IMF Executive Board Concludes 2017 Article IV Consultation with Luxembourg

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Thursday May 11, 2017 09:04
IMF--11 May--International Monetary Fund
On May 5, 2017, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation with Luxembourg. [1]

Benefiting from its major role in intermediating international capital flows, Luxembourg has enjoyed strong growth supported by competitive advantages of fiscal stability, a qualified workforce, and business friendly regulations and oversight. Economic growth reached 4.2 percent in 2016, well above the EU average, and was driven by net exports of financial services. Growth is projected at 3.8 percent this year, with continued strong job creation and a pick-up in inflation.

In 2016, buoyant tax revenues due to higher-than-expected economic activity contributed to a fiscal surplus of 1.6 percent of GDP. In 2017, the tax reform is expected to result in a drop in the fiscal surplus and a broadly balanced budget over the medium-term.

Growth prospects are good but are subject to downside risks, including from a retreat from cross-border integration, policy uncertainty in the U.S. and related to upcoming elections in Europe and Brexit that could result in financial market volatility affecting the financial system. Luxembourg also remains vulnerable to lower-than-expected growth in Europe and challenges to the euro area architecture. The ongoing implementation of the international tax transparency and anti-tax avoidance agenda, which Luxembourg has embraced, could weigh on economic activity and tax revenue, but creation of a level playing field could also accentuate its other competitive advantages.

Executive Board Assessment [2]

Executive Directors praised the authorities for their prudent policies and strong institutions, which have underpinned the country's continued robust macroeconomic performance. Directors considered that growth prospects remain strong, although clouded by downside risks related to a possible global retreat from cross-border integration, international policy uncertainty that could cause market volatility, as well as changing international tax rules. Against this backdrop, continued efforts are needed to further improve the oversight of the financial system, adapt the tax regime to the changing international environment, and implement structural reforms to diversify the economy and further reduce unemployment.

Directors encouraged the authorities to continue to move toward risk-based supervision and to increase resources for entities safeguarding stability of the large and interconnected financial system. Given global risks, they stressed the importance of continuing to strengthen the oversight of investment funds, including on-site and comprehensive inspections, system-wide stress testing, and engagement with foreign regulators where delegated activities are undertaken. Directors advised more active supervision of waivers of the large exposure limit of foreign oriented banks. They welcomed the authorities' commitment to reinforce the oversight of nonbank holding companies that include banks and to improve risk monitoring. Directors recommended continued close monitoring of risks in the real estate market, and to stand ready to adjust policies if necessary. Directors encouraged an increase in the capital of the central bank to bolster its financial buffer.

Directors commended the authorities' ongoing commitment to prudent fiscal policies. They endorsed further widening the corporate tax base and maintaining fiscal buffers, including low public debt over the medium term. Directors welcomed the authorities' proactive engagement to implement the European and global tax transparency and anti-tax avoidance initiatives. They considered that contingency measures should be put in place to address revenue risks that may arise from implementation of this agenda, and from volatile financial flows. Directors also recommended continued reform of the pension system to ensure its long?term viability.

Directors welcomed the authorities' structural reform efforts to expand activity beyond the financial sector to enhance the resilience of the economy. They considered that additional product market reforms, active labor market policies, and education reform are needed to support further diversification of the economy, reduce skills mismatches and inactivity traps, and ease supply side constraints in the real estate market.

[1] Under Article IV of the IMF's Articles of Agreement, the IMF holds bilateral discussions with members, usually every year. A staff team visits the country, collects economic and financial information, and discusses with officials the country's economic developments and policies. On return to headquarters, the staff prepares a report, which forms the basis for discussion by the Executive Board.

[2] At the conclusion of the discussion, the Managing Director, as Chairman of the Board, summarizes the views of Executive Directors, and this summary is transmitted to the country's authorities. An explanation of any qualifiers used in summings up can be found here:http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/misc/qualifiers.htm.


Latest Press Release

Photo Release: KBank teams up with PTTOR to offer first KBank Service at Cafe Amazon, PTT Service Station (Ekamai-Ramintra)

Ms. Jiraporn Khaosawas (1st from left), Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of PTT Oil and Retail Business PCL. (PTTOR), and Mr. Patchara Samalapa, KBank President, recently introduced "KBank Service" or deposit service at Cafe Amazon, PTT...

SHREIT announces distribution for unitholders of 0.2561 baht per unit All three existing hotels continue to generate excellent revenues in past three months Results from first 10 months of 2018 yield total distribution of 0.5997 baht per unit

Strategic Hospitality Extendable Freehold and Leasehold Real Estate Investment Trust (SHREIT) on 19 November 2018 announced distribution payment for the past four months (1 August - 31 October 2018) to unitholders at the rate of 0.2561 baht per unit. And...

KTC joins forces with Bangkok Airways Airline in launching seven brand-new KTC Bangkok Airways credit cards beyond the power of boutique, all-in-one cards.

KTC jointly with Bangkok Airways, celebrate their 13th partnership anniversary and Bangkok Airways' 50th anniversary, transforming seven KTC – Bangkok Airways credit cards to cover all card alliance networks including MasterCard, VISA and JCB,...

SEC Dates CAZ Filing Plans to Sell 80 Million of IPO Shares To Increase Working Capital and Serve More Future Works

The Securities and Exchange Commission Thailand (SEC) dated the filing of CAZ (Thailand) Public Company Limited or "CAZ" for listing in the Market for Alternative Investment (MAI). The Company plans to sell 80 million of initial public offering (IPO)...

UnionPay Launches UnionPay Celebrating You Campaign Offering exclusive privileges that let customers save more this festive season

Photo Caption – Mr. Pingfu Zheng (third from left), Thailand Country Manager, Union Pay International and Mr. Thanakorn Puriwekin (second from left), Director and Chief Films Officer, Major Cineplex Group, attended the launch event for UnionPay...

Related Topics