Chapter

Compilation Guide

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Published Date:
October 2015
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Status under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIThe member country has accepted the obligations of Article VIII, Sections 2, 3, and 4, of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement.
Article XIVThe member country continues to avail itself of the transitional arrangements of Article XIV, Section 2.
Exchange Measures
Restrictions and/or multiple currency practicesExchange restrictions and multiple currency practices (MCPs) maintained by a member country under Article VIII, Sections 2, 3, and 4, or under Article XIV, Section 2, of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, as specified in the latest IMF staff reports issued as of December 31, 2013. Information on exchange restrictions and MCPs or on the absence of exchange restrictions and MCPs for countries with unpublished staff reports is published only with the consent of the authorities. If no consent has been received, the Annual Report on Exchange Agreements and Exchange Restrictions (AREAER) indicates “Information is not publicly available.” Hence, “Information is not publicly available” does not necessarily imply that the country maintains exchange restrictions or MCPs. It indicates only that the country’s relevant staff report has not been published and the authorities have not consented to publication of information on the existence of exchange restrictions and MCPs. Because in some cases the relevant staff document refers to years before the reporting period of the AREAER, more recent changes in the exchange system may not be included in those staff reports. Changes in the category restrictions and/or multiple currency practices are reflected in the subsequent edition of the AREAER, which covers the calendar year during which the IMF staff report with information on such changes is issued. Changes in the measures giving rise to exchange restrictions or MCPs that affect other categories of the country tables are reported under the relevant categories in the AREAER in accordance with the standard reporting periods.
Exchange measures imposed for security reasonsExchange measures on payments and transfers in connection with international transactions imposed by member countries for reasons of national or international security.
In accordance with IMF Executive Board Decision No. 144-(52/51)Security restrictions on current international payments and transfers on the basis of IMF Executive Board Decision No. 144-(52/51), which establishes the obligation of members to notify the IMF before imposing such restrictions, or, if circumstances preclude advance notification, as promptly as possible.
Other security restrictionsOther restrictions imposed for security reasons (e.g., in accordance with UN or EU regulations) but not notified to the IMF under Board Decision 144-(52/51).
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksSpecific references to the underlying legal materials and hyperlinks to the legal texts. The category is included at the end of each section.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe official legal tender of the country.
Other legal tenderThe existence of another currency that is officially allowed to be used in the country.
Exchange rate structureIf there is one exchange rate, the system is called unitary; if there is more than one exchange rate that may be used simultaneously for different purposes and/or by different entities, and these exchange rates give rise to MCPs or differing rates for current and capital transactions, the system is called dual or multiple. Different effective exchange rates resulting from exchange taxes or subsidies, excessive exchange rate spreads between buying and selling rates, bilateral payments agreements, and broken cross rates are not included in this category. Changes in the measures in this category are reported in accordance with the standard reporting periods. Reclassification in cases related to changes in MCPs occurs in the edition of the AREAER that covers the calendar year during which the IMF staff report including information on such changes is issued.
ClassificationDescribes and classifies the de jure and the de facto exchange rate arrangements.
De jure
The description and effective dates of the de jure exchange rate arrangements are provided by the authorities. Under Article IV, Section 2(a), of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement and Paragraph 16 of 2007 Surveillance Decision No. 13919-(07/51), each member is required to notify the IMF of the exchange arrangements it intends to apply and to notify the IMF promptly of any changes in its exchange arrangements. Country authorities are also requested to identify, whenever possible, which of the existing exchange rate arrangement categories listed below most closely corresponds to the de jure arrangement in effect. Country authorities may also wish to briefly describe their official exchange rate policy. The description includes officially announced or estimated parameters of the exchange arrangement (e.g., parity, bands, weights, rate of crawl, and other indicators used to manage the exchange rate). It also provides information on the computation of the exchange rate.
