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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expressed concern over Zimbabwe's banking sector. The value of Zimbabwe's banking sector assets had declined in real terms by 40% as of the end of last year. Non-performing loan ratios in the financial sector were low at 5% as of the end of last year, which reflects a largely negative real interest rate.

"Stress tests indicate that the Zimbabwean banking system is most vulnerable to credit risk, but it is practically immune to changes in the exchange rate as net open positions in foreign exchange are small," the IMF has said in it's report.

According to IMF- "Systemic problems in the banking sector in the next 6-12 months cannot be ruled out. Loan performance is likely to deteriorate if the concessional facilities are curtailed and the general interest rate structure is rationalised. These pressures will need to be carefully monitored and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe should be ready to deal with possible failures of individual institutions and avoid systemic risks. In particular, it is essential that provisioning and capital adequacy be monitored on a continuous basis and prudential norms enforced."

The IMF report, however, said the country's banks continued to show remarkable resilience in the face of adverse macroeconomic developments.

.... US banks are strong
.... Asian Development Outlook 2004
.... IMF on Indian government deficit

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