Raiffeisen Bank has snuck a gloomy prediction for the Romanian economy in the prospectus of the MedLife IPO, which it intermediates. "Most analysts claim that Romania needs a new stand-by agreement with the IMF", the MedLife prospectus , published yesterday in order to inform the investors interested in the Romanian stock market and in the MedLife shares in particular. The announcement is mind-boggling, especially as politicians and government members assure us that we are going to have economic growth, higher wages and lower taxes. Furthermore, prime-minister Dacian Cioloş has publicly announced that he would challenge all populist laws with the Constitutional Court. "Raiffeisen Bank" has dropped the aforementioned "bomb" in the Medlife IPO, five days ahead of the parliamentary elections. Except it hasn't taken responsibility for it directly, instead alleging this idea is the result of consensus from "most analysts", without naming them. It is not out of the question that "Raiffeisen Bank" just wanted to make noise and draw attention from investors, as the Romanian stock market has failed to become attractive, despite the projects for expansion conducted by the Bucharest Stock Exchange (the Project to remove the barriers to the entry on the stock market) and by the Financial Oversight Authority (the STEAM project, which has as its goal the move up to the emerging market status) and having brought in Pole Ludwik Sobolewski as CEO. Despite all these efforts, the BSE daily turnover only occasionally passes 7 million Euros a day. "Raiffeisen Bank" has stood out lately, precisely by the fact that it has threatened the Romanian government with a lawsuit in the International Court of Arbitrage, as well as following the ruling of the Supreme Council of Magistrates (CSM), which accused the bank of trying to intervene in the ruling rendering process in relation to the laws concerning the banking sector. The bank later changed its tune and sponsored an event of the Romanian government, which was attended by German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble.
Friday, December 16, 2016
Monday, April 20, 2015
The SDR was created by the IMF in 1969 to support the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate system. A country participating in this system needed official reserves—government or central bank holdings of gold and widely accepted foreign currencies—that could be used to purchase the domestic currency in foreign exchange markets, as required to maintain its exchange rate. But the international supply of two key reserve assets—gold and the U.S. dollar—proved inadequate for supporting the expansion of world trade and financial development that was taking place. Therefore, the international community decided to create a new international reserve asset under the auspices of the IMF. The SDR is an international reserve asset, created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement its member countries’ official reserves. Its value is based on a basket of four key international currencies, and SDRs can be exchanged for freely usable currencies. As of March 17, 2015, 204 billion SDRs were created and allocated to members (equivalent to about $280 billion). Only a few years after the creation of SDRs, the Bretton Woods system collapsed and the major currencies shifted to a floating exchange rate regime. In addition, the growth in international capital markets facilitated borrowing by creditworthy governments. Both of these developments lessened the need for SDRs. However, more recently, the 2009 SDR allocations totaling SDR 182.6 billion have played a critical role in providing liquidity to the global economic system and supplementing member countries’ official reserves amid the global financial crisis. The SDR is neither a currency, nor a claim on the IMF. Rather, it is a potential claim on the freely usable currencies of IMF members. Holders of SDRs can obtain these currencies in exchange for their SDRs in two ways: first, through the arrangement of voluntary exchanges between members; and second, by the IMF designating members with strong external positions to purchase SDRs from members with weak external positions. In addition to its role as a supplementary reserve asset, the SDR serves as the unit of account of the IMF and some other international organizations...
IMF members often need to buy SDRs to discharge obligations to the IMF, or they may wish to sell SDRs in order to adjust the composition of their reserves. The IMF may act as an intermediary between members and prescribed holders to ensure that SDRs can be exchanged for freely usable currencies. For more than two decades, the SDR market has functioned through voluntary trading arrangements. Under these arrangements a number of members and one prescribed holder have volunteered to buy or sell SDRs within limits defined by their respective arrangements. Following the 2009 SDR allocations, the number and size of the voluntary arrangements has been expanded to ensure continued liquidity of the voluntary SDR market. The number of voluntary SDR trading arrangements now stands at 32, including 19 new arrangements since the 2009 SDR allocations.
