Africa > Namibia

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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The paper assesses the stability of Namibia’s financial system. Macrofinancial vulnerabilities have built up over a period of rapid economic growth in Namibia, and the financial cycle has now turned down. The sovereign debt/GDP ratio has nearly doubled since 2014 which has reinforced the already strong bank-sovereign link. The rapid rise in housing prices and household debt, banks’ large exposure to mortgages, and banks reliance on wholesale funding are sources of concern. A major decline in real estate prices would adversely affect bank capital and profitability. Financial sector oversight has been strengthened significantly since the 2006 Financial System Assessment Program, but further upgrades are needed.
Mr. Marc G Quintyn and Mr. Michael W Taylor
Current trends in financial sector development in sub-Saharan Africa are prompting policymakers to focus on the design of appropriate supervisory structures. Against the backdrop of worldwide efforts to remodel supervisory structures, this paper develops an analytical framework for designing a regulatory strategy that could assist in prioritizing the needs for regulation and supervision over time. Such a strategy should facilitate the design of a supervisory structure suitable for an individual country's current and future needs. The paper emphasizes that in the case of sub-Saharan Africa, any such strategy is constrained by the reality of capacity limitations and should take into account the need to keep the central bank involved in the process. Building on the framework, the paper identifies a number of supervisory structures that could meet sub-Saharan Africa's needs.