IMF update on Afghan financial sector, Islamic banking regulations coming

As part of its review of the economic outlook for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the International Monetary Fund said financial intermediation in the country needs to become more efficient and broad-based. The IMF noted that the authorities expect that credit availability should increase from its low base, though they recognize that the low private credit reflects the scarcity of profitable and appropriately collateralized lending opportunities and structural challenges. The authorities wish to promote lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and agriculture while developing microfinance to support growth and job creation.