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International Monetary Fund

The Selected Issues paper analyzes the determinants of growth in Albania, the macroeconomic underpinnings for growth, the role of remittances in the economy, and the policy response to rapid credit growth. It also analyzes the official estimates with estimates from various macroeconomic surveys, and discusses the implications for the structure of the balance of payments. It also provides a framework for analyzing the budgetary impact of remittances in Albania, and examines the acceleration of credit growth and the policy options available to address the resulting macroeconomic and prudential concerns.

Andrea M. Maechler, Ms. Srobona Mitra, and Delisle Worrell

This paper assesses how various types of financial risk such as credit risk, market risk, and liquidity risk affect banking stability in emerging Europe. It also examines how the quality of supervisory standards may have mitigated the vulnerabilities arising from these risk factors. Using panel data, the paper finds that (1) credit quality is of general concern especially in circumstances where credit growth is accelerating; (2) although higher provisioning could adversely affect profits and returns volatility, good supervisory policies on provisioning mitigate such adverse effects; and (3) highly liquid banks are not necessarily more stable because they might be pursuing activities with more volatile returns, but a well-functioning payments system helps to lower the adverse impact on stability. The paper also corroborates earlier evidence of the positive (negative) effect of financial depth (foreign ownership) on stability.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper discusses key findings and recommendations of the Detailed Assessment of Observance on the Basel Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision on Bulgaria. Within the Banking Supervision Department, the Special Supervision Directorate (SSD) has been assigned multiple activities that go beyond its primary objective of ensuring integrity in the banking sector. The Bulgarian National Bank is not empowered to require a bank to change its internal organization or structure. It is recommended to refocus the activity of the SSD on its core mandate of financial integrity. This recommendation can be achieved by assigning nonsupervisory activities to other Directorates, preferably outside the Banking Supervision Department.
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.