In the event that there is insufficient capacity under the voluntary trading arrangements, the IMF can activate the designation mechanism. Under this mechanism, members with sufficiently strong external positions are designated by the IMF to buy SDRs with freely usable currencies up to certain amounts from members with weak external positions. This arrangement serves as a backstop to guarantee the liquidity and the reserve asset character of the SDR...
The value of the SDR was initially defined as equivalent to 0.888671 grams of fine gold—which, at the time, was also equivalent to one U.S. dollar. After the collapse of the Bretton Woods system in 1973, the SDR was redefined as a basket of currencies. Today the SDR basket consists of the euro, Japanese yen, pound sterling, and U.S. dollar. The value of the SDR in terms of the U.S. dollar is determined daily and posted on the IMF’s website. It is calculated as the sum of specific amounts of the four basket currencies valued in U.S. dollars, on the basis of exchange rates quoted at noon each day in the London market. The basket composition is reviewed every five years by the Executive Board, or earlier if the IMF finds changed circumstances warrant an earlier review, to ensure that it reflects the relative importance of currencies in the world’s trading and financial systems. In the most recent review (in November 2010), the weights of the currencies in the SDR basket were revised based on the value of the exports of goods and services, and the amount of reserves denominated in the respective currencies that were held by other members of the IMF. These changes became effective on January 1, 2011. In October 2011, the IMF Executive Board discussed possible options for broadening the SDR currency basket. Most directors held the view that the current criteria for SDR basket selection remained appropriate. The next review is currently scheduled to take place by the end of 2015. Under its Articles of Agreement (Article XV, Section 1, and Article XVIII), the IMF may allocate SDRs to member countries in proportion to their IMF quotas. Such an allocation provides each member with a costless, unconditional international reserve asset. The SDR mechanism is self-financing and levies charges on allocations which are then used to pay interest on SDR holdings. If a member does not use any of its allocated SDR holdings, the charges are equal to the interest received. However, if a member's SDR holdings rise above its allocation, it effectively earns interest on the excess. Conversely, if it holds fewer SDRs than allocated, it pays interest on the shortfall. The Articles of Agreement also allow for cancellations of SDRs, but this provision has never been used. The IMF cannot allocate SDRs to itself or to other prescribed holders. General allocations of SDRs have to be based on a long-term global need to supplement existing reserve assets. Decisions on general allocations are made for successive basic periods of up to five years, although general SDR allocations have been made only three times. The first allocation was for a total amount of SDR 9.3 billion, distributed in 1970-72, the second—for SDR 12.1 billion—distributed in 1979-81, and the third—for SDR 161.2 billion—was made on August 28, 2009. Separately, the Fourth Amendment to the Articles of Agreement became effective August 10, 2009 and provided for a special one-time allocation of SDR 21.5 billion. The purpose of the Fourth Amendment was to enable all members of the IMF to participate in the SDR system on an equitable basis and rectify the fact that countries that joined the IMF after 1981—more than one fifth of the current IMF membership—never received an SDR allocation until 2009. The 2009 general and special SDR allocations together raised total cumulative SDR allocations to SDR 204 billion. The SDR interest rate provides the basis for calculating the interest charged to borrowing members, and the interest paid to members for the use of their resources for regular (non-concessional) IMF loans. It is also the interest paid to members on their SDR holdings and charged on their SDR allocation. The SDR interest rate is determined weekly and is based on a weighted average of representative interest rates on short-term debt instruments in the money markets of the SDR basket currencies.