De facto
The IMF staff classifies the de facto exchange rate arrangements according to the categories below. The name and the definition of the categories describing the de facto exchange rate arrangements have been modified in accordance with the revised classification methodology, as of February 1, 2009. Wherever the description of the de jure arrangement can be empirically confirmed by the staff over at least the previous six months, the exchange rate arrangement is classified in the same way on a de facto basis. Because the de facto methodology for classification of exchange rate regimes is based on a backward-looking approach that relies on past exchange rate movement and historical data, some countries have been reclassified retroactively to the date the behavior of the exchange rate changed and matched the criteria for reclassification to the appropriate category. For these countries, if the retroactive date of reclassification precedes the period covered in this report, the effective date of change to be entered in the country chapter and the changes section is deemed to be the first day of the year in which the decision of reclassification took place.
No separate legal tenderClassification as an exchange rate arrangement with no separate legal tender involves confirmation of the country authorities’ de jure exchange rate arrangement. The currency of another country circulates as the sole legal tender (formal dollarization). Adopting such an arrangement implies complete surrender of the monetary authorities’ control over domestic monetary policy. Note: effective January 1, 2007, exchange arrangements of countries that belong to a monetary or currency union in which the same legal tender is shared by the members of the union are classified under the arrangement governing the joint currency. This classification is based on the behavior of the common currency, whereas the previous classification was based on the lack of a separate legal tender. The classification thus reflects only a definitional change and is not based on a judgment that there has been a substantive change in the exchange arrangement or other policies of the currency union or its members.
Currency boardClassification as a currency board involves confirmation of the country authorities’ de jure exchange rate arrangement. A currency board arrangement is a monetary arrangement based on an explicit legislative commitment to exchange domestic currency for a specified foreign currency at a fixed exchange rate, combined with restrictions on the issuance authority to ensure the fulfillment of its legal obligation. This implies that domestic currency is usually fully backed by foreign assets, eliminating traditional central bank functions such as monetary control and lender of last resort, and leaving little room for discretionary monetary policy. Some flexibility may still be afforded, depending on the strictness of the banking rules of the currency board arrangement.
Conventional pegClassification as a conventional peg involves confirmation of the country authorities’ de jure exchange rate arrangement. For this category the country formally (de jure) pegs its currency at a fixed rate to another currency or a basket of currencies, where the basket is formed, for example, from the currencies of major trading or financial partners and weights reflect the geographic distribution of trade, services, or capital flows. The anchor currency or basket weights are public or notified to the IMF. The country authorities stand ready to maintain the fixed parity through direct intervention (i.e., via sale or purchase of foreign exchange in the market) or indirect intervention (e.g., via exchange-rate-related use of interest rate policy, imposition of foreign exchange regulations, exercise of moral suasion that constrains foreign exchange activity, or intervention by other public institutions). There is no commitment to irrevocably keep the parity, but the formal arrangement must be confirmed empirically: the exchange rate may fluctuate within narrow margins of less than ±1% around a central rate—or the maximum and minimum values of the spot market exchange rate must remain within a narrow margin of 2% for at least six months.
Stabilized arrangementClassification as a stabilized arrangement entails a spot market exchange rate that remains within a margin of 2% for six months or more (with the exception of a specified number of outliers or step adjustments) and is not floating. The required margin of stability can be met either with respect to a single currency or a basket of currencies, where the anchor currency or the basket is ascertained or confirmed using statistical techniques. Classification as a stabilized arrangement requires that the statistical criteria are met and that the exchange rate remains stable as a result of official action (including structural market rigidities). The classification does not imply a policy commitment on the part of the country authorities.
Crawling pegClassification as a crawling peg involves confirmation of the country authorities’ de jure exchange rate arrangement. The currency is adjusted in small amounts at a fixed rate or in response to changes in selected quantitative indicators, such as past inflation differentials vis-à-vis major trading partners or differentials between the inflation target and expected inflation in major trading partners. The rate of crawl can be set to generate inflation-adjusted changes in the exchange rate (backward looking) or set at a predetermined fixed rate and/or below the projected inflation differentials (forward looking). The rules and parameters of the arrangement are public or notified to the IMF.
