Charles Vellutini, Parvina S Rakhimova, Marius van Oordt, and Mr. David Wentworth
Supporting the authorities’ objective to consolidate revenue, this technical assistance report assesses tax expenditures in Armenia. The report covers major tax expenditures related to the value-added tax, excise taxes, the profit tax, and the personal income tax. With total estimated tax expenditures in excess of 5.5 percent of GDP in 2021, streamlining preferential regimes, exemptions and incentives has strong potential for boosting revenue while improving the equity and efficiency of the tax system.
Ms. Grace Jackson, Maksym Markevych, Antoine Bouveret, Pierre Bardin, Alexander S Malden, Santiago Texidor Mora, and Indulekha Thomas
In their efforts to strengthen the effectiveness of Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism Frameworks across the Nordic-Baltic Region (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden), the Governors of the Nordic-Baltic Central Banks reached out to the IMF to request technical assistance. The request stems from various international money laundering banking scandals (ABLV, Danske Bank, Nordea, Swedbank), involving cross-border payments by non-residents that exposed financial integrity risks in the financial sector of the region, attracting international scrutiny on the level of non-resident Money Laundering/Terrorist Financing ML/TF risks and highlighting the vulnerabilities related to AML/CFT risk-based supervision of banks in the region. The flagship project relied on a novel methodology to leverage data analysis to understand ML/TF threats and vulnerabilities and their potential impact on financial stability, and developed country and regional recommendations. Notably, the project involved an analysis of (i)potentially high-risk financial flows to and from the region; (ii) the AML/CFT domestic and regional supervisory landscape related to banks and virtual assets; and (iii) the potential implications of financial integrity shocks on financial stability.
The financial stability report of the Banco de la República of Colombia (BR) provides broad coverage of macroeconomic environment and the assessment of risks in the financial system. The BR should continue developing data and enhancing forward-looking analytical approaches, sharpen messages on key risks, and develop a layered communication approach to reach audiences with different levels of technical expertise. As new risks emerge, the BR could take stock and update the structure as needed in the medium term. Over the long term, the BR should continue deepening the understanding of the channels and interaction between financial stability and monetary policy.
Mrs. Gayon M Hosin, Mr. David S. Hoelscher, and Mr. Geoffrey J Mortlock
This technical assistance report on The Bahamas focuses on operationalizing the new bank resolution framework and amended deposit insurance legislation-second mission. The Bahamas has made considerable progress in developing the legal framework, infrastructure, and key tools for an effective bank recovery and resolution regime and is taking steps to operationalize the regime. Effective operationalization of the resolution regime will also require review and reform in other key framework areas, including contingency arrangements for public resolution funding if required, fully implementing the deposit insurance system, and establishing a program of regular testing. Strengthening and updating the supervisory early intervention and recovery planning frameworks and requirements are critical to maintaining financial system stability in the context of acknowledged limits of the structure and depth of the financial system that, in turn, constrain resolution options. Enhancement of the underpinning legislation is recommended to support building out and implementing the operational infrastructure for bank resolution.
Mr. Sandeep Saxena, Trevor A Lessard, Ms. Marie-Helene Le Manchec, John Gardner, Martin Marcone, and Alissa Ashcroft
This High-Level Summary technical assistance report focuses on developing a legal, policy and operational framework for the sovereign development fund (SDF) in Maldives. Until the fiscal situation in Maldives improves, the SDF could continue to usefully serve the twin objectives of external debt repayment and credit enhancement. It has helped boost investor confidence, enabling Maldives continued access to international financial markets, and come in handy for liquidity management during the pandemic. Decisions are required on the size of the SDF, the treatment of any excess inflows, and the application of the Fund’s balance upon its liquidation. While the fund size of a sinking fund would correspond to the underlying debt, a credit enhancement objective would consider a combination of factors, such as market conditions, credit standing, liabilities covered by the fund, and the medium-term debt strategy. A strong governance framework would enhance the legitimacy, performance, and accountability of the IMF.
