Central Bank Equity: Facts And Analytics
Author(s) Sujan Bandyopadhyay, Rishab Devnani, Sudipta Ghosh and Amartya Lahiri


How much capital should the central bank of a country hold? There is no consensus on this matter. We review the balance sheets of 45 central banks from around the world to describe actual practices. The principal findings are: (a) the average capital-asset ratio of central banks globally (net of revaluation capital which is purely an accounting entry) is 6.56 percent while the number in emerging economies is 6.96 percent. The RBI at 6.60 percent is 5 percent under-capitalized relative to the emerging economy average; (b) over one in every seven central banks suffers operating losses in any given year with the average loss being 50 percent of core capital; and (c) our Value-at-Risk estimates for the RBI excluding exchange rate risk indicate that the current level of the core capital of the RBI at 6.6 percent is too low. The target number for the RBI core capital should be above 16 percent. Value-at-Risk estimates including exchange rate risk suggest that the overall level of capital including revaluation capital may also need to be raised.


Download Paper