IMF published its staff report under the 2018 Article IV Consultation with Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Directors noted that financial sector reforms would increase the effectiveness of monetary policy and support development goals. These reforms should include the development of a market for government securities, with market determined interest rates. Until this market develops, National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) bills should be used solely to manage liquidity in the banking system and delinked from funding of the Development Bank of Ethiopia which needs to complete a comprehensive financial assessment. Gradual opening of the financial sector to foreign investors could improve services and transfer technology and know-how.
The staff report notes that commercial banks appear to be mostly well-capitalized and liquid, with nonperforming loans (NPLs) well below the statutory 5% ceiling. However, the state-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) is exposed to state-owned enterprises, whose income may be adversely affected by the phasing out of implicit subsidies, restrictions to competition, and other distortions. To map early remedial actions, NBE has instructed CBE to undertake a comprehensive asset quality review. Moreover, asset quality in the state-owned Development Bank of Ethiopia, which is a non-deposit-taking institution and hence not part of the commercial banking system, continues to deteriorate. The Development Bank of Ethiopia's NPL ratio stood at 39% in 2017–18, posing substantial quasi-fiscal risks—as outstanding NBE credit to the DBE represents 2.4% of GDP. The authorities have undertaken a financial assessment of the Development Bank of Ethiopia and are considering remedial strategies.
NBE bills need to be reformed and delinked from Development Bank of Ethiopia funding. These five-year NBE bills must now be purchased by private commercial banks in an amount equivalent to 27% of gross credit extended, irrespective of the maturity of the loans—about 75% of these funds are then used to fund the Development Bank of Ethiopia. NBE bills now represent 30% to 40% of private commercial banks’ loans outstanding; although the interest rate on them was recently increased, it remains negative in real terms. The bills have been successful in reducing banks’ excess liquidity, but their design should be improved to better serve this purpose until a T-bills market develops—by reducing their maturity and possibly basing the purchase obligation on excess reserves. Further funding of the Development Bank of Ethiopia by NBE should be discontinued, at least until the ongoing comprehensive assessment of its financial situation is completed and resolution measures are implemented.
Related Link: Staff Report
Keywords: Middle East and Africa, Ethiopia, Banking, Securities, NPL, Article IV, IMF
EBA published a report analyzing the impact of the unwind mechanism of the liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) for a sample of European banks over a three-year period, from the end of 2016 to the first quarter of 2020.
In response to questions from a member of the European Parliament, the ECB President Christine Lagarde issued a letter clarifying the possibility of amending the AnaCredit Regulation and making targeted longer-term refinancing operations (TLTROs) dependent on the climate-related impact of bank loans.
IASB started the post-implementation review of the classification and measurement requirements in IFRS 9 on financial instruments and added the review as a project to its work plan.
FSB published a report that examines progress in implementing policy measures to enhance the resolvability of systemically important financial institutions.
EBA published a report on the benchmarking of national loan enforcement frameworks across 27 EU member states, in response to the call for advice from EC.
FSB published a letter from its Chair Randal K. Quarles, along with two reports exploring various aspects of the market turmoil resulting from the COVID-19 event.
RBNZ launched a consultation on the details for implementing the final Capital Review decisions announced in December 2019.
The Trustees of the IFRS Foundation, which are responsible for the governance and oversight of IASB, have announced the appointment of Dr. Andreas Barckow as the IASB Chair, effective July 2021.
HKMA issued a letter to consult the banking industry on a full set of proposed draft amendments to the Banking (Capital) Rules for implementing the Basel standard on capital requirements for banks’ equity investments in funds in Hong Kong.
ESRB published an opinion assessing the decision of Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) to extend the application period of a stricter measure for residential mortgage lending, in accordance with Article 458 of the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR).