International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Since the 2008 Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP), the financial sector of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) has undergone major changes that have altered its risk profile. Three structural changes have played a key role since the 2008 FSAP: (i) the financial sector has grown significantly; (ii) regional banking groups have become dominant; and (iii) the high concentration of bank portfolios in sovereign exposures, which accounted for an average of 31 percent of banking assets at end-2020, are almost triple the level observed in 2004. These changes have altered the structure of systemic risks and vulnerabilities and raised the need for implementing reforms to strengthen the effectiveness of the macroprudential policy and banking supervision frameworks.
This technical note presents the stress tests on credit, interest rate, and concentration risk conducted by the WAEMU FSAP.1 Stress tests on contagion and liquidity risks are addressed separately.2 Stress tests are an important tool for detecting financial sector vulnerabilities, setting up targeted banking sector monitoring, imposing preventive measures, and informing public decision-makers of macrofinancial risks and costs.
Côte d’Ivoire will be significantly impacted by COVID-19 pandemic: the number of cases in the country has increased rapidly since the first confirmed case was reported on March 11 and the global crisis is expected to severely affect supply chains and external demand. The authorities’ policy response to the pandemic has been swift, putting in place measures to help contain and mitigate the spread of the disease and designing a health response plan. They have complemented these steps with an economic package to provide targeted support to vulnerable populations and firms affected by the pandemic. The pandemic will also temporarily dampen domestic revenue mobilization and complicate access to international market financing.
This paper discusses Côte d’Ivoire’s Requests for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). The government’s response to the pandemic has been swift, with strong social distancing and containment measures and an emergency health plan supported by the World Health Organization. The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic is expected to have a considerable negative impact on Côte d’Ivoire’s economy, creating fiscal pressures and an urgent balance of payments need. The authorities swiftly adopted strong containment measures which, while necessary, will also weigh on economic activity. In view of the severity of the pandemic, the envisaged temporary widening of the fiscal deficit is appropriate, even if this means temporarily breaching the 3 percent regional convergence criterion. Given the substantial downside risks, additional spending reallocations would be needed if tax revenue were to underperform compared to the current projection. The IMF emergency support under the RCF and RFI is expected to help the authorities address the urgent fiscal and balance of payments financing needs. It will also help catalyze additional financing from other development partners. Additional donor support is critical to close the remaining financing gap and preserve Côte d’Ivoire’s substantial development gains over the past decade.
Political uncertainty has risen ahead of the 2020 presidential elections, after the ruling coalition between President Ouattara’s and former President Bédié’s parties ended in the summer of 2018. The authorities have requested a one-year program extension to provide an important stability anchor through 2020. The extension will help meet balance of payment needs, foster fiscal discipline, and sustain reforms, in turn helping support the West African Economic and Monetary Union’s external stability. Policies will center on preserving the program’s momentum, particularly adhering to the 3 percent of GDP budget deficit ceiling, preserving a moderate risk of debt distress and fostering private sector-led growth.