Crawl-like arrangementFor classification as a crawl-like arrangement, the exchange rate must remain within a narrow margin of 2% relative to a statistically identified trend for six months or more (with the exception of a specified number of outliers), and the exchange rate arrangement cannot be considered as floating. Usually, a minimum rate of change greater than allowed under a stabilized (peg-like) arrangement is required; however, an arrangement is considered crawl-like with an annualized rate of change of at least 1%, provided the exchange rate appreciates or depreciates in a sufficiently monotonic and continuous manner.
Pegged exchange rate within horizontal bandsClassification as a pegged exchange rate within horizontal bands involves confirmation of the country authorities’ de jure exchange rate arrangement. The value of the currency is maintained within certain margins of fluctuation of at least ±1% around a fixed central rate, or a margin between the maximum and minimum value of the exchange rate that exceeds 2%. It includes arrangements of countries in the ERM of the European Monetary System, which was replaced with the ERM II on January 1, 1999, for countries with margins of fluctuation wider than ±1%. The central rate and width of the band are public or notified to the IMF.
Other managed arrangementThis category is a residual and is used when the exchange rate arrangement does not meet the criteria for any of the other categories. Arrangements characterized by frequent shifts in policies may fall into this category.
FloatingA floating exchange rate is largely market determined, without an ascertainable or predictable path for the rate. In particular, an exchange rate that satisfies the statistical criteria for a stabilized or a crawl-like arrangement is classified as such unless it is clear that the stability of the exchange rate is not the result of official actions. Foreign exchange market intervention may be either direct or indirect and serves to moderate the rate of change and prevent undue fluctuations in the exchange rate, but policies targeting a specific level of the exchange rate are incompatible with floating. Indicators for managing the rate are broadly judgmental (e.g., balance of payments position, international reserves, parallel market developments). Floating arrangements may exhibit more or less exchange rate volatility, depending on the size of the shocks affecting the economy.
Free floatingA floating exchange rate can be classified as free floating if intervention occurs only exceptionally and aims to address disorderly market conditions and if the authorities have provided information or data confirming that intervention has been limited to at most three instances in the previous six months, each lasting no more than three business days. If the information or data required are not available to the IMF staff, the arrangement is classified as floating. Detailed data on intervention or official foreign exchange transactions will not be requested routinely of member countries—only when other information available to the staff is not sufficient to resolve uncertainties about the appropriate classification.
Official exchange rateProvides information on the computation of the exchange rate and the use of the official exchange rate (accounting, customs valuation purposes, foreign exchange transactions with the government).
Monetary policy frameworkThe category includes a brief description of the monetary policy framework in effect according to the following subcategories:
Exchange rate anchorThe monetary authority buys or sell foreign exchange to maintain the exchange rate at its predetermined level or within a range. The exchange rate thus serves as the nominal anchor or intermediate target of monetary policy. These frameworks are associated with exchange rate arrangements with no separate legal tender, currency board arrangements, pegs (or stabilized arrangements) with or without bands, crawling pegs (or crawl-like arrangements), and other managed arrangements.
Monetary aggregate targetThe monetary authority uses its instruments to achieve a target growth rate for a monetary aggregate, such as reserve money, M1, or M2, and the targeted aggregate becomes the nominal anchor or intermediate target of monetary policy.
Inflation-targeting frameworkThis involves the public announcement of numerical targets for inflation, with an institutional commitment by the monetary authority to achieve these targets, typically over a medium-term horizon. Additional key features normally include increased communication with the public and the markets about the plans and objectives of monetary policymakers and increased accountability of the central bank for achieving its inflation objectives. Monetary policy decisions are often guided by the deviation of forecasts of future inflation from the announced inflation target, with the inflation forecast acting (implicitly or explicitly) as the intermediate target of monetary policy.
Other monetary frameworkThe country has no explicitly stated nominal anchor, but rather monitors various indicators in conducting monetary policy. This category is also used when no relevant information on the country is available.
Exchange taxForeign exchange transactions are subject to a special tax. Bank commissions charged on foreign exchange transactions are not included in this category; rather, they are listed under the exchange arrangement classification.
Exchange subsidyForeign exchange transactions are subsidized by using separate, nonmarket exchange rates.
