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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
The 2023 Article IV Consultation discusses that despite external shocks and higher interest rates, growth has remained resilient in San Marino. Prudent policies and access to international capital markets increased policy buffers to healthy levels. Despite volatile financial conditions, the government was able to rollover the Eurobond maturing next year. However, San Marino is a microstate subject to very high volatility and financial sector vulnerabilities remain, suggesting that larger-than-usual fiscal buffers are needed. High inflation and higher interest rates are eroding real income and putting pressure on firms’ healthy level of profitability. This, combined with weakening global demand will affect economic activity that while still positive, is decelerating in 2023. Given San Marino’s recent access to international capital markets and associated market discipline, the main priority is to advance the nonperforming loans securitization in a credible way that avoids forbearance and minimizes fiscal risks. This process and calendar provisioning can reveal capital needs at some banks that will need to be promptly addressed. A viable banking system will also require strengthening cost-efficiency and improving the quantity and quality of capital.
Brian Kwok Chung Yee and Darja Milic
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.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
San Marino's economic activity showed remarkable resilience throughout the pandemic. After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, San Marino faced an unprecedented energy price shock which, compounded with a food price shock, led to high inflation and real income erosion. However, strong external demand amidst global supply chain constraints and an elevated inflow of tourists have boosted economic activity so far this year. At the same time, San Marino secured beneficial energy import prices this year and next that have resulted in tariffs below regional peers at minimal fiscal costs. Despite a strong economy, the fiscal position in 2021 remained relatively weak. However, greater reliance on domestic debt along with a large share of long maturing and low interest debt is supporting favorable debt dynamics given higher inflation. Banks' capitalization and profitability improved in 2021, deposits continued to grow, while credit contracted. Progress halted recently while vulnerabilities remain given very large nonperforming assets and weak capitalization.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
San Marino entered the pandemic with substantial vulnerabilities and still struggling from the consequences of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). However, the economy has shown significant resilience supported by a timely and targeted policy response. Fiscal support was substantially scaled up after external borrowing was secured, including through a debut Eurobond. The banking system was rationalized, partly capitalized, its liquidity substantially improved, and a strategy is being adopted to address exceptionally high nonperforming loans (NPLs). Some of these measures, while effective, have increased official public debt substantially.
International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, and International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This paper provides background for a further round of discussions on the Fifteenth General Review of Quotas (hereafter 15th Review). The paper builds on work presented in previous staff papers and Directors’ views expressed in three meetings of the Committee of the Whole in September 2017 and February 2018. No proposals are presented at this stage, pending further Board guidance on possible approaches to narrowing the current differences of views.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2020 Article IV Consultation discusses that San Marino is now facing very significant challenges owing to the recent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, which has taken a heavy toll on local population and businesses. The staff report reflects discussions with the Sammarinese authorities in January 2020 and is based on the information available as of January 31, 2020. It focuses on San Marino’s near- and medium-term challenges and policy priorities and was prepared before COVID-19 became a global pandemic and resulted in unprecedented strains in global trade, commodity, and financial markets. It, therefore, does not reflect the implications of these developments and related policy priorities. The outbreak has greatly amplified uncertainty and downside risks around the outlook. Staff is closely monitoring the situation and will continue to work on assessing its impact and the related policy response in San Marino and globally. With no credible measures to restore banking system health and in the face of a continued weak external environment, economic growth is projected to remain subdued in the coming years. Slow progress in repairing the banking system and failure to restore fiscal sustainability are the key and material risks.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Article IV Consultation highlights that deep-rooted weaknesses in the banking system have undermined economic activity and are now threatening financial stability and fiscal sustainability. Significant deposit outflows have left the banking system with low liquidity, while persistent losses and high non-performing loans (NPLs) resulted in sizable recapitalization needs, particularly in the state-owned bank. Growth is projected to remain subdued in the coming years, reflecting continued banking sector deleveraging and a less favorable external environment, most notably in Italy. Slow progress in repairing the banking sector, and full and upfront recognition of the state’s financial commitments to the banking system are the key risks. Urgent actions are needed to restore banking sector viability and credit supply, safeguard public finances, and promote sustained economic growth. It is recommended to strengthen labor supply by better targeting social benefits and further relaxing the hiring process of non-residents.