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Eastern Europe

Since 1995, FMI has been actively involved in the economic development of Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union. FMI has worked with donor agencies and private institutions to develop and implement various technical assistance projects in the areas of capital markets, corporate governance, legal systems, accounting, pensions, insurance, and securities exchange development.

FMI has successfully implemented numerous multi-year, multi-faceted projects in the region, totaling over $100 million in value. Over the past fifteen years, FMI has worked extensively in Ukraine, Bulgaria, Albania, Romania, and Russia.

UKRAINE

FMI’s Ukraine experience features extensive capital market development projects, legal and regulatory reform programs, and non-bank financial institution (NBFI) development work. This work includes securities market development, pension sector reform and privatization, accounting reform, financial disclosure systems, and drafting laws and regulations for the Verkhovna Rada, State Stock Market and Securities Commission (SSMSC), and the State Commission for Regulation of Financial Services Markets of Ukraine (FSR).

FMI in Ukraine since 1996
Primary USAID/funded adviser on over US$30 million in capital markets, financial sector reform, corporate governance and legal/regulatory issues in Ukraine, including:

  • Foundational institutional strengthening and legal reform work with the Ukrainian Securities Commission (1995-1999).
  • Accounting and information disclosure reform, with a nationwide pilot program and public awareness activity (1998-2000).
  • Corporate governance training and international financial reporting standards development with universities, the government, the judiciary, banks, and market participants (2001-2004).
  • Capital markets infrastructure development, pension funds development and regulation, financial instruments design, and disclosure systems (2005-2010).
  • Banking reform, mortgage bond and bank recapitalization and resolution, financial sector regulatation and supervision, and debt restructuring and financial literacy campaigns (2009-2012).
  • Financial sector supervision and regulation, pension reform, commodity and derivatives market development, and financial literacy, consumer protection, and public awareness (2012-2017).

Selected examples of FMI’s Ukraine-based projects include the Capital Markets Development Project (CMP), which is currently assisting Ukraine’s Financial Services Regulator (FSR), the Securities and Stock Market State Commission (SSMSC), several stock exchanges, MFS Depository, National Bank of Ukraine, and leading financial sector SROs. The Project has strengthened the regulatory authorities, removed legal and regulatory impediments for issuing and trading securities, established an All Ukrainian Securities Depository, proposed the introduction of new financial instruments, and delivered international training in conjunction with the U.S. SEC. FMI has also been active in pension sector reform, developing prudential regulation and operational guidelines for the nascent private pension fund sector, and for a Mandatory Accumulation System. During USAID’s International Business Standards and Corporate Governance Project in Ukraine, FMI focused on improving the business climate in Ukraine, through corporate governance reform and financial sector transparency.

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

FMI is implementing the USAID/Bosnia and Herzegovina Harnessing BiH Diaspora for Economic Development Activity. This program is creating new job opportunities for the citizens of BiH through increased diaspora investment, with an emphasis on providing capital to viable SMEs and startups. The project has three components: 1) leveraging diaspora input, into the development of an institutional policy framework for diaspora investment; 2) expanding diaspora direct investment by providing technical assistance and grants to eligible, early-stage SMEs and start-ups; and 3) developing a sustainable local platform to provide business services and investment facilitation to potential diaspora investors. FMI is working with USAID and a range of local partners to mobilize the BiH diaspora and channel diaspora resources to create new private sector jobs across a range of sectors.

KOSOVO

FMI is implementing the USAID/Kosovo EMPOWER Credit Support (ECS) Activity. ECS addresses one of the key constraints to economic growth in Kosovo: access to credit for high-growth potential small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The primary objective of ECS is the design, establishment, and operation of the Kosovo Credit Guarantee Fund (KCGF), a local, revolving credit facility that guarantees loan portfolios consisting of qualifying loans to qualifying borrowers. The KCGF formally launched in early 2016 as an Independent Legal Entity of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo. By the end of the project, FMI will facilitate the transition of the loan guarantee portfolio to a stable and permanent entity, managed 100% locally. The goal is to create 5,000 jobs, increase the SME share of GDP, see interest rate and loan size competition among banks, and ultimately achieve a 10-year target of €400 million in fresh private bank capital loaned to SMEs. FMI is also implementing a comprehensive marketing, outreach, and awareness program designed to bridge the gap between banks and the SME community, including training banks on better credit analysis procedures, and assisting SMEs on preparing better financial statements.

BULGARIA

FMI worked extensively with the Bulgarian National Securities Commission (BNSC), the Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BSE), and other Bulgarian financial institutions to help develop a sound securities market in Bulgaria. FMI’s work focused on improved transparency, integrity, and fairness among key financial institutions and regulatory bodies. FMI drafted and revised a wide range of Securities Laws, Ordinances, and Regulations to accelerate harmonization with EU legislation and standards. FMI also drafted rules on international issuance of securities and cross-border enforcement activities, procedures for case referrals, and policies to regulate and license brokers, investment intermediaries, and investment funds. Additionally, FMI joined with the BSE and BNSC in 2003 to implement a series of training programs on requirements and responsibilities under the law, forms and procedures for reporting to investors and the Government, and IOSCO best practices.

ALBANIA

In Albania, FMI has assisted in the implementation of democratic processes and market reforms through judiciary strengthening and capital market development. In 2001, FMI conducted a series of training programs for Albanian judges on corporate law, international business standards, and market reforms. Prior to that, FMI implemented a project to develop an effective stock exchange in Albania. The project focused on developing a strategic plan for the exchange, associational development of capital markets institutions, and development of a clearing and settlement system.

ROMANIA

FMI implemented a comprehensive program to assist the Romanian Securities Commission in strengthening the legal, regulatory, and institutional environment of Romania's capital markets to ensure integrity, transparency, and efficiency. FMI worked with the securities commission to promulgate market rules on clearing and settlement, corporate disclosure, share registry, broker-dealer activities, market surveillance and compliance, and investment companies. FMI conducted a training needs assessment, initiated a training program for Commissioners and staff, and implemented a nationwide program on corporate governance, shareholder rights, and corporate finance. FMI also operated in close coordination with partner technical assistance projects on securities exchange development, clearing/settlement systems, and investment funds issues.

RUSSIA

For the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange (MICEX) Trading System, FMI provided consulting services and produced an analytical report evaluating the MICEX screen-based trading system interface. FMI analyzed the trading system features, functionality, accessibility, and the quality of information available to traders, and provided the implementation blue-print. Additionally, FMI assisted MICEX in its modernization effort to provide efficient domestic and international trading in currencies, financial instruments, and securities. The FMI team worked with MICEX officials to plan the exchange expansion, including an assessment of facility and trading systems needs, regulatory policies and procedures, trading design and infrastructure, and clearing and settlement issues. FMI also advised MICEX on areas critical to exchange modernization: supervision, oversight of markets, and the establishment of methods to achieve financial integrity and customer confidence.

MOLDOVA

For the World Bank, FMI assisted the Moldovan National Commission on Financial Markets (NCFM) to draft and implement 36 securities regulations based on international best practices and relevant EU directives. FMI sought input from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economy, National Bank of Moldova, Bank Association of Moldova, Ministry of Information Development and Ministry of Justice in preparing these regulations. The project also included support and outreach efforts designed to familiarize key stakeholders with the nuances of the new regulations.

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