This paper presents the report on the financial soundness indicators (FSI) and monetary and financial statistics (MFS) technical assistance mission in San Marino. The mission reviewed and updated the bridge tables that are used to compile the FSIs for transmission to the statistics department (STA). Source data for compiling FSIs for commercial banks are adequate and generally meet the criteria established by the 2019 FSIs Guide for publication in the IMF’s FSI data portal. The mission also recommends updating the metadata accompanying the publication of revised FSIs. Because of the mission, the Central Bank of San Marino should be able to implement the new FSI Standardized Reports, FSI Institutional Coverage and FSI Metadata. The mission also reviewed the treatment of banks in liquidation in the compilation of MFS, particularly the recent case of banks in suspension of payments. A timeframe for reporting new FSI report forms and revised MFS data to STA has also been discussed and agreed on with the authorities.
This paper discusses the high-level summary technical assistance report for Curaçao and Sint Maarten on financial soundness indicators (FSI). The High-Level Summary Technical Assistance Report series provides high-level summaries of the assistance provided to IMF capacity development recipients, describing the high-level objectives, findings, and recommendations. The mission, in collaboration with the staff of the Centrale Bank van Curaçao en Sint Maarten (CBCS), successfully developed bridge tables to compile FSIs for commercial banks and savings banks, which could be linked in the long term with its database to automate the FSIs compilation process. The mission also identified a few areas for improvements related to the data collection framework for the deposit takers to be implemented in the medium term. As a result of the mission, the CBCS is able to start reporting the FSI-standard reports, financial soundness metadata, and financial soundness institutional coverage for dissemination on the IMF’s FSI website for Curaçao and Sint Maarten. A timeframe for implementing the mission recommendations including reporting FSIs to statistics department was also discussed and agreed on with the CBCS staff.
Mr. David A. Grigorian, Phillip Anderson, and Antonio Juambeltz
This paper presents high-level summary technical assistance report on sovereign asset and liability management (SALM) for Costa Rica. Aided by a 36-month Extended Fund Facility in place since March 2021, Costa Rica’s reform efforts toward strong, inclusive, and sustainable growth are showing tangible results. A comprehensive SALM framework can have significant advantages over separate management of sovereign assets and liabilities. It allows for analysis of the financial characteristics of the whole balance sheet of the sovereign, identification of sources of costs and risks, and quantification of the correlations among these sources. Implementing a full SALM framework can be challenging, but countries have applied it with a range of scope and policy objectives. This balance sheet analysis is a first step to developing a consolidated sovereign balance sheet. The central bank of Costa Rica’s balance sheet has negative equity and significant USD assets and liabilities. Most state-owned enterprises are in reasonably good financial health and can fund some investment from their retained earnings, and the state-owned banks are profitable and liquid, and reflect dollarization in the economy.
Mr. Udaibir S Das, Mr. Vassili Prokopenko, Mr. Florian Gimbel, Altynai Aidarova, Marianne Nessen, and John Power
This paper presents High-Level Summary Technical Assistance (TA) report on Mongolia Central Bank Communications. The TA report reviews the existing communication framework of Bank of Mongolia (BOM). The analysis focuses on the assessment of the monetary and financial policy communications as well as the evaluation of the internal organization of the BOM’s communication function. The organizational arrangements are reviewed in terms of structure, resources, and procedures. The report also highlights the importance of establishing several pre-conditions for effective central bank communications, which include the presence of sound legal and normative frameworks particularly in relation to the mandate and independence of the central bank. The report identifies several areas where BOM could enhance the effectiveness of its communications. Creating a dedicated well-staffed department in charge of communications and integrating this department into major BOM’s policy actions and flagship reports would significantly strengthen the BOM’s internal organization of communications.
Responding to a request from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for developing a regulatory and supervisory framework for operational resilience, a Technical Assistance mission aided the authorities in identifying regulatory gaps, provided guidance in enhancing the regulatory framework and delivered a training program focusing on regulatory aspects pertaining to operational resilience. The recommendations focused on articulating the case for policy initiative, developing a regulation in consultation with the industry, considering potential severe but plausible scenarios.