Monday, February 23, 2015
(Reuters) - A war of words between Greece and EU paymaster Germany escalated on Tuesday with Athens' new leftist prime minister rejecting what he called "blackmail" to extend an international bailout and vowing to rush through laws to reverse labor reforms. A source close to the government said Greece intends to ask on Wednesday for an extension for up to six months of a loan agreement with the euro zone, on conditions to be negotiated. The source drew a distinction between a loan agreement and the full bailout program which the government insists is dead. However hardline German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble dismissed the Greek gambit, telling broadcaster ZDF: "It's not about extending a credit program but about whether this bailout program will be fulfilled, yes or no." Financial markets held their nerve after the latest talks among euro zone finance ministers broke down late on Monday and EU partners gave Greece until the end of the week to request an extension or lose financial assistance. Many investors believe that whatever the rhetoric, both sides will find a face-saving formula before Athens' credit lines expire in 10 days. If they fail, Greece could rapidly run out of cash and need its own currency. Greek banking sources said outflows of deposits increased on Tuesday after the failure of Monday's talks, but were not as severe as on some days last month around the election of a radical anti-austerity government. The European Central Bank will review emergency funding for Greek banks on Wednesday but should not cut the lifeline this week, a source familiar with the situation said. Both sides continue to insist Greece will remain in the euro. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told lawmakers in his Syriza party that the government - elected to scrap the bailout, repeal hated austerity measures and end cooperation with the "troika" of EU, ECB and IMF lenders - would not compromise.
Friday, November 29, 2013
Beware of the Anglo-Saxons barbarians - how they destroyed a Christian civilization - they will distroy today's Europe just the same
See also : http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail
Monday, October 21, 2013
WSJ - Ireland's economy slid into crisis in 2008 when the bursting of its property bubble wrecked the country's banks and brought the euro-zone member close to bankruptcy. In late 2010, the government secured €67.5 billion ($91.54 billion) in loans from the EU and IMF, the last of which will be disbursed over the next two months. From next year, the government will have to finance itself exclusively through the bond markets. Finance Minister Michael Noonan told lawmakers that the budget will introduce up to €2.5 billion in new tax increases and spending cuts, saying that Ireland will better the deficit target for 2014 that was set under its bailout agreement. The proposed cuts are the smallest since 2008. Under the budget, the deficit is planned to fall to 4.8% of gross domestic product in 2014 from 7.3% this year. The government is committed to reducing its deficit to below 3% of GDP in 2015. Required to keep cutting its deficit over the next two years, Ireland's government will then be obliged to endure a tight regime of fiscal oversight for many more years to cut its towering national debt. Despite those constraints, Mr. Noonan told lawmakers that in ending its dependence on EU and IMF loans, the nation would regain control over its own destiny.
"We have a fair wind at our backs to achieve our objectives and to restore our sovereignty," he said.
After the long years of sacrifice, the government is seeking to shore up faltering public support for austerity, describing its 2014 budget as one of the last of the big painful efforts to move the country out of crisis and into recovery. The leaders of the two parties in the coalition government have said there is now clear evidence that the country is emerging from its "national emergency."
There is much at stake for the euro zone, which has also provided bailouts to Greece, Portugal, Cyprus and Spain. A successful return to the bond markets for Ireland would offer euro-zone policy makers a rare opportunity to claim a success for their much-criticized strategy for confronting the currency area's fiscal and banking crisis, one that has relied heavily on austerity.
Mr. Noonan said that for the first time since the onset of the financial crisis, the government will post a primary budget surplus next year. That would mean that excluding interest payments, its tax revenues would exceed its spending, helping to cap its huge debts.
Tuesday's budget means that since 2008, Ireland has detailed cuts to its budget totaling a cumulative €30 billion, representing about 18.5% of the country's annual economic output and making it one of the largest austerity programs undertaken anywhere in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
The EU and IMF and other institutions, such as the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council and the Irish central bank, had urged the government to go further and meet in full a proposed €3.1 billion in deficit cuts, to safeguard its finances. But the coalition projects that it will still meet its bailout budget targets in 2014 and 2015, and help promote jobs.