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Zaijin Zhan

2020-05-26T11:58:15-05:00May 22, 2020|

Zaijin Zhan is a Deputy Division Chief in the IMF’s Statistics Department, where he works on fiscal and public sector debt statistics. Since joining the IMF, he has worked extensively on IMF lending and surveillance policy issues, and a range of low-income and emerging market economies, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Ghana, and South Africa. His research interests include fiscal transparency and sovereign debt issues.

Latest Posts:

Haonan Qu

2020-01-10T15:27:38-05:00August 9, 2018|

Haonan Qu is an economist on the euro area team from the European Department at the IMF, working on structural reform and Brexit-related issues. Previously he worked on Bosnia and Herzegovina in the context of IMF lending programs, and covered Saudi Arabia and Qatar when he was in the Middle East and Central Asia Department. He also looked into program designs, policies, and outcomes from a number of IMF lending arrangements with member countries during the global financial crisis, when he was in the Strategy, Policy, and Review Department. His research interest is in international macro and finance. Mr. Qu holds a Ph.D. in Economics from University of California, Berkeley.

Latest posts:

Sònia Muñoz

2020-05-13T10:17:59-05:00August 9, 2017|

Sònia Muñoz is the Division Chief of Caribbean I Division and mission chief of the regional consultation for the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union at the Western Hemisphere Department at the IMF. Previously, she worked as Deputy Division Chief at the Monetary and Capital Markets Department, where she was the Financial Sector Assessment Program Mission Chief for Belarus and Bosnia-and-Herzegovina, and Deputy Mission Chief for Japan, Argentina, and Kazakhstan. In over 18 years at the Fund, she also worked on surveillance and program missions in the IMF’s European, Asian, African, and Fiscal Affairs Departments. Her research interests and publications cover macroprudential policy spillovers, financial interconnectedness, inflation targeting, portfolio allocation, competitiveness, pro-poor growth, regional integration, and tax reforms among others. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the London School of Economics.

Latest Posts:

Chart of the Week: Central and Eastern Europe Close the Gap

2019-03-25T15:48:26-05:00May 22, 2017|

By IMFBlog

May 22, 2017

Version in Русский (Russian)

Most of the countries of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe will see their economies humming away at a strong growth rate in 2017. A measure of their success at fully utilizing their economic machine is the output gapthe difference between what the economy is currently producing, and what it can produce when it is at full capacity.

Our Chart of the Week from a recently published report on the Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European region shows how close these economies come to performing at full potential. (more…)

Five Lessons from a Review of Recent Crisis Programs

2019-03-26T17:29:10-05:00July 11, 2016|

Vivek Arora.Feb2015-thumbBy Vivek Arora

Version in 中文 (Chinese), Español (Spanish)

IMF lending increased to unprecedented levels in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. As difficulties emerged, we extended financial support to countries across the world—in the euro area, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and emerging economies in Europe.

The IMF tried to draw lessons in real time as the crisis evolved in order to adapt our operations. We reviewed individual programs and, from time to time, paused and took stock of our experience across countries.


Nadeem Ilahi

2017-04-22T14:07:03-05:00June 15, 2016|

Nadeem Ilahi.personalpicNadeem Ilahi is Mission Chief for Bosnia-Herzegovina and a Deputy Chief in in the IMF’s European Department, covering Hungary and Croatia. Previously, he served as Mission Chief for Albania and Montenegro. His research and analytical work has focused on the nature and implications of international spillovers and the macroeconomic role of oil funds. Prior to joining the IMF in 2000, Mr. Ilahi held faculty positions at McGill University in Canada and Lahore University of Management Sciences in Pakistan. He holds BA and PhD degrees from the University of California.

Plamen Iossifov

2017-04-22T14:23:28-05:00January 27, 2015|

Plamen IossifovPlamen Iossifov is a Senior Economist in the IMF’s European Department. He is part of the team that prepares the Regional Economic Issues reports on Emerging Europe. Since joining the Fund in 2005, he has worked on the design and monitoring of the Gabon and Bosnia and Herzegovina Stand-By Arrangements and on financial sector analysis. More recently, he was on external assignment at the European Central Bank, where he contributed to country surveillance and research on non-euro area EU countries. He obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Delaware, USA.

Latest Posts:

Central, Eastern, and South-Eastern Europe: Safeguarding the Recovery as the Global Liquidity Tide Recedes

2017-04-14T02:02:04-05:00April 29, 2014|

By Reza Moghadam, Aasim M. Husain, and Anna Ilyina

(Version in Türk)

Growth is gathering momentum in most of Central, Eastern, and South-Eastern Europe (CESEE) in the wake of the recovery in the euro area. Excluding the largest economies—Russia and Turkey—the IMF’s latest Regional Economic Issues report  projects the region to grow 2.3 percent in 2014, almost twice last year’s pace. This is certainly good news.

Figure 1


Lost & Found in Eastern Europe: Replacing Funding by Western Europe’s Banks

2017-04-15T14:07:03-05:00June 13, 2012|

By Bas Bakker and Christoph Klingen

With Western Europe’s banks under pressure, where does this leave Europe’s emerging economies and their financial systems that are dominated by subsidiaries of these very same banks?  There is little doubt that the era of generous parent-funding for subsidiaries is over.  But parent bank deleveraging—selling off assets, raising capital, and reducing loans, including to their subsidiaries—need not translate into a reduction of bank credit in emerging Europe.

A credit crunch can be avoided as long as parent banks reduce exposures gradually and domestic deposits, other banks, and local financial markets fill the void. Policymakers should create the conditions for this to happen.

The ties that bind

The dependence of the banking systems in emerging Europe on Western European banks is well known:

  • Ownership— foreign banks control more than half of the banking systems in most of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. Their share exceeds 80 percent in Bosnia, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Romania, and Slovakia. Only in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Slovenia, and Turkey do they not dominate.

Regionally Coordinated Solutions to Foster Financial Stability in Emerging Europe

2017-04-15T14:54:16-05:00August 18, 2009|

By Ajai Chopra

Europe’s economic and financial integration has been a tremendous success, but the region is now under great stress. As the global economic crisis has shown, the flipside of Europe’s successful integration has been a synchronized economic downturn and complex financial spillovers between countries.

For those of us involved in providing financing and policy advice to emerging Europe, it quickly became apparent that the official sector would be more effective if it managed to secure the cooperation of private western banks operating in emerging market countries in central, eastern, and southern Europe (CESE).

During the past decade, western banks played an important role in developing the financial sector in emerging Europe, through ownership of banks and through direct cross-border lending to financial institutions and firms. But over time, CESE countries accumulated high levels of debt to western banks. Although these banks have a declared long-term interest in the region, they came under intense pressure to deleverage when the global financial crisis struck because of the weak financial conditions in both home and host countries and the diminishing appetite for risk at the global level. Uncertainty about other banks’ strategies further exacerbated the pressure on individual banks to scale back lending to the region.