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International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix examines Bangladesh’s nonfinancial state-owned enterprises. The paper argues that, given the overall policy environment and external vulnerabilities, the usefulness of the fixed exchange rate system in Bangladesh has run its course. Greater exchange rate flexibility is needed to ensure that the exchange rate sends appropriate market signals, and to enhance the authorities’ ability to address more effectively and timely both domestic imbalances and external real shocks arising from a rapidly changing global environment. The paper also outlines the structure and recent performance of the commercial banking sector.

International Monetary Fund

This paper assesses Romania’s First and Second Reviews Under the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), Request for Waivers, and Modification of Performance Criterion. The authorities have so far achieved the main macroeconomic objectives of the program supported by the SBA; the results now need to be consolidated and sustained. The program was designed with a view to reducing inflation while preserving growth and containing the current account deficit. The IMF staff considers that the government’s revised program deserves support. The government has also confirmed its commitment to the program through the adoption of important corrective measures.

International Monetary Fund

This paper presents Romania’s First Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement and a Request for Waiver and Modification of Performance Criteria. Output growth remains favorable and disinflation is proceeding. The current account deficit is in line with the program’s target, and the balance of payments is strengthening. Credit growth in general has slowed, but its foreign currency denominated component has picked up again. Net wage growth remains high, fueling consumption, but labor costs are not deviating substantially from productivity growth.

International Monetary Fund
Romania’s 2004 Article IV Consultation and Request for Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) are discussed. The authorities have requested a new precautionary 24-month SBA to secure macroeconomic stabilization and keep European Union accession on track. Romania has preserved competitiveness, despite the slowdown in depreciation and recently strong domestic demand. Exports remained the strongest component of aggregate demand and Romania continued to increase market share in its main trading partners. An exchange-rate-based monetary policy has been successful in accomplishing disinflation but has faced challenges in containing credit growth.
International Monetary Fund
Trinidad and Tobago showed strong economic performance. Executive Directors welcomed this development, and emphasized the need to maintain strong fiscal and monetary policies, and accelerate structural reforms. They appreciated the proposals to include the state energy companies in the list of government assets, and noted the restructuring of the sugar sector. They mentioned Trinidad and Tobago's growing importance as a regional financial center, and commended the supervision of the financial system in line with international standards, and the good quality of statistics.
International Monetary Fund
Romania showed progress in stabilization and reform, facilitated by substantial fiscal and external adjustments, under the Stand-By Arrangement. Executive Directors commended these developments, and emphasized the need to improve fiscal and monetary policies, and accelerate structural reforms. Directors appreciated the authorities' commitment to accelerate European Union accession, and stressed the need for fiscal consolidation, financial discipline in state-owned enterprises, and rapid privatization for reducing inflation and protecting external sustainability. They urged the authorities for the full implementation of the economic program, and approved a Stand-By Arrangement.
International Monetary Fund
This paper reviews the experience of the IMF’s long-term engagement in Romania and options for future IMF involvement. The unfavorable growth performance also reflected adverse conditions for private sector development. Foreign investors have welcomed the more stable macroeconomic environment and the tax legislation overhaul under the recent Stand-By Arrangement. Although the overlap between Bank and IMF conditionality in the area of structural reforms was not conducive to reducing the number of conditions, it helped increase the pressure on the authorities to maintain the reform momentum.
Uwe Böwer
State-owned enterprises (SOEs) play an important role in Emerging Europe’s economies, notably in the energy and transport sectors. Based on a new firm-level dataset, this paper reviews the SOE landscape, assesses SOE performance across countries and vis-à-vis private firms, and evaluates recent SOE governance reform experience in 11 Emerging European countries, as well as Sweden as a benchmark. Profitability and efficiency of resource allocation of SOEs lag those of private firms in most sectors, with substantial cross-country variation. Poor SOE performance raises three main risks: large and risky contingent liabilities could stretch public finances; sizeable state ownership of banks coupled with poor governance could threaten financial stability; and negative productivity spillovers could affect the economy at large. SOE governance frameworks are partly weak and should be strengthened along three lines: fleshing out a consistent ownership policy; giving teeth to financial oversight; and making SOE boards more professional.
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.