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  • Financial Institutions and Services: Government Policy and Regulation x
  • Armenia, Republic of x
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Gianni De Nicoló,, Sami Geadah,, and Mr. Dmitriy L Rozhkov

This paper describes why the international community needs to act now to stand a chance of meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The paper gives example of Ethiopia, one of the poorest countries in the world, with an estimated per capita income of about US$100. According to the World Bank, recent national household surveys find 44 percent of the people in Ethiopia cannot meet basic needs. The paper discusses that Ethiopia in many ways epitomizes why the MDGs are important and why more money is needed to achieve them.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

In response to the Global Financial Crisis, the IMF launched many initiatives to strengthen financial surveillance and better advise member countries of vulnerabilities and risks. While these initiatives have not yet been tested by a major crisis, the efforts have delivered a substantial upgrade of the Fund’s financial surveillance, including giving the IMF clearer responsibilities over financial sector stability and cross-country spillovers; making periodic financial stability assessments mandatory for jurisdictions with systemically important financial sectors; invigorating efforts to integrate financial and macroeconomic analysis in bilateral and multilateral surveillance; enhancing cooperation with the Financial Stability Board and standard setting bodies to promote reforms and monitor agreed standards; and taking steps to recruit and train greater financial expertise. While recognizing these achievements, this evaluation finds that the quality and impact of the IMF’s financial surveillance has been uneven. The expansion of products and activities has presented the Fund with difficult trade-offs between bilateral and multilateral surveillance; between countries with systemically important financial sectors and other member countries; and between financial surveillance and other activities. Moreover, resource constraints have slowed the needed build-up of financial and macrofinancial expertise. These are critical issues, given the IMF’s position as the only international financial institution with the mandate and ability to conduct financial and macrofinancial surveillance over the full range of countries as well as the global economy, and given that these issues are at the core of the IMF’s responsibilities. Thus, to further strengthen financial surveillance, the evaluation recommends devoting greater resources to financial surveillance overall; further strengthening financial and macrofinancial analysis in Article IV surveillance; refining resource allocation for FSAPs; enhancing rigor and transparency in multilateral surveillance; intensifying efforts to be a global center of excellence on financial and macrofinancial research; and extending efforts to develop financial expertise among IMF staff.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Financial Sector Assessment Program-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Republic of Armenia

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
IMF research summaries on governance of banks (by Luc Laeven) and on whether there is a foreign aid paradox (by Thierry Tressel); country study on Mozambique (by Jean A.P. Clément and Shanaka J. Peiris); listing of visiting scholars at the IMF during July 2007-January 2008; listing of contents of Vol. 54, Issue No. 4 of IMF Staff Papers; listing of recent IMF Working Papers; listing of recent external publications by IMF staff; and a call for papers for the upcoming Conference on International Finance.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Armenia’s growing financial system is dominated by banks, and its regulatory and supervisory system is robust. The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recommended the Central Bank of Armenia (CBA) to develop a program to gather information and monitor the hedging ability of borrowers. Liquidity requirements in foreign currency would be an important risk mitigant particularly because the CBA has a limited ability to extend foreign currency emergency liquidity assistance. Implementation of the pension reform in 2014 will bring additional investments to the market.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The Armenian banking sector is recovering from the 2014 economic slowdown, aided by additional capital injected by shareholders, several mergers, and improved regulation and supervision. However, banks, including the largest ones, are vulnerable to external shocks because high levels of dollarization expose them to FX-related credit and liquidity risks. These risks can be mitigated with the adoption of a stressed debt service to income ratio limit, the gradual introduction of reserve requirements in foreign currency for liabilities denominated in foreign currency, and the adoption of the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) and Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) in domestic currency and in United States dollars (USD). The introduction of the capital surcharge for domestic systemically important banks is also needed.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
Mr. Holger Floerkemeier and Ms. Era Dabla-Norris
Despite far-reaching banking sector reforms and a prolonged period of macroeconomic stability and strong economic growth, financial intermediation in Armenia has lagged behind other transition countries, and interest rate spreads have remained higher than in most Central and Eastern European transition countries. This paper examines the determinants of interest rate spreads and margins in Armenia using a bank-level panel dataset for the period 2002 to 2006. We find that bank-specific factors, such as bank size, liquidity, and market power, as well as the market structure within which banks operate, explain a large proportion of crossbank, cross-time variation in spreads and margins. The results suggest that there is a large potential to increase cost efficiency and competition in the banking system.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

This detailed assessment of observance has been conducted against the standard issued by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision in 2012. The report also highlights that the Central Bank of Armenia has made significant progress in its approach to banking supervision with adoption of the risk-based program (RBS) framework and addressing gaps in the regulatory framework identified in the 2012 Basel Core Principles assessment. Improvements have been made in the regulatory regime regarding requirements for risk management, stress testing, corporate governance, country risk and consolidated supervision. Although the supervisory regime has recently transitioned from a rules-based to an RBS, there is a need for continued refinement of the program for more granular assessments of firms’ capital needs. The process for conducting risk assessments of each firm has identified a need for building a stronger and more structured (system-wide) understanding of the level and magnitude of risk and the risk management capabilities across banking firms.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Financial Sector Assessment Program-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Republic of Armenia