At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Gottlieb made the following statement:
“As we reach the mid-way point of the IMF supported program, significant progress has been made by the authorities in overcoming the economic crisis. Growth has revived to over 6 percent, the overall fiscal balance has swung from a large deficit to a small surplus, and government debt has fallen sharply. While the external environment has been supportive with buoyant export demand, the recovery has become broader based with consumption and investment rising sharply. Against this backdrop, the authorities are on track to meet all end-December macroeconomic targets, including the fiscal deficit and net international reserves.
“While welcome, this recovery brings new challenges. Stronger domestic demand conditions are widening the current account deficit, halting reserve accumulation. In response, the Bank of Mongolia should rein in high credit growth through tighter monetary conditions and the introduction of well-targeted macro-prudential measures.
“In the financial sector, the follow-up to the Asset Quality Review that was completed in 2017 is entering its final phase. Those banks that were found to be undercapitalized have until end-December to raise the necessary new capital. Banks that fail to do so will face Central Bank intervention or be resolved as per the Banking Law.
“The authorities are also moving ahead with reforms that will allow for more rapid resolution of non-performing loans, strengthen their Anti Money Laundering framework, and improve the selection and appraisal of public investment projects. Given the importance of attracting more foreign capital, the authorities should also commit to strengthening the business and investment climate.
“The authorities and the IMF team have reached staff-level agreement on the economic policies for completion of the sixth review under the EFF arrangement, which is subject to the approval of the IMF Executive Board. The authorities have committed to several actions, mainly in the financial sector, that will be completed before the Executive Board meeting.”