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International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s Statistics Department (STA) conducted a technical assistance (TA) mission to the Central Bank of Montenegro (CBM) for the compilation of external sector statistics (ESS) during April 28–May 13, 2021. The mission was funded by Eurostat to meet the European Union (EU)’s acquis1 from the ESS perspective. The mission focused on the compilation of quarterly international investment position (IIP),2 and assisted the CBM in preparing the Reserves Data Template (RDT) as well as in recording of financial intermediary services indirectly measured (FISIM) in balance of payments statistics.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
The IMF’s Statistics Department (STA) conducted a technical assistance mission to support the Central Bank of Montenegro (CBM) for the compilation of external sector statistics in Montenegro during January 20–31, 2020. The mission recommended that the CBM compile preliminary quarterly International Investment Position data and submit them to STA for review by the end of December 2020. The mission recommended that the CBM start recording the Economic Citizenship Program (ECP) according to the characteristics of the payments from the applicants by the end of March 2020. The ECP was just introduced in 2019 and details of the program were not made available during the mission. The mission advised that the payments from applicants for the ECP should be recorded in services, current or capital transfers, or direct or portfolio investment, according to the characteristics of the payments. The CBM plans to start recording data based on the information obtained from the international transaction reporting system (ITRS). The mission advised that the CBM approach the agency in charge of the ECP to collect precise information on the characteristics of the payments and cross-check the data from the ITRS.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance Report on Montenegro highlights work of the mission with the authorities which included compiling monetary data based on the IMF standardized report forms (SRF), 1SR, and SRF 2SR, for depository corporations. While the depository corporations sector currently dominates the financial system in Montenegro, the Central Bank of Montenegro (CBCG) should also ensure the availability of source data for the compilation and dissemination of a quarterly Other Financial Corporations (OFC) survey given the sector’s potential to grow. The mission found the CBCG’s current data collection framework is broadly appropriate for the compilation of monetary data in line with the MFSMCG 2016 for the depository corporations’ sector, but further work is needed for OFCs. The mission advised on the correct treatment of negative interest accruals (due to negative interest rates) to ensure that the negative accruals diminish the value of the asset.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
To support the compilation of external sector statistics (ESS) in Montenegro, the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s Statistics Department (STA) conducted a technical assistance (TA) mission during December 4–15, 2017. The mission was requested by the Central Bank of Montenegro (CBM), the main ESS compiling agency, and supported by the IMF’s European Department. STA’s mission for the Enhanced General Data Dissemination System (e-GDDS) during June 28-July 4, 2017 also suggested TA for Montenegro to start compiling international investment position (IIP) and external debt statistics (EDS). The mission focused on assisting the CBM in preparing IIP, EDS, Reserves Data Template (RDT), and addressing persistent net errors and omissions. Compilation of IIP and EDS is required to be qualified for Threshold 2 of the e-GDDS. Montenegro does not participate in the Eurosystem, but it is fully eurorized. Euro circulating in Montenegro should be included in the assets of the IIP for Montenegro, but difficulty in estimating the amount had been preventing the CBM from compiling IIP for several years.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Strong growth this year looks set to continue into the medium term. The authorities are seeking to accelerate growth and development, mainly through new infrastructure projects, but also with fiscal incentives. Although this growth strategy can bring substantial gains, it also poses sizeable risks, notably to public finances, and also in terms of the allocation of capital and financial stability. Gross debt has increased substantially over the past year and looks likely to increase significantly, to 80 percent of GDP. Staff recommends immediate and durable fiscal consolidation measures to limit risks to the public finances and to ensure favorable conditions for funding, particularly to the extent that further infrastructure projects would require additional public debt. Fiscal consolidation is also important for improving external balance, especially as the economy lacks independent monetary policy. A credible strategy to safeguard the health of the public finances would address longstanding problems with public expenditures, such as the very high level of spending on pensions and public sector wages. Measures should be supported by strengthening the fiscal framework and public financial management.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

KEY ISSUESContext: Moderate growth is continuing; however credit and wage growth are weak.The level of nonperforming loans (NPLs) remains high and public debt has risen sharplyin recent years.Fiscal policy: Medium-term funding needs to roll over existing debt and to fund budgetdeficits are large. A new highway, budgeted to cost about one quarter of GDP, will cause deficits to widen and add to public debt. The draft 2015 budget shows appropriate restraint on other spending, but a long period of strong fiscal discipline will be needed to manage fiscal risks. Laying out clear long-term plans for managing the public finances would boost credibility and reduce risks to market access. Fundamental expenditure reform, especially of the pension system and the public sector wage bill, would be an essential part of such plans.Financial sector: The banking system’s liquidity appears comfortable; however, profitability is low and lending spreads are high. Regulatory provisioning is set higher than that reported under international accounting standards, but a wide range of provisioning levels across banks and weak incentives to take losses remain concerns. A more transparent and comprehensive reporting environment would be beneficial.Reforms to ensure better enforcement of contracts and collateral would help bring down structural lending risk premia.Structural reform: Higher levels of labor participation and employment are needed to boost potential growth and safeguard the public finances. Ensuring that wages adjust in line with productivity alongside reforms to achieve better employment outcomes and boost productivity would enhance the economy’s ability to respond to macroeconomic shocks, and are even more important in a country that lacks its own currency and with decreasing fiscal buffers.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2013 Article IV Consultation highlights that Montenegro’s recovery from the collapse of the lending boom in 2008 has been slowed by the debt overhang that remains in the private sector. Output contracted in 2012 because of unusually severe winter weather early in the year, as well as a sharp decline in aluminum production as the financial position of the troubled aluminum company (KAP) continued to worsen. Activity picked up in early 2013 as more favorable weather conditions resulted in a sharp increase in hydro-based electricity production. A sustained, multi-year fiscal consolidation effort is needed to reduce the public debt burden to an appropriately low level in the medium term.