows as a share of GDP are comparable to those observed in the New Member States, (perhaps surprisingly) diverse in terms of source countries and broadly similar in composition, though with equity shares higher than they were in the New Member States at comparable levels of GDP per capita.
This paper discusses the Financial System Stability Assessment report on Albania. The IMF report states that the Albanian economy is weak, macroeconomic imbalances are large, and the financial sector faces several risks. Capital-to-asset ratios are sizable, but banks hold large amounts of government bonds that expose banks to sizeable losses in case of a sovereign debt re-pricing and balance sheets have deteriorated as a result of a rapid increase of nonperforming loans (NPLs). The authorities have taken steps to reduce the existing stock of NPLs with technical assistance from the World Bank.
This paper discusses key finding of the Financial System Stability Assessment, including Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) on the Banking Supervision and Payment Systems in Albania. The assessment reveals that the Albanian financial system is not highly vulnerable to immediate macroeconomic or financial sector shocks. However, accelerating credit growth and increased competition arising from the recent privatization of a dominant (savings) bank may put pressure on the banking system. The financial system is also at an early stage of development.