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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This report relies on the information submitted by the AFSA and discussions with AFSA and BoA. Detailed data on the fund sector had been shared by AFSA and discussions with Authorities covered issues around (i) data reporting, (ii) risk analysis, (iii) regulatory framework and (iv) interlinkages. The fund sector has been expanding and remains highly concentrated. Since end-2019 the net asset value of Albanian funds has increased by 15 percent and accounts for around four percent of financial sector assets. The sector remains highly concentrated: (i) on the asset side, as domestic sovereign bonds account for most of exposures; and (ii) on the entity side, as the top fund represents 62 percent of the asset of the sector and the top 3 funds (all from the same manager) around 95 percent.
Gohar Minasyan, Ezgi O. Ozturk, Magali Pinat, Mengxue Wang, and Zeju Zhu
After trailing Euro Area inflation closely in the recent past, inflation in the Western Balkans has accelerated faster since early 2022 on the back of the shocks to global commodity prices, strong recovery from the pandemic, and lingering supply bottlenecks. This paper employs two complementary empirical approaches of an augmented Phillips curve and structural VAR, adapting them to the data availability and country specificities of the Western Balkans, to analyze the inflation dynamics in the region. It finds that international food prices affect not only headline but also core inflation as well as inflation expectations. Further, inflation in the Western Balkans is not just determined by foreign shocks, and domestic factors, aggregate demand shocks in particular, have a significant impact on inflation. These findings imply a possible role for policies to temporarily limit an immediate and complete pass-through of international to domestic food prices while also stressing the importance of an appropriate domestic macroeconomic policy mix to keep inflation expectations anchored and safeguard credibility in the face of high inflation persistence.