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World Bank Praises Monetary Authority for its Work


RAMALLAH, September 25, 2013 (WAFA) - The World Bank’s Economic Monitoring Report, presented to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meeting of the donor countries in New York on Thursday, praised the Palestine Monetary Authority’s (PMA) efforts in continuing to effectively regulate the banking sector, a PMA press release said on Thursday.“Since its establishment, the PMA has made continuous efforts to enhance its institutional capacity and build the capabilities of a central bank,” said the World Bank report.“The PMA has successfully implemented regulatory and structural measures aimed at building a modern banking system, and it has adopted regulations in line with international standards including those related to loans classification, licensing procedures, good governance, capital adequacy, risk management and applying an effective anti-money laundering law that was prepared in line with international standards,” it added. The report also referred to the PMA`s efforts to enhance the infrastructure of the banking sector and praised the Deposit Insurance Law that was signed by the President. The law stipulates the establishment of the Palestine Deposit Insurance Corporation which aims at compensating depositors to a certain limit against the loss of their deposits placed with member institutions in the event of a member institution’s failure. This system will strengthen public confidence in banks, and hence, mobilize more savings and deposits which will in turn contribute to enhancing the soundness of the overall financial sector. Almost 93% of the overall depositors in licensed banks operating in West Bank and Gaza Strip will be ensured under this law .Jihad al-Wazir, governor of the PMA, said that this is not the first time the World Bank reports praise the efforts, policy, and regulations of PMA and its positive impact on the banking system.“These efforts have led to the current soundness and strength of the banking sector,” he said. He asserted that the PMA will continue its mission and will keep developing the banking system and maintaining the financial stability in Palestine despite various obstacles and challenges. The report presented some indicators that show the strength of the performance of the Palestinian banking sector. These indicators show that by June 2013, the year-on-year growth of the sector`s net assets was 14%, while the sector`s net income grew by 22% when compared to the same period last year. The continuous improvement in the financial market`s infrastructure carried out by the PMA has raised the private credit-to-deposit ratio from 30% at the end of 2010 to 37% percent by mid-2013.On the other hand, the World Bank report stated that the PMA has been carefully monitoring the risks arising from the banks` high exposure to the Palestinian Authority and its employees through conducting stress tests since March 2011.The PMA conducts these tests on the overall sector each quarter while it also orders each bank to carry out its own tests; these tests are designed according to Basel II principles. The report added that the results of the June 2013 tests indicated that the banking sector is well capitalized, and its ratio exceeded the minimum requirements specified by Basel II principles under most scenarios. The PMA employs certain assumptions to stress test banks" robustness and their ability to successfully withstand certain possible scenarios.In a different context, Philippe De Fontaine Vive, vice president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), said that the efficient role of the PMA in monitoring and maintaining financial stability has encouraged the EIB and a group of French finance corporations to invest in and contribute to the establishment of ACAD Lending Corporation, with a capital of $5 million.



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