International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note sets out the findings and recommendations made in the context of the 2019 Financial Sector Assessment Program for Austria in the areas of Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism. It provides a targeted review of Austria’s progress in addressing the Money Laundering/Terrorism Financing vulnerabilities. Several initiatives, the amendments introduced to the Financial Markets Anti-Money Laundering Act, the Beneficial Owners Register Act, and other sectoral laws have led to significant enhancements of the legal and regulatory framework which resulted in a number of upgrades on technical compliance ratings by the Financial Action Task Force in the context of the two follow-up reports. The authorities took steps to transpose the Fourth and the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directives into national legislation. Steps have been taken to improve the legal and regulatory framework that applies to lawyers, notaries and tax advisors, and other Designated Non-Financial Business and Professions, but there is room for enhancing implementation. The authorities have recently adopted a comprehensive set of reforms to enhance entity transparency, including through the establishment of a Register of Beneficial Ownership.
The Austrian authorities introduced new supervisory guidance aiming at constraining the funding model of the three largest Austrian banks’ subsidiaries. The guidance introduced the concept of Loan-to-Local-Stable-Funding Ratio (LLSFR) as a monitoring tool of business model sustainability. Austrian banks’ subsidiaries have a significant market share in several Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe (CESEE) countries. Evidence for CESEE banks suggests that the LLSFR is an appropriate tool to monitor the possible buildup of credit risk besides its more obvious role as an indicator of liquidity risk.
The staff report for the 2007 Article IV Consultation highlights the Russian Federation’s long-term perspective, economic developments, and macroeconomic policies. Russia’s economic growth remains robust. High oil prices and sound fiscal policy underlie Russia’s long spell of robust growth. Executive Directors noted that Russia continues to face tensions in the policy mix designed to reduce inflation while preserving exchange rate stability. Raising investment levels is particularly important in light of the projected decline in the labor force and the declining prospect for continued high productivity gains over the medium term.
Propelled by large terms-of-trade gains, GDP growth has accelerated and is running close to potential. The demand pressures associated with the large terms-of-trade gains are reflected in a fast real appreciation of the ruble, although more of this has come through nominal appreciation during the last year. IMF staff welcomed the greater focus on inflation control, but cautioned that additional exchange rate flexibility would be needed to meet the end-2006 target. The authorities agreed that structural reforms are behind.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Russia’s unexpectedly strong recovery since its 1998 crisis has left people wondering whether it is just a temporary result of higher oil prices and the postcrisis depreciation of the ruble or a sign ofdurable improvements in the much-battered economy. This question is addressed in the book Russia Rebounds, written by members of the IMF’s Russian team and due out later this year. John Odling-Smee, Director of the IMF’s European II Department, spoke with Laura Wallace about Russia’s prospects and its relationship with the IMF during the troubled 1990s. Odling-Smee, a U.K. national, joined the IMF in 1990 and took over responsibility for the IMF’s relations with former Soviet Union countries in 1992. Before that, he served in the U.K. Cabinet Office and Treasury for about 15 years.
The overall price level increased sharply in transition countries once prices were freed. Disinflation has most frequently been gradual, with prices continuing to rise rapidly in subsequent years. This paper identifies the well-known and lesser-known features of inflationary processes in central and eastern Europe, the Baltics, Russia, and other countries of the former Soviet Union on the basis of a sample of 26 countries and observations spanning the first five to seven years of transition.
This Selected Issues paper assesses the economic recovery in Estonia that began in 1994 and accelerated in 1995, highlighting the extent to which the pattern of production has changed since the beginning of the transition in 1992, the factors that made the decline in output inevitable early on, and the sound policies that made an early recovery possible. The paper lists the policy requisites to maintain, and indeed strengthen, the growth momentum. The paper also analyzes Estonia’s experience with declining but persisting inflation since the introduction of the currency board in 1992.