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Li Savelin

31 January 2013
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 141
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Abstract
As the current financial crisis has shown, macroeconomic imbalances such as persistent current account and trade deficits, can seriously undermine a country's resilience to economic shocks. Maintaining and enhancing external competitiveness has thus become of increasing concern, particularly to European Union (EU) candidate countries whose economic growth models have been challenged in recent years. Drawing on previous studies, this paper assesses developments in the external competitiveness of EU candidate countries between 1999 and 2011. Taking a broad approach to the issue of competitiveness, the paper considers various indicators of both short and long-term competitiveness, including those related to domestic prices and costs, export performance, and institutional and structural issues. In the context of EU integration, comparisons are drawn with developments in the EU12. We find that, during the pre-crisis period, all candidate countries experienced robust export market growth, but also suffered losses in price and cost competitiveness. In terms of export characteristics, progress has been heterogeneous and also fairly slow when compared with the EU12. All candidate countries have increased their number of export products and trading partners, but only a few have been able to export more complex products. As regards structural issues such as corruption and bureaucratic efficiency, all countries have performed quite poorly with the exception of Iceland.
JEL Code
F1 : International Economics→Trade
F43 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Economic Growth of Open Economies
O52 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economywide Country Studies→Europe
P22 : Economic Systems→Socialist Systems and Transitional Economies→Prices
20 August 2015
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 164
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Abstract
This paper reviews financial stability challenges in countries preparing for EU membership, i.e. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Iceland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. The paper has been prepared by an expert group of staff from the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) in which experts from EU candidate and potential candidate country central banks also participated. The paper finds that near-term challenges to financial stability primarily relate to credit risks from the generally weak economic dynamics in combination with already high non-performing loan burdens in many banking systems, especially in the Western Balkans. In the medium-term, challenges to financial stability stem from indirect market risks to banks related to foreign currency lending as well as lingering exposures to funding risks, with Western Balkan economies again appearing as relatively more vulnerable. Looking further ahead, the paper highlights that the magnitude of the challenge to reach a
JEL Code
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
F34 : International Economics→International Finance→International Lending and Debt Problems
F36 : International Economics→International Finance→Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
17 March 2017
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 184
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Abstract
This paper reviews institutional and structural challenges in countries preparing for EU membership, i.e. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. Sound institutions and solid economic structures are not only the cornerstones of EU accession (as defined by the Copenhagen political and economic criteria), but are also crucial for achieving higher income levels and sustainable long-term growth. This paper finds that the EU candidate and potential candidate countries (EU CC/PCC) fare worse than the majority of EU Member States in a number of institutional and structural metrics, such as business environment, access to finance, judicial system, trade and competitiveness, labour market and education and institutional governance. When comparing EU CC/PCC among themselves, large intra-group disparities emerge. Countries such as the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and, to a certain extent, Serbia and Turkey, tend to score on average higher than Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. While many EU CC/PCC have improved the quality of their institutions and economic governance over the past decade, it is crucial that they preserve the reform momentum to enable a sustainable convergence with the EU. / / * This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.
JEL Code
F13 : International Economics→Trade→Trade Policy, International Trade Organizations
F15 : International Economics→Trade→Economic Integration
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
O11 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Development→Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
O43 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity→Institutions and Growth
15 May 2017
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 190
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Abstract
This paper reviews and assesses financial stability challenges in countries preparing for EU membership i.e. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. The paper focuses on the period since 2014 and on the banking sectors that dominate financial systems in this group of countries. It identifies two main near-term challenges applying to most of them. The first relates to credit risk, which remains substantial despite some progress in reducing the burden of non-performing loans on banks’ balance sheets in the period under review. However, progress so far is limited, partly owing to structural impediments. The second relates to the still high share of foreign exchange denominated loans and deposits, which poses an indirect credit risk in the case of lending to unhedged borrowers and impairs the monetary transmission channel. In addition, profitability is worth monitoring going forward, as it remains subdued in many countries given high provisioning needs and a lacklustre credit growth and low interest rate environment. These concerns are generally met with a solid shock-absorbing capacity, as exemplified by robust capital and liquidity buffers.
