Western Hemisphere > Dominican Republic

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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation discusses that driven by popular frustration with high levels of corruption and inequality, Haiti has been experiencing a protracted political crisis and prolonged civil unrest. The baseline scenario assumes some stabilization in the political situation by early 2020 but no major political or economic reforms. This would allow growth to recover only gradually and in the absence of sustained implementation of good policies and structural reforms, potential growth would remain low at about 1.4 percent over the medium term. Downside risks, both domestic and external, remain elevated. A prolongation of political instability, extreme natural disaster, drop in remittances, and/or a contraction in exports because of trade tensions would worsen the outlook, particularly given the absence of buffers and fragile social conditions. The challenge is to stabilize the macroeconomic situation in an unstable political context. The IMF Staff encourages the authorities to continue their efforts to contain the fiscal deficit and its monetary financing by the central bank. Improving domestic revenue collection and redirecting current spending would help create space for much needed social and capital expenditures. Together with steps to strengthen the central bank’s autonomy and legal framework, this would help reduce fiscal dominance.
Valentina Flamini, Pierluigi Bologna, Fabio Di Vittorio, and Rasool Zandvakil
Credit is key to support healthy and sustainable economic growth but excess aggregate credit growth can signal the build-up of imbalances and lead to systemic financial crisis. Hence, monitoring the credit cycle is key to identifying vulnerabilities, particularly in emerging markets, which tend to be more exposed to sudden external shocks and reversal in capital flows. We estimate the credit cycle in Central America, Panama, and the Dominican Republic and find that the creadit gap is a powerful predictor of systemic vulnerability in the region. We simulate the activation of the Basel III countercyclical capital buffers and discuss the macroprudential policy implications of the results, arguing that countercyclical macroprudential policies based on the credit gap could prove useful to enhance the resilience of the region’s financial sector but the activation of macroprudential instruments should also be informed by the development of other macrofinancial variables and by expert judgment.
Mr. Ashraf Khan
This paper argues that central bank legal protection contributes to safeguarding a central bank and its financial supervisor’s independence, especially for conducting monetary and financial stability policy. However, such legal protection also entails enhanced accountability. To this end, the paper provides a selected overview of legal protection for central banks and financial supervisors (if the supervisor is part of the central bank), focusing on liability, immunity, and indemnification arrangements, and based on the IMF’s Central Bank Legislation Database. The paper also uses data from the IMF’s Article IV and FSAP Database, and the IMF MCM’s Technical Assistance Database. It lists selected country cases for illustrative purposes. It introduces the concepts of “appropriate legal protection” and “function-specific legal protection” as topics for further research.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights Panama’s economy as the fastest growing in Latin America over the past two decades. It is expected to remain among the most dynamic in the region, with stable and low inflation, sustainable public debt, a declining current account deficit, and a stable financial sector. Economic growth moderated to 4.9 percent in 2016 in the face of external headwinds, and inflation and unemployment remain subdued but have risen slightly. Fiscal consolidation continues in line with fiscal rule targets, and public debt is sustainable. Credit growth remains strong, but has begun to slow recently. The outlook is favorable despite heightened external uncertainty.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper presents an assessment of financial sector stability in El Salvador. The findings reveal that the financial system of El Salvador was resilient in the face of the global shocks and political uncertainty that took a toll on the economy in 2009. The new stand-by arrangement with the IMF bolstered confidence in the new authority’s policies and eased concern over the limited lender-of-last-resort capacity of the central bank. Despite the adverse economic environment of 2009, banks’ capitalization and liquidity remain high, and stress tests indicate that most banks could withstand severe shocks. Regulated nonbanks are also sound, but pension funds’ poor profitability could pose a problem in the longer term.
Ms. Corinne C Delechat, Ms. Camila Henao Arbelaez, Ms. Priscilla S Muthoora, and Svetlana Vtyurina
Banks’ liquidity holdings are comfortably above legal or prudential requirements in most Central American countries. While good for financial stability, high systemic liquidity may nonetheless hinder monetary policy transmission and financial markets development. Using a panel of about 100 commercial banks from the region, we find that the demand for precautionary liquidity buffers is associated with measures of bank size, profitability, capitalization, and financial development. Deposit dollarization is also associated with higher liquidity, reinforcing the monetary policy and market development challenges in highly dollarized economies. Improvements in supervision and measures to promote dedollarization, including developing local currency capital markets, would help enhance financial systems’ efficiency and promote intermediation in the region.
Mr. Marco A. Piñón-Farah, Mr. Alejandro Lopez Mejia, M. (Mario) Garza, and Mr. Fernando L Delgado


América Central, Panamá y la República Dominicana sobrellevaron bien la crisis financiera mundial de 2008-09. El impacto fue en general menos severo y de menor duración que en episodios anteriores, el ajuste de la balanza de pagos fue ordenado, y la estabilidad del sistema financiero no se vio comprometida. Esta capacidad de resistencia puede atribuirse en gran medida al fortalecimiento de los marcos fiscales, a la gestión monetaria y a las reformas financieras introducidas en los años anteriores a la crisis internacional. Sin embargo, la región se enfrenta a considerables desafíos en el período venidero, entre ellos el de elevar el crecimiento a mediano plazo por encima de los niveles históricos y el de proteger la estabilidad macroeconómica y financiera. Este libro sostiene que la respuesta a estos desafíos deberá provenir de la demanda interna, considerando que se prevé un magro crecimiento de la demanda en los países que son socios comerciales. Por lo tanto, para estimular el crecimiento en la región será esencial adoptar reformas estructurales que generen mejoras sustanciales de la productividad. La reconstrucción del espacio fiscal y el logro de la sostenibilidad de la deuda dependerán de las medidas que se tomen para aumentar los ingresos fiscales y reorientar los gastos en función de las prioridades sociales y de inversión. En las economías no oficialmente dolarizadas también será fundamental fortalecer los marcos de política monetaria a fin de mantener la inflación en un bajo nivel y flexibilizar el tipo de cambio, y mejorar la regulación y supervisión financiera.

Mr. Marco A. Piñón-Farah, Mr. Alejandro Lopez Mejia, M. (Mario) Garza, and Mr. Fernando L Delgado


Central America, Panama, and the Dominican Republic coped well with the global financial crisis of 2008-09. The impact was generally less severe and shorter lived than in previous episodes, the balance of payments adjustment was orderly, and the stability of the financial system was not compromised. This resilience can be attributed to a large extent to the strengthening of the fiscal frameworks, monetary management, and financial reforms conducted in the years preceding the global crisis. Nevertheless, the region faces considerable challenges for the period ahead, including the need to raise medium term growth above historical levels and protect macroeconomic and financial stability. This book argues that meeting these challenges will have to come from within, in light of the anticipated modest demand growth from trade partners. Raising growth in the region will depend on the adoption of structural reforms that generate substantial productivity gains. Rebuilding fiscal space and securing debt sustainability will hinge on efforts to increase tax revenue and reorienting spending to social and investment priorities. In the non-officially dollarized economies, it will also be essential to strengthen the monetary policy frameworks to keep inflation low and increase exchange rate flexibility, and improve financial regulation and supervision.

Mr. Mynor Meza and Mr. Fernando L Delgado
Improvements in financial regulation and supervision in the Central American region (CAPDR) have strengthened financial stability. Prudential instruments with potential macroeconomic effects have been introduced. Nonetheless, compared with the larger Latin American and selected industrial countries, there is still important scope for CAPDR to enhance financial supervision and regulation. Based on two surveys, and the analysis of the Basel Core Principles, the paper determines that some weaknesses exist in risk-based supervision, and that macroprudential measures have scarcely been deployed.
International Monetary Fund
A 28-month Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) for the Dominican Republic was introduced against the global recession. The main objective of the program is to limit the procyclicality of policies. The countercyclical macroeconomic program improved confidence and fostered aggregate demand. Monetary policy remained accommodative with a record low policy rate. Fiscal policy became countercyclical. All structural benchmarks were observed. IMF staff supports the waiver requests and the completion of the first SBA review given the proposed actions and satisfactory performance.