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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Background: In February 2014, the Executive Board approved a three-year Extended Arrangement with access equivalent to SDR 295.42 million (492.4 percent of quota). So far, four purchases totaling the equivalent of SDR 123.1 million have been made, and another one equivalent to SDR 57.76 million will be made available upon completion of the fifth and sixth reviews. Recent Economic Developments: Economic recovery is underway, but growth remains below potential and inflationary pressures are limited. Nonperforming loans (NPLs) have started declining but are still high, and credit growth remains sluggish despite substantial monetary easing.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

This Selected Issues paper examines social spending reform and fiscal savings in Slovenia. Rising expenditure has been at the root of Slovenia’s fiscal deterioration since the onset of the crisis. The paper explores reform options to reduce Slovenia’s social spending over the medium and long term. It discusses key features of the pension system, and analyzes the evolution of pension spending in the absence of reforms. The paper also examines the health and education spending and provides a framework to assess their efficiency relative to other countries.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

This Selected Issues paper presents Italy’s economic growth through innovation and reforms. It highlights that Italy’s future competitiveness depends on the institutional and macroeconomic conditions that allow productive firms to innovate, expand, and attract inward foreign direct investment (FDI) that in turn will require the successful implementation of the authorities’ full structural- and institutional-reform agenda. The IMF report focuses on the enforcement of civil and commercial claims in Italy as a key way to improve the environment for sustaining economic growth. There has been considerable interest in the possibility of introducing a comprehensive wealth tax in Italy, reflecting the public resistance to spending-only austerity.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

The government of the Kyrgyz Republic is determined to consolidate its finances over the coming years. This note describes the main elements of the tax regime in the Kyrgyz Republic, looks into tax incentives, and provides some reform options to raise revenues. The second note is on monetary policy in the Kyrgyz Republic, which faces challenges with respect to formulation and efficacy given the low monetization, the shallow financial system, high dollarization, and a predominantly cash-based economy.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix paper on Kuwait focuses on recent development in investment companies (ICs) and the business environment in the country. ICs continue to be vulnerable to swings in financial and real estate markets. They continue to have large exposures to domestic, regional, and international equity and real estate markets. Local banks’ lending to ICs declined in 2010–11 owing to banks’ write-offs of ICs loans. The financial situation of many ICs remains precarious, and there are 15 listed investment companies in a dire situation.

International Monetary Fund

Spain’s economy is facing severe challenges. Financial market tensions increased sharply in the wake of the Greek crisis. Policy should focus on rebalancing of the economy and securing market confidence. Ambitious fiscal consolidation is under way, but achievement of the targets needs to be made more credible and complemented by bold pension reform. A radical overhaul of the labor market is urgent. Progress in recent years on product and service market reform should continue. The banking sector remains sound but is under pressure.