Foreign exchange marketThe existence of a foreign exchange market.
Spot exchange marketInstitutional setting of the foreign exchange market for spot transactions and market participants. Existence and significance of the parallel market.
Operated by the central bankThe role of the central bank in providing access to foreign exchange to market participants: foreign exchange standing facility, allocation of foreign exchange to authorized dealers or other legal and private persons, management of buy or sell auctions or fixing sessions. Price determination and frequency of central bank operations.
A foreign exchange standing facility allows market participants to buy foreign exchange from or sell it to the central bank at predetermined exchange rates at their own initiative and is usually instrumental in maintaining a hard or soft peg arrangement. The credibility of the facility depends to a large extent on the availability of foreign exchange reserves to back the facility.
Allocation involves redistribution of foreign exchange inflows by the central bank to market participants for specific international transactions or in specific amounts (rationing). Foreign exchange allocation is often used to provide foreign exchange for strategic imports such as oil or food when foreign exchange reserves are scarce. In an allocation system, companies and individuals often transact directly with the central bank, and commercial banks may buy foreign exchange only for their clients’ underlying international transactions. Purchases of foreign exchange for banks’ own books typically are not permitted.
Auctions are organized by the central bank, usually for market participants to buy and/or sell foreign exchange. Auctions can take the form of multiple-price auctions (all successful bidders pay the price they offer) or single-price auctions (all successful bidders pay the same price, which is the market-clearing/cut-off price). The authorities may exercise discretion in accepting or rejecting offers, and sometimes a floor price is determined in advance, below which offers are not accepted. The frequency of auctions depends mainly on the amount or availability of foreign exchange to be auctioned and on the role the auction plays in the foreign exchange market.
Fixing sessions are often organized by the central bank at the early stage of market development to establish a market-clearing exchange rate. The central bank monitors the market closely and often actively participates in price formation by selling or buying during the session to achieve a certain exchange rate target. The price determined at the fixing session is often used for foreign exchange transactions outside the session and/or for accounting and valuation purposes.
Interbank marketThe organization and operation of the interbank market; interventions. The existence of brokerage, over-the-counter, and market-making arrangements.
Forward exchange marketThe existence of a forward exchange market; institutional arrangement and market participants.
Official cover of forward operationsOfficial coverage of forward operations refers to the case in which an official entity (the central bank or the government) assumes the exchange risk of certain foreign exchange transactions.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsThe official requirements affecting the selection of currency and the method of settlement for transactions with other countries. When a country has payments agreements with other countries, the terms of these agreements often lead to a prescription of currency for specified categories of payments to, and receipts from, the countries concerned. This category includes information on the use of domestic currency in transactions between residents and nonresidents, both domestically and abroad; it also indicates any restrictions on the use of foreign currency among residents.
Payments arrangements Bilateral payments arrangementsTwo countries have an agreement to prescribe specific rules for payments to each other, including cases in which private parties are also obligated to use specific currencies. These agreements can be either operative or inoperative.
Regional arrangementsMore than two parties participate in a payments agreement.
Clearing agreementsThe official bodies of two or more countries agree to offset with some regularity the balances that arise from payments to each other as a result of the exchange of goods, services, or—less often—capital.
Barter agreements and open accountsThe official bodies of two or more countries agree to offset exports of goods and services to one country with imports of goods and services from the same country, without payment.
Administration of controlThe authorities’ division of responsibility for monitoring policy, administering exchange controls, and determining the extent of delegation of powers to outside agencies (banks are often authorized to effect foreign exchange transactions).
Payments arrearsOfficial or private residents of a member country default on their payments or transfers in foreign exchange to nonresidents. This category includes only the situation in which domestic currency is available for residents to settle their debts, but they are unable to obtain foreign exchange—for example, because of the presence of an officially announced or unofficial queuing system; it does not cover nonpayment by private parties owing to bankruptcy of the party concerned.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)Separate rules for trading in gold domestically and with foreign countries.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotesRegulations governing the physical movement of means of payment between countries. Where information is available, the category distinguishes between separate limits for the (1) export and import of banknotes by travelers and (2) export and import of banknotes by banks and other authorized financial institutions.
