Amidst political instability and with no Government in sight
yet, the FYR Macedonian National Bank has stated it expects the
country's economic stabilization in 2017. The National Bank
sold a 25 billion denar worth of 28-day bills at a rate of 3.25%,
lower than the January rate of 3.50%, therefore effectively
lowering the benchmark interest rate. The Bank has also stated that
the impact of the political crisis on the economy has been
decreasing, evident by the fact that bank deposits have been
increasing eight months in a row. The first three quarters of 2016
showed signs of a slowing economic growth (2.7% compared to 3.1% in
the previous year), mostly due to the lengthy political crisis, but
the Bank sees things looking up soon.
Earlier this month, the National Bank reported that it expects
the economy to expand by 3.5% this year and up to 3.7% in 2018. It
also forecasted an inflation rate of 1.3% for the year while 2016
ended with a deflation of 0.2%. The European Commission has also
projected a 3.2% growth for the FYR Macedonian economy in 2017 and
expects the domestic demand to be the biggest contributor to the
The EC has also forest a decrease in the high unemployment rate
which it expects will drop to 23.2% in 2017 and 22.0% in 2018. For
reference, the unemployment rate in the third quarter of 2016 was
down to 23.4% from the 24% registered in the second quarter.
The commission has, however, warned about risk of moving bank
deposits out of the country if the political crisis continues for
an extended period as well as about the potential decrease in
foreign investments as a result.
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The implementation of the mandatory exchange of initial and
variation margin for non-cleared OTC derivative trades in the EU
commenced on 4 February for financial counterparties with the
largest derivatives portfolios.
Nevertheless, a RAIF's investment policy is subject to certain risk diversification requirements laid down by the CSSF.
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