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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Assistance (TA) report on Bosnia and Herzegovina highlights that the negative spread in a context of structural lower returns on foreign exchange reserves and sizable capital inflows has led to a gradual and steady erosion of the currency board coverage ratio. The Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina (CBBH) requested Technical Assistance to review its reserve requirement framework. The mission recommends aligning the remuneration of reserve requirements on foreign exchange liabilities to the CBBH’s opportunity cost. The mission also recommends prescribing the fulfilment in foreign currency of the reserve requirements for foreign currency liabilities. It also suggested altering the remuneration scheme of domestic reserve requirements. In order to be neutral from an intermediation perspective, the reserve requirement remuneration should be aligned to the market-neutral uncovered interest rate parity rate, whereas the remuneration of excess reserves may take place significantly below the market-neutral rate but at or above the foreign currency remuneration rate. The CBBH may benefit from a constructive dialogue with the Area Department or TA to set the new rates of remuneration of domestic reserve requirement and excess reserves.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance report on Albania focuses on: compiling and disseminating flow-based monetary and financial statistics (MFS) for the central bank, other depository corporations (ODCs), and other financial corporations (OFCs); compiling and disseminating quarterly financial accounts by institutional sectors; and developing a from-whom/to-whom matrix for financial instruments. The mission reviewed the quality of Albania’s flow-based MFS, sectoral financial accounts and balance sheets, and provided technical guidance to improve their quality. The Monetary Policy Committee has requested flow-based monetary statistics as an additional vehicle to understand money and credit developments in the Albanian economy. Similarly, financial accounts by sector and financial balance sheets are considered increasingly important for analysis of financial stability and other macroeconomic developments. The mission also recommended that the BOA begins compiling quarterly sectoral financial accounts and balance sheets by mid-2021 starting with data from the first quarter of 2017.
Guido della Valle, Vasilika Kota, Mr. Romain M Veyrune, Ezequiel Cabezon, and Shaoyu Guo
This paper proposes a methodology to develop empirically based and theoretically consistent deeuroization policies. It is derived from the experience of Albania. The paper is the first attempt to provide an empirical measure of the optimal level of euroization. The results indicate that euroization is trending above the estimated measure in Albania, calling for deeuroization policies. In the long term, deeuroization requires maintaining the commitment to low and stable inflation in a context of greater exchange rate flexibility to encourage saving in local currency. In the short term, policies that mitigate the financial stability risk due to euroization contribute to deeuroization inasmuch as they make banking intermediation in euro less financially attractive to the public.
Nazim Belhocine, Ernesto Crivelli, Ms. Nan Geng, Tiberiu Scutaru, Mr. Johannes Wiegand, and Zaijin Zhan
The demands on monetary and exchange rate regimes in CESEE have evolved, in line with the region’s development. In the 1990s, the immediate challenge was to rein in excessive inflation following transition, and to establish basic monetary order. These objectives have been achieved, owing largely to successful exchange rate–based stabilization. With this accomplished, the focus has shifted to cyclical monetary management, and to appropriately managing monetary conditions during CESEE’s growth and income convergence to the euro area. Flexible exchange rates—and the ensuing capacity of monetary conditions to adapt to the economies’ needs—are likely to remain advantages, especially to extent that CESEE’s GDP and income levels will resume convergence to the euro area. Once this process restarts, tighter monetary conditions will again be needed to limit goods and asset price inflation, and to contain growth imbalances.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
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.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.
Mr. Christopher J. Jarvis
What lessons can be drawn from the unprecedented growth and spectacular collapse of financial pyramid schemes in Albania? This paper discusses the origins of the pyramid schemes and the way the authorities handled them. It also analyzes the economic effects of the pyramid schemes, concluding that despite the descent into anarchy triggered by the schemes’ collapse their direct effects on the economy are difficult to specify and appear to have been limited. Finally, the paper argues that prevention of pyramid schemes is better than cure, and that governments and international financial institutions should be vigilant in clamping down on frauds.
Mr. Sanja Kalra
The paper uses a simple analytical framework to estimate relationships between prices, money the exchange rate, and interest rates in Albania during 1993–97. The estimated parsimonious error correction model extends the findings of a growing literature on inflation and money demand in transition economies. The results suggest that, after the one-time effects of the 1997 crisis are taken into account, the long-run determinants of inflation and money demand remained unchanged. Strong financial policies since mid—1997 appear to have helped to restore conditions for low inflation and stable money demand.