JEL Code
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
F34 : International Economics→International Finance→International Lending and Debt Problems
F36 : International Economics→International Finance→Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
10 May 2018
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - ARTICLE
Economic Bulletin Issue 3, 2018
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Abstract
This article establishes stylised facts about convergence and analyses the sources of economic growth in central, eastern and south-eastern European (CESEE) economies within and outside the European Union (EU).22 It also compares the performance across countries and identifies the challenges that these economies face on the way to further advancing convergence. Although all CESEE economies have converged towards the most advanced EU economies since 2000, progress has been heterogeneous. While some countries have experienced fast economic growth and a speedy catching-up, for others the catching-up process has been rather slow. Economic convergence has been much faster in the CESEE countries that became members of the EU (including those which later joined the euro area) than in the Western Balkan countries that are currently EU candidates or potential candidates. Convergence was particularly rapid before the global financial crisis, but slowed down thereafter. The article identifies several factors that are common to the most successful countries in the region in terms of the pace of convergence since 2000. These include (inter alia) improvements in institutional quality, external competitiveness and innovation, increases in trade openness, high or improving levels of human capital, and relatively high investment rates. Looking ahead, accelerating and sustaining convergence in the region will require further efforts to enhance institutional quality and innovation, reinvigorate investment, and address the adverse impact of population ageing. For EU candidates and potential candidates, EU accession prospects might constitute an anchor for reform momentum – in particular, but not exclusively, in the key area of enhancing institutional quality – and thus support the long-term growth prospects and real convergence of these countries.
JEL Code
E01 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→General→Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth, Environmental Accounts
F15 : International Economics→Trade→Economic Integration
O11 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Development→Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
O43 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity→Institutions and Growth
O47 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity→Measurement of Economic Growth, Aggregate Productivity, Cross-Country Output Convergence
17 July 2018
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 212
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Abstract
This paper analyses real income convergence in central, eastern and south-eastern Europe (CESEE) to the most advanced EU economies between 2000 and 2016. The relevance of this topic stems both from the far-reaching implications of real income convergence for economic welfare and the importance of convergence for economic and monetary integration with, and within the European Union. The paper establishes stylised facts of convergence, analyses the drivers of economic growth and identifies factors that might explain the differences between fast- and slow-converging economies in the region. The results show that the most successful CESEE economies in terms of the pace of convergence share common characteristics such as, inter alia, a strong improvement in institutional quality and human capital, more outward-oriented economic policies, favourable demographic developments and the quick reallocation of labour from agriculture into other sectors. Looking ahead, accelerating and sustaining convergence in the region will require further efforts to enhance institutional quality and innovation, reinvigorate investment, and address the adverse impact of population ageing.
JEL Code
E01 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→General→Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth, Environmental Accounts
F15 : International Economics→Trade→Economic Integration
O11 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Development→Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
O43 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity→Institutions and Growth
O47 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity→Measurement of Economic Growth, Aggregate Productivity, Cross-Country Output Convergence
O52 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economywide Country Studies→Europe
O57 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economywide Country Studies→Comparative Studies of Countries
16 September 2019
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 233
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Abstract
This paper reviews and assesses financial stability challenges in countries preparing for EU membership, i.e. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey. The paper mainly focuses on the period since 2016 (unless the analysis requires a longer time span) and on the banking sectors that dominate financial systems in this group of countries. For the Western Balkans, the paper analyses recent trends in financial intermediation, as well as the two main challenges that have been identified in the past. Asset quality continues to improve, but the share of non-performing loans is still high in some countries, while regulatory, legal and tax impediments are still to be resolved in most cases. High unofficial euroisation is a source of indirect credit risk for countries with their own national legal tender, which calls for continued efforts to promote the use of domestic currencies in the financial system. At the same time, banking systems seem less prone to financial stress from maturity mismatches than certain EU peers. These risks are met with a solid shock-absorbing capacity in the Western Balkans, as exemplified by robust capital and liquidity buffers. Turkey experienced a period of heightened financial stress during 2018 and, while its banking system appears to have sufficient buffers to absorb shocks overall, significant forex borrowing of corporates and high rollover needs of banks in foreign exchange on the wholesale market constitute considerable financial stability risks.
JEL Code
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
F34 : International Economics→International Finance→International Lending and Debt Problems
F36 : International Economics→International Finance→Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation