Governor Sejko addresses end-of-year meeting with journalists and media representatives and Governor’s Award ceremony

Publication date: 18.12.2023


On 18 December 2023, the Governor of the Bank of Albania, Mr Gent Sejko, met with renowned publicists, experts, and journalists of print and electronic media in Albania.


This event, which has already turned into a consolidated tradition, where opinion makers, influencers of public opinion, and powerful voices of journalism honour us with their presence, also serves as a platform for the Bank of Albania’s traditional ceremony “Governor's Award for the Best Diploma Thesis”.


In his opening address, Governor Sejko thanked the media representatives for their presence, as well as for reflecting the entire activity of the Bank of Albania in a realistic and truthful manner over the course of 2023, including its decision-making in the field of monetary policy. “We think that your enhanced professionalism has underpinned the more efficient monetary policy pass-through in the economy and the strengthening of the Albanian banking sector.” - said the Governor.


Next, Mr Sejko highlighted that the Bank of Albania will continue to be a loyal partner of the media world, guaranteeing a transparent and fast communication, styled in a simple language, easily perceptible by the public at large. 


He also expressed his conviction that the representatives of the media, as until today, will be an important window for conveying the Bank of Albania’s activity to the public, in a professional and fast manner. Mr Sejko reaffirmed that the doors of the Bank of Albania are open whenever the media needs to consult or request additional information about the actions of BoA and the analysis on the economic and financial situation.


By the end of this activity, as it is already a tradition, the three winners of the “Governor's Award for the Best Diploma Thesis 2023” were announced”. In this 17th annual tradition, experts at the Bank of Albania select and awards three best research topics conducted by Albanian students, graduating in Albania or abroad in the fields of economics and finance. The studies address contemporary topics and explore interesting phenomena in the fields of economy and finance, which are directly or indirectly connected with the activity of the Bank of Albania and the financial market. 


The topics focus on real issues in economy and finance and employ increasingly sophisticated contemporary methods to conduct the assessment of hypotheses and explore the economic and financial data.


The first prize was awarded to Ms Aurora Kapo, a student at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, for the study on: “Narrative economics: Central Bank Communication and Inflation Expectations”. Through this topic, she has evaluated the effect of the tone (implying the positive or negative stance) of the communication of monetary policy statements, in the case of the European Central Bank and the American Federal Reserve Bank, on the inflation expectations of households and professional experts, as well as on other macroeconomic indicators. The empirical assessment of the phenomenon is based on the methodology of Vector Autoregressive models (VAR).  Aurora has used the method of sentiment text analysis to build a measurable quantitative indicator of the tone of the central bank's communication.

The second prize was awarded to Mr Virjosin Stafasani on "The relationship between Market Efficiency, Expected Return and Volatility in the Stock Market" a student at the University of Greenwich, England. The paper presented by Virjosin analyses the expected returns in the securities market, as well as the efficiency of this market. More specifically, the focus of the study paper is the market indices for the S&P 500 in the United States, the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) in China, and the S&P Merval in Argentina. The author has evaluated whether or not prices and returns in developed and emerging markets are affected similarly within the same time period, where the effect of the business days (Monday - Friday) and that of the full week (7 days) are present. Moreover, the paper estimates the days on which volatility and returns are higher. The obtained estimates serve to demonstrate the efficiency of the market, as well as the identification of the index with the lowest risk.

The third prize was awarded to Ms Krista Kozmai, a student at the European University of Tirana, on the theme: “Fear” of the free exchange rate - The case of Albania The paper presented discusses the impact that the determining factors of the lek/euro exchange rate, such as exports, imports, FDIs, remittances, interest rates and inflation have had during the period 2008-2022, supported by data. The material also discusses whether the interventions of the Bank of Albania have influenced the performance of the exchange rate, quantified by means of a qualitative variable based on the statements of Bank of Albania. The results from the multiple regression show that the behaviour of the exchange rate is explained by the fundamental factors, where remittances are of high importance, while the other indicators are non-statistically significant and inconsistent to the theory.