Europe and Central Asia Knowledge Brief

67 items available

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This is a regular series of notes highlighting recent analyses, good practices, and lessons learned from the development work program of the World Bank’s Europe and Central Asia Region.

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Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    FYR Macedonia Policy-Based Guarantee : Supporting the Development Agenda and Strengthening Access to Capital Markets
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-01) Najdov, Evgenij
    The ongoing global economic turmoil is seriously impeding client countries access to capital markets, with relatively little regard for the fundamentals of the countries involved. Growing risk aversion among investors has triggered a flight-to-quality that is affecting all but the safest assets (AAA-rated). Small, open, and developing economies in Europe and Central Asia, including FYR Macedonia, are being exceptionally hurt. Despite its history of prudent macroeconomic policies and progress on structural reforms, FYR Macedonia s access to capital markets has been virtually closed or available only on very unfavorable terms. Policy-Based Guarantees (PBG) help well-performing clients with a track record of macro stability and structural reforms mitigate market access risks while advancing a country s development policy dialogue. PBGs also have the added benefit of catalyzing private capital flows by alleviating critical risks. The PBG extended by the World Bank to FYR Macedonia ensured the country s access to markets in a virtually closed market environment and at highly competitive terms.
  • Publication
    Accountability in State Noncommercial Organizations in Armenia : An Approach
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-09) Vatyan, Arman
    A World Bank-supported project in Armenia was successful in developing a control framework that balances the need to increase the transparency and accountability of the country s state noncommercial organizations (SNCOs), while also recognizing their financial, administrative, and managerial independence. An innovative approach involving the use of earlier results to guide later ones was used to address the dire need for SNCOs, which account for 70 percent of the total number of state organizations, to make greater efforts to responsibly administer and safeguard the government s assets. The aim was to reduce the market distortions caused by SNCOs that are engaged in significant commercial activities by addressing SNCOs heterogeneity and the need for specific fiduciary control requirements for distinct groups.
  • Publication
    Country Studies Provide Powerful Lessons in Financial Consumer Protection
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2010-07) Rutledge, Sue
    Until the financial crisis of 2007, the global economy was adding an estimated 150 million new consumers of financial services each year. Rates of increase have since slowed but the growth continues. Most new consumers are in developing countries where consumer protection and financial literacy are still in their infancy. This is particularly true in countries that have moved from central planning to market economies where protecting consumers is necessary to ensure stable and competitive financial markets and give new consumers confidence in the formal financial systems. The global financial crisis has highlighted the importance of consumer protection and financial literacy for the stability of the financial sector. In the US, the rapid growth of complex residential mortgage products, combined with securitized instruments which were sold to poorly informed parties, has caused much turmoil. Financial institutions worldwide have been obliged to write off trillions of dollars of assets. In Europe and Central Asia (ECA) too, damage to the financial sector was serious.
  • Publication
    Improving Protection in Financial Services for Russian Consumers
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-12) Rutledge, Sue
    Over the last decade, consumer credit in the Russian Federation has expanded from almost nothing to 9.2 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2008. This is an average increase of 84 percent a year for five years. Recent developments in financial markets have highlighted the need for consumer protection and financial literacy for the long-term health of the financial sector. The rapid growth of household lending has been accompanied by an increase in the number of households that have difficulty in understanding the risks and obligations that they assume, or the full range of choices available. In the United States mortgage markets for instance, complex financial contracts were sold to borrowers, some of whom had weak credit histories. The consequences were disastrous, and highlight the importance of consumer protection and financial education to prevent other similar events.