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Raja Almarzoqi and Mr. Sami Ben Naceur
In this paper, we use a bank-level panel dataset to investigate the determinants of bank interest margins in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) over the period 1998–2013. We apply the dealership model of Ho and Saunders (1981) and its extensions to assess the extent to which high spreads of banks in the CCA can be related to bank-specific variables, to competition, and to macroeconomic factors. We find that interest spreads are affected by operating cost, credit risk, liquidity risk, bank size, bank diversification, banking sector competition, and macroeconomic policies; but the impact depends on the country.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office


The Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) is a joint IMF–World Bank initiative to provide countries with comprehensive evaluations of their financial systems.The IEO evaluation assessed the effectiveness of the FSAP from the perspective of the IMF. The main findings address the following areas: the nature of priority setting under the FSAP; the efficiency of FSAP processes and quality of the main diagnostic tools; the overall quality of FSAP content; how well the IMF has used FSAP results in its surveillance, technical assistance, and program activities; and evidence on the overall impact of the FSAP on the domestic policy dialogue, changes in policies and institutions, and market participants.