Resident Accounts
Indicates whether resident accounts that are maintained in the national currency or in foreign currency, locally or abroad, are allowed and describes how they are treated and the facilities and limitations attached to such accounts. When there is more than one type of resident account, the nature and operation of the various types of accounts are also described—for example, whether residents are allowed to open foreign exchange accounts with or without approval from the exchange control authority, whether these accounts may be held domestically or abroad, and whether the balances on accounts held by residents in domestic currency may be converted into foreign currency.
Nonresident Accounts
Indicates whether local nonresident accounts maintained in the national currency or in foreign currency are allowed and describes how they are treated and the facilities and limitations attached to such accounts. When there is more than one type of nonresident account, the nature and operation of the various types of accounts are also described.
Blocked accountsAccounts of nonresidents, usually in domestic currency. Regulations prohibit or limit the conversion and/or transfer of the balances of such accounts.
Imports and Import Payments
Describes the nature and extent of exchange and trade restrictions on imports.
Foreign exchange budgetInformation on the existence of a foreign exchange plan, i.e., prior allocation of a certain amount of foreign exchange, usually on an annual basis, for the importation of specific types of goods and/or services; in some cases, also differentiating among individual importers.
Financing requirements for importsInformation on specific import-financing regulations limiting the rights of residents to enter into private contracts in which the financing options differ from those in the official regulations.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for imports
Domiciliation requirementsThe obligation to domicile the transactions with a specified (usually domestic) financial institution.
Preshipment inspectionMost often a compulsory government measure aimed at establishing the veracity of the import contract in terms of volume, quality, and price.
Letters of creditParties are obligated to use letters of credit as a form of payment for their imports.
Import licenses used as exchange licensesImport licenses are used not for trade purposes but to restrict the availability of foreign exchange for legitimate trade.
Import licenses and other nontariff measures
Positive listA list of goods that may be imported.
Negative listA list of goods that may not be imported.
Open general licensesIndicates arrangements whereby certain imports or other international transactions are exempt from the restrictive application of licensing requirements.
Licenses with quotasRefers to situations in which a license for the importation of a certain good is granted but a specific limit is imposed on the amount to be imported.
Other nontariff measuresMay include prohibitions on imports of certain goods from all countries or of all goods from a certain country. Several other nontariff measures are used by countries (e.g., phytosanitary examinations, setting of standards), but these are not covered fully in the report.
Import taxes and/or tariffsA brief description of the import tax and tariff system, including taxes levied on the foreign exchange made available for imports.
Taxes collected through the exchange systemIndicates if any taxes apply to the exchange side of an import transaction.
State import monopolyPrivate parties are not allowed to engage in the importation of certain products, or they are limited in their activity.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Describes restrictions on the use of export proceeds, as well as regulations on exports.
Repatriation requirements Surrender requirementsThe obligation of exporters to repatriate export proceeds.
Surrender to the central bankRegulations requiring the recipient of repatriated export proceeds to sell, sometimes at a specified exchange rate, any foreign exchange proceeds in return for local currency to the central bank.
Surrender to authorized dealersRegulations requiring the recipient of repatriated export proceeds to sell, sometimes at a specified exchange rate, any foreign exchange proceeds in return for local currency to commercial banks or exchange dealers authorized for this purpose or on a foreign exchange market.
Financing requirementsInformation on specific export-financing regulations limiting the rights of residents to enter into private contracts in which the financing options differ from those in the official regulations.
Documentation requirementsThe same categories as in the case of imports are used.
Export licensesRestrictions on the right of residents to export goods. These restrictions may take the form of quotas (where a certain quantity of shipment abroad is allowed) or the absence of quotas (where the licenses are issued at the discretion of the foreign trade control authority).
