IMF Executive Board Discusses the Ex Post Evaluation of Exceptional Access Under the 2009 Stand-By Arrangement for Romania

Public Information Notice (PIN) No. 12/31
March 27, 2012

Public Information Notices (PINs) form part of the IMF's efforts to promote transparency of the IMF's views and analysis of economic developments and policies. With the consent of the country (or countries) concerned, PINs are issued after Executive Board discussions of Article IV consultations with member countries, of its surveillance of developments at the regional level, of post-program monitoring, and of ex post assessments of member countries with longer-term program engagements. PINs are also issued after Executive Board discussions of general policy matters, unless otherwise decided by the Executive Board in a particular case. The staff report (use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this pdf file) for the Ex Post Evaluation of Exceptional Access Under the 2009 Stand-By Arrangement for Romania is also available.

On March 21, 2012, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) discussed the Ex Post Evaluation of Exceptional Access Under the 2009 Stand-By Arrangement for Romania 1

Background

With the onset of the 2008 global financial crisis, the Romania economy came under severe stress. Asset and financial markets were hit hard, and concerns about external and fiscal sustainability triggered significant increase in external borrowing costs. Banks came under increasing pressure, with liquidity drying up from the interbank market. Rollover risks also increased as the maturity structure gradually deteriorated, and reserves coverage of shorter term external debt declined.

Given the severity of the problems, Romania requested a Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) to restore market confidence by addressing the economic imbalances. The SBA was approved in May 2009, with an exceptional access of SDR 11.443 billion, equivalent to 1,110.8 percent of quota—one of the largest in Fund history at the time, with co-financing from the EU. The program sought to stabilize the economy by a significant reduction in the fiscal and external imbalances, as well as stabilize and strengthen the financial sector. The strong fiscal structural component aimed to improve long-term fiscal and external sustainability.

Executive Board Assessment

Directors concurred with the conclusions from the ex post evaluation of exceptional access under the 2009 Stand-By Arrangement. They agreed that the authorities’ strong ownership along with large financing and flexible program design were critical to achieving the program objectives. The upfront financing and fiscal adjustment, as well as focus on structural reforms, helped restore macroeconomic stability and market confidence. Better coordination with other international financial institutions could have strengthened the pace of reforms. Directors recognized the good cooperation between the Fund, EU and other partners. A few Directors were of the view that the evaluation would have benefited from undertaking a deeper analysis, including the role of exchange rate and the divergence between IMF advice and EU directives. Looking ahead, accelerating the implementation of structural reforms and striking a balance between fiscal targets and preserving the growth momentum will be essential to preserve the results achieved so far and foster a more balanced growth model.


1 The requirement for ex post evaluations (EPEs) was agreed by the IMF Executive Board in September 2002 for members using exceptional access in capital account crises, and extended to any use of exceptional access in February 2003. The purpose of the EPE is to provide a critical and frank discussion of whether justifications presented at the outset of the arrangement—including the justification for exceptional access—were consistent with Fund policies and to review performance under the Fund supported program.



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