Montenegrin Delegation Meets with the IMF


Continuing the Spring Meetings in Washington, the Montenegrin delegation led by the CBCG Governor, Ms Irena Radović, and the Minister of Finance, Mr Novica Vuković, met with senior International Monetary Fund officials—the Deputy General Director, Mr Bo Li, the Director of the European Department, Mr Alfred Kammer, the Executive Director of the Belgian and Dutch Constituency, Mr Paul Hilbers, and his deputy, Mr Luc Dresse. The head of the IMF mission for Montenegro, Mr Srikant Seshadri, also attended the meetings.

Presenting the current state of the banking sector in Montenegro to the IMF representatives, Governor Radović pointed out that at the system level, deposits, loans, and capital are increasing while non-performing loans are decreasing. She added that these positive trends affirm the banking sector’s stability and that geopolitical tensions and numerous external shocks did not jeopardise it.

“With the regulatory framework constantly improving towards its complete alignment with the acquis communitaire, the CBCG is strongly committed to the negotiation process through the management of working groups for three negotiation chapters and active participation in working bodies for seven more chapters,” highlighted Governor Radović. The Governor thanked the IMF representatives for their support during the preparation of the recently adopted Central Bank of Montenegro Law.

Mr Li congratulated Governor Radović on the results and conveyed his impressions of the regulatory reform results. He pointed out that it is very important that we have preserved the banking system’s stability. He particularly highlighted the importance of safeguarding the CBCG’s independence. “The central bank’s independence is essential, because it ensures its credibility and the effective exercise of its supervisory function,” said Mr Lee and expressed the IMF’s readiness to support the CBCG in implementing initiatives aimed at more substantial economic inclusion of women and the financial sector’s greening, which are areas which both sides assessed as extremely important.

Discussing the recorded financial results from the previous year and plans and projections for the next period, Minister Vuković said that the Government of Montenegro aims to promote balanced and sustainable economic growth through advanced fiscal and macroeconomic policy measures, structural reforms and a new investment cycle, mainly in the infrastructure, tourism, agriculture and information technology sectors.

Minister Vuković emphasised that Montenegro’s goal is to adopt the Fiscal Strategy by June 2024 and implement the new mid-term debt management strategy 2025-2027 by the end of this year, stressing that the IMF’s expert support in this area would be very significant.

Presenting the previous results of the finance sector in the 44th Government, Minister Vuković reminded that in March 2024, the first USD bond of 750 million dollars was issued for a period of 7 years, with an interest rate of 7.25%, with the highest demand for domestic bonds ever recorded by Montenegro amounting to 4.75 billion USD by 250 investors.

During the third day of her stay in Washington, Governor Radović also participated in the plenum of the International Monetary and Financial Committee, attended by ministers of finance and governors of central banks of IMF members and chaired by Ms Kristalina Georgieva, the Managing Director of the IMF.