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Mr. Ashraf Khan and Majid Malaika
Based on technical assistance to central banks by the IMF’s Monetary and Capital Markets Department and Information Technology Department, this paper examines fintech and the related area of cybersecurity from the perspective of central bank risk management. The paper draws on findings from the IMF Article IV Database, selected FSAP and country cases, and gives examples of central bank risks related to fintech and cybersecurity. The paper highlights that fintech- and cybersecurity-related risks for central banks should be addressed by operationalizing sound internal risk management by establishing and strengthening an integrated risk management approach throughout the organization, including a dedicated risk management unit, ongoing sensitizing and training of Board members and staff, clear reporting lines, assessing cyber resilience and security posture, and tying risk management into strategic planning.. Given the fast-evolving nature of such risks, central banks could make use of timely and regular inputs from external experts.
Mr. Johannes Herderschee, Ran Li, Abdoulaye Ouedraogo, and Ms. Luisa Zanforlin
Whereas most of the literature related to the so-called “resource curse” tends to emphasize on institutional factors and public policies, in this research we focus on the role of the financial sector, which has been surprisingly overlooked. We find that countries that have financial systems with more depth, as well as those that actively manage their central banks’ balance sheets experience less exchange-rate appreciation than countries that do not. We analyze the relationship between these two findings and suggest that they appear to follow separate mechanisms.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
KEY ISSUES Background. With the highest number of new and cumulative Ebola cases recorded to date, Liberia is the country most affected by the epidemic in West Africa. In addition to exacting a heavy human toll, the Ebola outbreak is having a severe economic and social impact, and could jeopardize the gains from a decade of peace. The largest sectors of the economy (agriculture, services and mining) have been weakened by the epidemic, resulting in significant financing gaps for the fiscal and external accounts. The closure of international borders and, in particular, the internal quarantines are disrupting labor and food supply, leading to shortages of basic commodities, depreciation pressures and higher inflation. Request. The authorities are requesting an ad-hoc augmentation of access under the ECF and an immediate additional disbursement of SDR 32.3 million, equivalent to 25 percent of quota, to help bridge the significant financing need that has emerged in the wake of the outbreak. The authorities are also requesting modification of end-December performance criteria to allow on-lending of the equivalent of the Fund support to the government. Appraisal. Staff supports the authorities’ request for an augmentation of access and immediate disbursement in light of the urgency and size of the balance of payments need. Staff also supports the requested modification of end-December 2014 performance criteria via a program adjustor to allow the on-lending of the additional Fund support to the government. Program status. The third ECF review was concluded on July 3, 2014. Available information indicates that the program remains on track and that continuous PCs are being met. Program financing. The proposed augmentation would complement assistance committed by other stakeholders including US$19 million in additional budget support from the African Development Bank and the World Bank, and would help catalyze support from other donors. The authorities have committed to take the necessary measures to address any residual financing gap.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) evaluation on International Reserves: IMF Concerns and Country Perspectives was discussed by the Board in December 2012. This evaluation examined the IMF’s analysis of the effect of reserves on the stability of the international monetary system and its advice on reserve adequacy assessments in the context of bilateral surveillance. In the multilateral context, the evaluation acknowledged the IMF’s broader work stream on the international monetary system but noted that this work had not sufficiently informed the analysis and recommendations regarding reserves. The IEO evaluation of The Role of the IMF as Trusted Advisor was discussed by the Board in February 2013. This evaluation found that perceptions of the IMF had improved, but that they varied markedly by region and country type. Recognizing that there will always be an inherent tension between the IMF’s roles as a global watchdog and as a trusted advisor to member country authorities, the evaluation report explored how the IMF could sustain the more positive image it had achieved in the aftermath of the recent global crisis. The evaluation found that among key challenges facing the IMF were improving the value added and relevance of IMF advice and overcoming the perception of a lack of even-handedness.

International Monetary Fund

Sierra Leone’s economic activity is expanding, and the medium-term outlook is favorable. Real GDP growth picked up to about 5 percent in 2010–11, while the commencement of an iron ore megaproject in 2012 is expected to boost GDP and exports substantially. Fiscal tightening, through strengthening of revenue collection and containing domestically financed capital spending, along with reduced central bank direct credit to government, ensured that program ceilings for net credit to government and net domestic assets were met by substantial margins in June 2011.

International Monetary Fund

Sierra Leone’s economic activity is expanding, and the medium-term outlook is favorable. Real GDP growth picked up to about 5 percent in 2010–11, while the commencement of an iron ore megaproject in 2012 is expected to boost GDP and exports substantially. Fiscal tightening, through strengthening of revenue collection and containing domestically financed capital spending, along with reduced central bank direct credit to government, ensured that program ceilings for net credit to government and net domestic assets were met by substantial margins in June 2011.

International Monetary Fund
Under the Fund’s safeguards policy introduced in 2000, assessments of central banks are carried out for countries seeking financing from the IMF. They are part of the Fund’s approach to prudent lending and complement the Fund’s other safeguards such as program design, conditionality, and access limits, to name a few. The assessments aim to provide reasonable assurance that governance and controls can protect Fund resources from misuse and guard against misreporting of monetary data used for program monitoring purposes.
International Monetary Fund
The political and security focus has shifted from post-conflict needs to consolidating gains on peace and stability. Macroeconomic stability has been re-established, and debt relief has improved the debt sustainability outlook. This enabled a gradual switch in policy priorities toward creating an enabling environment for sustained growth. Continued attention to capacity-building is needed. The key fiscal objective is to improve revenue collection to create fiscal space for expanding priority spending. The parsimonious use of structural conditionality should continue, and collaboration with budget support donors should be further strengthened.