Export taxesA brief description of the export tax system, including any taxes that are levied on foreign exchange earned by exporters.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Describes the procedures for effecting payments abroad in connection with current transactions in invisibles, with reference to prior approval requirements, the existence of quantitative and indicative limits, and/ or bona fide tests. Detailed information on the most common categories of transactions is provided only when regulations differ for the various categories. Indicative limits establish maximum amounts up to which the purchase of foreign exchange is allowed on declaration of the nature of the transaction, mainly for statistical purposes. Amounts above those limits are granted if the bona fide nature of the transaction is established by the presentation of appropriate documentation. Bona fide tests also may be applied to transactions for which quantitative limits have not been established.
Trade-related paymentsIncludes freight and insurance (including possible regulations on non-trade-related insurance payments and transfers), unloading and storage costs, administrative expenses, commissions, and customs duties and fees.
Investment-related paymentsIncludes profits and dividends, interest payments (including interest on debentures, mortgages, etc.), amortization of loans or depreciation of foreign direct investments, and payments and transfers of rent.
Payments for travelIncludes international travel for business, tourism, etc.
Personal paymentsIncludes medical expenditures abroad, study expenses abroad, pensions (including regulations on payments and transfers of pensions by both government and private pension providers on behalf of nonresidents, as well as the transfer of pensions due to residents living abroad), and family maintenance and alimony (including regulations on payments and transfers abroad of family maintenance and alimony by residents).
Foreign workers’ wagesTransfer abroad of earnings by nonresidents working in the country.
Credit card use abroadUse of credit and debit cards to pay for invisible transactions.
Other paymentsIncludes subscription and membership fees, authors’ royalties, consulting and legal fees, etc.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Describes regulations governing exchange receipts derived from transactions in invisibles—including descriptions of any limitations on their conversion into domestic currency—and the use of those receipts.
Repatriation requirementsThe definitions of repatriation and surrender requirements are similar to those applied to export proceeds.
Surrender requirements Surrender to the central bank Surrender to authorized dealers
Restrictions on use of fundsRefers mainly to the limitations imposed on the use of receipts previously deposited in certain types of bank accounts.
Capital Transactions
Describes regulations influencing both inward and outward capital flows. The concept of controls on capital transactions is interpreted broadly. Thus, controls on capital transactions include prohibitions; need for prior approval, authorization, and notification; dual and multiple exchange rates; discriminatory taxes; and reserve requirements or interest penalties imposed by the authorities that regulate the conclusion or execution of transactions or transfers and the holding of assets at home by nonresidents and abroad by residents. The coverage of the regulations applies to receipts as well as to payments and to actions initiated by nonresidents and residents. In addition, because of the close association with capital transactions, information is also provided on local financial operations conducted in foreign currency, describing specific regulations in effect that limit residents’ and nonresidents’ issuance of securities denominated in foreign currency or, generally, limitations on contract agreements expressed in foreign exchange.
Repatriation requirementsThe definitions of repatriation and surrender requirements are similar to those applied to export proceeds.
Surrender requirements
Surrender to the central bankSurrender to authorized dealers
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsRefers to public offerings or private placements on primary markets or their listing on secondary markets.
On capital market securitiesRefers to shares and other securities of a participating nature and bonds and other securities with an original maturity of more than one year.
Shares or other securities of a participating natureIncludes transactions involving shares and other securities of a participating nature if they are not effected for the purpose of acquiring a lasting economic interest in the management of the enterprise concerned. Investment for the purpose of acquiring a lasting economic interest is addressed under foreign direct investment.
Bonds or other debt securitiesRefers to bonds and other securities with an original maturity of more than one year. The term “other debt securities” includes notes and debentures.
On money market instrumentsRefers to securities with an original maturity of one year or less and includes short-term instruments, such as certificates of deposit and bills of exchange. The category also includes treasury bills and other short-term government paper, bankers’ acceptances, commercial paper, interbank deposits, and repurchase agreements.
