This Technical Assistance Mission has been undertaken to support the Bank of South Sudan (BSS) in improving external sector statistics (ESS). The recommendations made during the 2018 mission for the recording of oil exports and transactions with Sudan under the Transitional Financial Agreement were implemented by the BSS. The mission worked toward enhancing the inter-agency cooperation by meeting with selected public sector bodies, providing them with an overview of the balance of payments and the data that the BSS will request from them. Before the end of the mission, requested data from one of the entities, the Civil Aviation Authority was provided. A work program was developed to conduct a visitor expenditure survey and a preliminary International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity template was submitted to IMF’s Statistics Department for review. In order to support progress in the various work areas, the mission recommended a detailed one-year action plan, with the several priority recommendations carrying weight to make headway in improving ESS reliability.
Growth in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to pick up, though at a slower pace than previously expected. This revision reflects a more challenging external environment, continued output disruptions in oil-exporting countries, and a weaker-than-anticipated growth in South Africa. The challenge for the region is to boost growth to create jobs for the growing labor force, while protecting against debt vulnerabilities and risks from a difficult global environment.
Cheikh A. Gueye, Asithandile Mbelu, and Mr. Amadou N Sy
This paper studies the impact of declining oil prices on banks in sub-Saharan African oil-exporting countries. Results indicate that banks respond differently to an oil shock depending on their ownership: (i) domestic banks are the most adversely impacted and experience a deterioration in asset quality and liquidity; (ii) foreign-owned banks are the most resilient as they are able to improve asset quality and attract deposits but at the same time, they decelerate credit growth; in contrast, (iii) Pan-African Banks help stabilize overall credit but large banks in that segment experience reduced asset quality. These differentiated results suggest a tradeoff between maintaining credit growth and safeguarding financial stability in an oil slump which could be addressed by both micro- and macroprudential policies.
International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept., International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department, International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, and International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper reviews the Fund’s policy on multiple currency practices (MCPs). There remain strong economic and legal reasons to retain a policy on MCPs. The over-arching aim of the review is to make the policy and its application more effective. Based on this review, the paper proposes initial considerations for reforming features of the policy that have created challenges. • Clarifying the concept of “official action” to focus on measures that segment FX markets. • Eliminating potentiality. • Updating the threshold for permissible FX spreads. • Adjusting approval policies. • Reviewing links with capital transactions. • Considering merits of a remedial framework.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation discusses that while the peace agreement signed in September 2018 has improved the prospects for lasting peace in South Sudan, the implementation of the agreement has become more protracted than envisaged with the recently announced six-month delay in forming a new national unity government. A relapse into war in mid-2016 spread insecurity across the country and severely affected all economic activities and exacerbated the humanitarian crisis and food insecurity. The country is in a serious economic crisis. The discussions focused on the urgent need to restore macroeconomic stability and rebuild economic buffers. Addressing the macroeconomic imbalance, supported by improvements in oil management and public financial management, is an important factor to rebuild confidence in government policies. This will be necessary to regain access to external financial support from development partners. One of the key policy recommendations is to strengthen oil management and transparency by an immediate stop of contracting new oil-backed advances.