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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
There have been significant improvements to the legal framework and the supervisory process since the last Basel Core Principles (BCP) review; some additional recommended enhancements are highlighted in this assessment. The Superintendency of Financial Institutions (SFC) is an integrated supervisor with a purview that includes banks, finance companies, insurance, securities, and other financial intermediaries. Additionally, the SFC is also the bank resolution authority. To strengthen consolidated supervision, Congress passed Financial Conglomerates Law (FCL) 1870 addressing the supervision of financial conglomerates and granting the SFC supervisory authority over financial conglomerates (CF).2 The FCL strengthened the framework for consolidated supervision, which already included banks and their subsidiaries, by adding holding companies as supervised entities. Moreover, it defined the scope of supervision of financial conglomerates, setting standards with regards to risk management, adequate capital, and corporate governance, as well as minimum requirements for managing concentration risks and conflicts of interest in intragroup and related party exposures. The SFC has strong coordination and cooperation arrangements with foreign supervisors (through signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and the coordination mechanisms derived from the CCSBSO, among others) as well as the authority to request information from parent companies, all of which were further enhanced with the issuance of the FCL. Additionally, the SFC has access and authority to require information from ultimate beneficial owners.
Jean François Clevy, Mr. Guilherme Pedras, and Mrs. Esther Perez Ruiz
The pandemic has urged countries around the globe to mobilize financing to support the recovery. This is even more relevant in Central America, where the policy response to cushion the pandemic’s economic and social impact has accentuated pre-existing debt vulnerabilities. This paper documents the potential for local currency bond markets to diversify and expand financing for the recovery, lowering bond yields, funding volatility, and exposure to global shocks. The paper further identifies priority actions, both national and regional, to support market development.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
A technical assistance (TA) mission, conducted by CAPTAC-DR, took place during August 27 to September 7, in San Jose, Costa Rica, to assist the Central Bank of Costa Rica (CBCR) in compiling the non-financial and financial balance sheets. This TA mission was requested in the context of the rebasing project of the national accounts series to 2017, as follow-up of a previous mission conducted in March 2018. This mission covered two purposes: 1) provide guidance to the CBCR in developing statistical methods to estimate the capital stock for the non-financial private sector (NFPS), and 2) provide TA in compiling balance sheets, as part of the annual accounts by institutional sector (AAIS) of Costa Rica.
Ms. Kimberly Beaton, Mr. Roberto Garcia-Saltos, and Mr. Lorenzo U Figliuoli

Abstract

Abstract: Accelerating economic growth in Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic (CAPDR) remains an elusive task. While the region performed relatively well in the post-global financial crisis period, over the last five years obstacles to growth have become more evident and new challenges have emerged. In response, the region has strengthened macro-financial frameworks but more progress will be required to pave the way to sustained growth and prosperity. This book considers the structural factors underlying the region’s growth outlook and assesses its macroeconomic and financial challenges to help shape the policy agenda going forward. The book first identifies the structural determinants of growth in the region related to: capital formation; employment; demographic factors, including immigration; productivity; and violence. It then highlights the importance of creating fiscal space through the design and implementation of fiscal rules and mechanisms to increase accountability (better quality of public spending, adequate policies to reduce income inequality and sustainable retirement plans). Finally, it presents recent evidence on the importance of a supportive financial sector for growth (including through financial inclusion and development).

Lucía Pérez Fragoso and Corina Rodríguez Enríquez
Gender budgeting is an approach to fiscal policy and administration that integrates considerations of women’s equality and advancement into the budget. Latin American countries have undertaken diverse gender budgeting initiatives, most of them addressing public expenditures. This paper surveys and assesses some key initiatives, including those in Mexico, Mexico City, Ecuador, Bolivia, and El Salvador, and briefly summarizes others. The five key initiatives offer different perspectives on how countries approach gender budgeting. We find that these initiatives are contributing to the reduction of gender inequality and the advancement of women in Latin America, though there is scope to strengthen them.

Abstract

In recent years, the countries of Latin America have embraced reforms in public financial management and have made many important advances—however, many challenges remain. This book brings together IMF and IDB staff and representatives from 16 governments in the region to document these reforms, and to examine the experiences and lessons learned. It is a valuable resource for those looking at issues in public financial management.

International Monetary Fund
This paper provides an update on staff’s work on a new Fiscal Transparency Code (FTC) and experiences with the initial pilot Fiscal Transparency Evaluations (FTE), the ground work for which was laid in a 2012 paper “Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Risk.” Both are part of ongoing efforts by the Fiscal Affairs Department, in cooperation with other departments, to strengthen the Fund’s fiscal surveillance and capacity building. The new FTC and FTE reflect the lessons of the recent crisis, incorporate developments in international standards, and build on feedback from consultations with stakeholders.
Mr. Andrew J Swiston, Ms. Florencia Frantischek, Mr. Przemek Gajdeczka, and Alexander Herman
This paper examines the financial strength of central banks in Central America and the Dominican Republic (CADR). Some central banks are working off the effects of intervention in distressed financial institutions during the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Their net income has improved since then owing to lower interest rates, a reduction in interest bearing debt, and recapitalization transfers. Claims on the government have fallen, but remain high and are typically reimbursed at below-market rates, and capital is negative when adjusting for this. Capital is sufficient to back a low inflation target given that the income position is supported by unremunerated reserve requirements. Capital is likely to increase over time, but only gradually, leaving countries vulnerable to macroeconomic risks. The capacity of CADR central banks to engage in macroeconomic stabilization would benefit from increased emphasis on low inflation as the primary objective of monetary policy and a stronger commitment by governments to recapitalization.