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Mr. Simon T Gray
Some central banks have maintained overvalued official exchange rates, while unable to ensure that supply of foreign exchange meets legitimate demand for current account transactions at that price. A parallel exchange rate market develops, in such circumstances; and when the spread between the official and parallel rates is both substantial and sustained, price levels in the economy typically reflect the parallel market exchange rate. “Recognizing reality” by allowing economic agents to use a market clearing rate benefits economic activity without necessarily leading to more inflation. But a unified, market-clearing exchange rate will not stabilize without a supportive fiscal and monetary context. A number of country case studies are included; my thanks to Jie Ren for pulling together all the data for the country case studies, and the production of the charts.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Abstract

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is still unfolding around the globe. In Asia, as elsewhere, the virus has ebbed in some countries but surged in others. The global economy is beginning to recover after a sharp contraction in the second quarter of 2020, as nationwide lockdowns are lifted and replaced with more targeted containment measures.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
At the request of the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM), the IMF’s Monetary and Capital Markets Department, visited Yangon for a series of missions in 2018 and early 2019 on banking supervision. The objectives of the work were to support the CBM in the development of bank regulation and supervision, its introduction of a more risk-based approach to supervision. The Guide to Risk-Based Supervision sets out approaches to risk assessment and risk mitigation based on international practices. The key risks identified in the Myanmar context include legal, regulatory and reputational risk, strategic risk and group and related parties’ risk as well as credit, market, operational, and liquidity risks. The CBM is implementing the new approach over the period until 2020. While perfecting a complete risk-based approach will take years, the CBM is committed to implementation and is already undertaking risk assessments using the new risk matrix tool as examinations come due.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2019 Article IV Consultation focuses on Myanmar’s near- and medium-term challenges and policy priorities and was prepared before COVID-19 became a global pandemic and resulted in unprecedented strains in global trade, commodity and financial markets. It, therefore, does not reflect the implications of these developments and related policy priorities. These developments have greatly amplified uncertainty and could heighten downside risks around the outlook. The IMF staff is closely monitoring the situation, including related policy responses from the authorities, and will continue to work on assessing its impact in the Myanmar economy. Although long-term prospects remain favorable, near-term growth is likely to remain below potential as the correction in real estate market and continued uncertainty weighs on investor sentiment in the runup to the 2020 elections. Starting FY2020/21, bank deleveraging will further slow credit and constrain gross domestic product growth as borrower’s true ability to repay is revealed with term loans coming due and banks restructure in earnest.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance (TA) report on Myanmar presents outcomes and priority recommendations of mission on external sector statistics (ESS) for the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA). Intensive hands-on training provided to the DICA through peripatetic TA missions have effectively contributed to building up capacity for DICA compilers, which have gradually materialized and translated into successful foreign direct investment surveys (FDIS) conducted last year. Data coverage has significantly improved through inclusion of FDI in oil and gas sector, which is one of the largest FDI recipients for Myanmar. In order to further enhance the coverage of Myanmar’s FDI statistics, the mission advised the DICA to extend the coverage of FDIS to incorporate new companies and FDI in power generation sector. The mission also assisted DICA officials in updating the annual FDIS survey forms, making alterations to the previous year’s survey forms to capture additional information as requested by DICA management.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & and Review Department
The paper reviews the implementation of the initiatives the IMF committed to in 2015 to support developing countries in pursuing the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, including (i) strengthening national tax systems; (ii) tackling large infrastructure gaps; (iii) promoting economic inclusion; (iv) the development of domestic financial markets; (v) intensifying engagement in fragile and conflict-affected states; (vi) improving economic statistics; (vii) expanding the financial safety net for developing countries; and (viii) addressing macroeconomic aspects of climate change. The implementation record to date shows that there has been a large scaling up of IMF support for the 2030 development agenda. The IMF has also engaged in other initiatives of direct relevance for supporting the 2030 development agenda, including adopting a framework to assess corruption vulnerabilities and developing a broad framework for assessing the spending levels needed to reach key SDGs. The paper draws lessons learned from the implementation of the various initiative to inform future IMF engagements.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that Myanmar’s economy is expected to gain steam albeit at a somewhat slower pace than previously envisaged but faces greater downside risks including from the crisis in Rakhine state. The country’s long-term prospects remain strong, supported by a growing demographic dividend, a competitive labor force and its strategic location. The discussions recommend that successful implementation of the second wave of reforms in the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan with a focus on peace, stability and good governance will help sustain the growth take-off and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Financial regulations and supervision should be strengthened with a view to ensuring financial stability and deepening, while forming contingency plans to address systemic banking risks, and strengthening the resolution framework. Fiscal policy should be directed towards SDG-related spending, while lowering Central Bank of Myanmar financing and ensuring debt sustainability. The business environment is expected to benefit from upgraded infrastructure, access to finance, and strengthening of the overall governance framework.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Assistance Report presents discussions focused on the financial market’s developments and monetary operations-related issues. the data collected by the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) show that there already exist a significant number of uncollateralized interbank (I/B) transactions in Myanmar, but that the data on these transactions are not effectively used. Analysis shows that banks are conducting both types of uncollateralized transactions rather actively, while the total number and amount of the I/B deposit market are higher than those of the I/B borrowing market. It is recommended that efforts to correct data discrepancy should be continued and that this issue should be solved as soon as possible. It is necessary to find the data discrepancy in a timely manner, correct the data, and ask the reasons for misreporting by communicating with banks. In order to ensure the smooth preparation for the next fiscal year, a recommendation has been made to start preparing the liquidity forecasting for the next fiscal year as soon as possible.