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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper offers elements of a possible strategy to deal with San Marino’s nonperforming loans (NPLs). It provides a brief overview of the reasons behind the accumulation of impaired assets by Sammarinese banks. This paper also presents some stylized facts regarding the nature and composition of San Marino’s problem loans. Further, it summarizes the experience of other small economies in dealing with weak banks and NPLs, with a view to drawing policy lessons. This paper also discusses recent measures implemented by the Sammarinese authorities to address weak financial institutions and their problem assets and examines the main impediments to deal with NPLs in San Marino’s legal and tax framework.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper discusses Cyprus’ Second Review Under the Extended Arrangement Under the Extended Fund Facility and Request for Modification of Performance Criteria. The program is on track. Fiscal performance continued to exceed targets comfortably, and the 2014 budget is more ambitious than envisaged at program approval. All structural benchmarks were met, albeit with a modest delay in one case. Significant progress has been made in restructuring and recapitalizing the banking sector, including with foreign participation in the share capital of one domestic bank. Fiscal structural reforms are proceeding, but strong resolve is needed to kick start the privatization process.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper analyzes the economic effects of weak claims enforcement for Cyprus. Claims enforcement in Cyprus is considerably less efficient than in most European Union countries. The banking crisis, which led to a spike in the number of pending litigious civil and commercial cases, could be a factor in the low enforcement efficiency. For Cyprus, piecemeal reform of the enforcement framework may have limited success, and a wholesale review is likely needed. Adding updated components may not fit well with the underlying civil procedure. Instead a comprehensive review, with a focus on limiting case suspensions allowed under interim applications and considering an alternative compensation basis for lawyers should be considered.
Ms. Era Dabla-Norris and Mr. Narapong Srivisal
This paper examines the impact of financial depth on macroeconomic volatility using a dynamic panel analysis for 110 advanced and developing countries. We find that financial depth plays a significant role in dampening the volatility of output, consumption, and investment growth, but only up to a certain point. At very high levels, such as those observed in many advanced economies, financial depth amplifies consumption and investment volatility. We also find strong evidence that deeper financial systems serve as shock absorbers, mitigating the negative effects of real external shocks on macroeconomic volatility. This smoothing effect is particularly pronounced for consumption volatility in environments of high exposure - when trade and financial openness are high - suggesting significant gains from further financial deepening in developing countries.
Ms. Yan M Sun, Ms. Pritha Mitra, and Mr. Alejandro Simone
This paper studies the factors behind pro-cyclical but widely varying construction shares (as a percent of GDP) across countries, with a strong focus on European countries. Using a dataset covering 48 countries (including advanced and emerging economies within and outside Europe) for 1990-2011, we find that country’s geography, demographics, and economic conditions are the key determinants of a norm around which actual construction shares revolve in a simple AR(1) and error-correction process. The empirical results show that in many European countries, construction shares overshoot relative to their norms before the recent global crisis, but they have fallen significantly since the crisis. Nevertheless, there is still room for further adjustment in construction shares in some countries which may weigh on economic recovery.
Angana Banerji

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International Monetary Fund
This paper provides an updated review of Fund-supported programs undertaken during the global financial crisis. It follows a series of previous reviews during 2009–12 that assessed program design and outcomes during the surge in Fund supported programs since 2008. The review covers experience during 2008–15 for 32 arrangements financed from the Fund's general resources account (GRA). It covers 27 countries for which arrangements were approved during September 2008–June 2013, with two years or more of program performance.
International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept. and International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept.
"The Fund’s total net income for FY 2018 is projected at about SDR 0.7 billion, broadly in line with the April 2017 estimate. The projections for total lending income are broadly unchanged. Most sources of lending income are lower, reflecting a lower level of credit outstanding as a result of advance repurchases and delayed disbursements. However, projected commitment fee income is higher following the early cancellation of a large FCL arrangement in November 2017. The paper recommends that GRA net income of SDR 0.7 billion for FY 2018 (excluding projected income of the gold sales profits-funded Endowment Subaccount) be placed to the special and general reserve. After the placement of GRA FY 2018 net income to reserves, precautionary balances are projected to reach SDR 17.4 billion at the end of FY 2018. The paper further proposes to transfer currencies equivalent to the increase in the Fund’s reserves from the GRA to the Investment Account. The paper also revisits options for the allocation of net income between the special and general reserve, and proposes that net income be allocated equally between the special and general reserve. In line with the recent Board discussion of a framework for guiding future payouts from the Endowment Subaccount, the paper presents a detailed proposal, which includes delaying payouts for three years to protect the real value of the Endowment. The paper also recommends that the margin for the rate of charge for the period FY 2019–2020 be kept unchanged at 100 basis points. The margin will again be set under the exceptional circumstances clause, as non-lending income continues to be constrained by the low interest rate environment and lending income will be used to finance a portion of the Fund’s non-lending activities. The projections for FY 2019 and FY 2020 point to a net income position of SDR 0.4 billion and SDR 1 billion, respectively. These projections are subject to considerable uncertainty and are sensitive to a number of assumptions."