On collective investment securitiesIncludes share certificates and registry entries or other evidence of investor interest in an institution for collective investment, such as mutual funds, and unit and investment trusts.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsRefers to operations in other negotiable instruments and nonsecured claims not covered under the above subsections. These may include operations in rights; warrants; financial options and futures; secondary market operations in other financial claims (including sovereign loans, mortgage loans, commercial credits, negotiable instruments originating as loans, receivables, and discounted bills of trade); forward operations (including those in foreign exchange); swaps of bonds and other debt securities; credits and loans; and other swaps (e.g., interest rate, debt/equity, equity/ debt, foreign currency, and swaps of any of the instruments listed above). Controls on operations in foreign exchange without any other underlying transaction (spot or forward trading on the foreign exchange markets, forward cover operations, etc.) are also included.
Controls on credit operations
Commercial creditsCovers operations directly linked with international trade transactions or with the rendering of international services.
Financial creditsIncludes credits other than commercial credits granted by all residents, including banks, to nonresidents, or vice versa.
Guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilitiesIncludes guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities provided by residents to nonresidents and vice versa. It also includes securities pledged for payment or performance of a contract—such as warrants, performance bonds, and standby letters of credit—and financial backup facilities that are credit facilities used as a guarantee for independent financial operations.
Controls on direct investmentRefers to investments for the purpose of establishing lasting economic relations both abroad by residents and domestically by nonresidents. These investments are essentially for the purpose of producing goods and services, and, in particular, in order to allow investor participation in the management of an enterprise. The category includes the creation or extension of a wholly owned enterprise, subsidiary, or branch and the acquisition of full or partial ownership of a new or existing enterprise that results in effective influence over the operations of the enterprise.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentRefers to the transfer of principal, including the initial capital and capital gains, of a foreign direct investment as defined above.
Controls on real estate transactionsRefers to the acquisition of real estate not associated with direct investment, including, for example, investments of a purely financial nature in real estate or the acquisition of real estate for personal use.
Controls on personal capital transactionsCovers transfers initiated on behalf of private persons and intended to benefit other private persons. It includes transactions involving property to which the promise of a return to the owner with payments of interest is attached (e.g., loans or settlements of debt in their country of origin by immigrants) and transfers effected free of charge to the beneficiary (e.g., gifts and endowments, loans, inheritances and legacies, and emigrants’ assets).
Provisions Specific to the Financial Sector
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutionsDescribes regulations that are specific to these institutions, such as monetary, prudential, and foreign exchange controls. Inclusion of an entry in this category does not necessarily signify that the aim of the measure is to control the flow of capital. Some of these items (e.g., borrowing abroad, lending to nonresidents, purchase of locally issued securities denominated in foreign exchange, investment regulations) may be repetitions of entries under respective categories of controls on capital and money market instruments, on credit operations, or on direct investments, when the same regulations apply to commercial banks as well as to other residents.
Open foreign exchange position limitsDescribes regulations on certain commercial bank balance sheet items (including capital) and on limits covering commercial banks’ positions in foreign currencies (including gold).
Provisions specific to institutional investorsDescribes controls specific to institutions, such as insurance companies, pension funds, investment firms (including brokers, dealers, or advisory firms), and other securities firms (including collective investment funds). Incorporates measures that impose limitations on the composition of the institutional investors’ foreign or foreign currency assets (reserves, accounts) and liabilities (e.g., investments in equity capital of institutional investors or borrowing from nonresidents) and/or that differentiate between residents and nonresidents. Examples of such controls are restrictions on investments because of rules regarding the technical, mathematical, security, or mandatory reserves; solvency margins; premium reserve stocks; or guarantee funds of nonbank financial institutions. Inclusion of an entry in this category does not necessarily signify that the aim of the measure is to control the flow of capital.
Insurance companies Pension funds Investment firms and collective investment funds

Listing conventions used in the report are as follows:

  • When it is unclear whether a particular category or measure exists—because pertinent information is not available at the time of publication—the category is displayed with the notation “n.a.”

  • If a measure is known to exist but specific information on it is not available, the category is displayed with the notation “yes.”

  • If no measures exist on any item within a category, the category is displayed with the notation “no.”

  • If members have provided the IMF staff with information indicating that a category or an item is not regulated, these are marked “n.r.”

  • When relevant documents have not been published and the authorities have not consented to the publication of the information as included in the IMF staff report, the text reads, “Information is not publicly available.”

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