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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

A year into the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the race between vaccine and virus entered a new phase in the Middle East and Central Asia, and the path to recovery in 2021 is expected to be long and divergent. The outlook will vary significantly across countries, depending on the pandemic’s path, vaccine rollouts, underlying fragilities, exposure to tourism and contact-intensive sectors, and policy space and actions. 2021 will be the year of policies that continue saving lives and livelihoods and promote recovery, while balancing the need for debt sustainability and financial resilience. At the same time, policymakers must not lose sight of the transformational challenges to build forward better and accelerate the creation of more inclusive, resilient, sustainable, and green economies. Regional and international cooperation will be key complements to strong domestic policies.

Moazzam Farooq and Sajjad Zaheer
Rapid growth of Islamic banking in developing countries is accompanied with claims about its relative resilience to financial crises as compared to conventional banking. However, little empirical evidence is available to support such claims. Using data from Pakistan, where Islamic and conventional banks co-exist, we compare these banks during a financial panic. Our results show that Islamic bank branches are less prone to deposit withdrawals during financial panics, both unconditionally and after controlling for bank characteristics. The Islamic branches of banks that have both Islamic and conventional operations tend to attract (rather than lose) deposits during panics, which suggests a role for religious branding. We also find that Islamic bank branches grant more loans during financial panics and that their lending decisions are less sensitive to changes in deposits. Our findings suggest that greater financial inclusion of faith-based groups may enhance the stability of the banking system.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This evaluation assesses the IMF’s response to the global financial and economic crisis, focusing on the period September 2008 through 2013. It assesses the IMF’s actions to help contain the crisis and navigate a global recovery, assist individual economies to cope with the impact of the crisis, and identify and warn about future risks.

International Monetary Fund
This paper serves as background reference to the paper, "2011 Review of the Standards and Codes Initiative." The Initiative, which covers standards in 12 policy areas relevant for Bank and Fund work, was created as an integral part of a global response to promote financial stability in the aftermath of the Asian crisis in the 1990s. This paper discusses developments since the Initiative’s last review in 2005. In particular, it covers the evolution of standards in the 12 policy areas, progress in implementing measures to improve the effectiveness of the Initiative, the role that the Initiative played in the recent global crisis, and perceptions of major stakeholders reflected in survey responses and bilateral consultations conducted by staff.
Mr. Kenji Moriyama
The estimated spillover of the global crisis to emerging market (EM) economies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) indicates that nearly two-thirds of the increased financial stress in MENA EM countries after the Lehman shock is attributable to direct or indirect spillovers of financial stress in advanced economies. Moreover, the estimated models suggest that the increased financial stress and slowdown in economic activity in advanced economies can explain about half of the drop in real GDP growth in MENA EM countries after the Lehman shock.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Global financial crisis, Iceland, Poul Thomsen, IMF work program, IMF Shocks Facility, Kyrgyz Republic; Malawi; Exogenous Shocks Facility, Pakistan loan, IMF and social safety nets, gains against poverty in jeopardy, commodity prices slump, Latin America withstands shocks, Improved policies help Latin America, Asian Regional Outlook, Bosnia and Herzegovina, news briefs.
Mr. Patrick Bolton and Mr. Olivier D Jeanne
In an environment characterized by weak contractual enforcement, sovereign lenders can enhance the likelihood of repayment by making their claims more difficult to restructure ex post. We show however, that competition for repayment among lenders may result in a sovereign debt that is excessively difficult to restructure in equilibrium. This inefficiency may be alleviated by a suitably designed bankruptcy regime that facilitates debt restructuring.
Mr. Martin Cihak, Simon Wolfe, and Mr. Klaus Schaeck
This paper provides the first empirical analysis of the cross-country relationship between a direct measure of competitive conduct of financial institutions and banking system fragility. Using the Panzar and Rosse H-Statistic as a measure for competition in 38 countries during 1980-2003, we present evidence that more competitive banking systems are less prone to systemic crises and that time to crisis is longer in a competitive environment. Our results hold when concentration and the regulatory environment are controlled for and are robust to different methodologies, different sampling periods, and alternative samples.
Mr. Jian-Ye Wang and Mr. Márcio Valério Ronci

Abstract

Trade finance has long been an important component of international financial flows. Firms in emerging market economies, in particular, rely heavily on bank-financed trade credits to support their export and import activities. This book examines why and how much trade finance flows decline during financial crises, with case studies of several Asian and Latin American countries. The authors draw from the analysis to present options for mitigating trade finance declines in the event of future crises.

International Monetary Fund
This paper essentially confirms the main findings of the paper previously discussed by the Board. It (i) discusses the external conditions and the domestic economic policy stance needed for a country to reaccess international Capital markets and (2) describes other considerations to reaccess markets, including a communications strategy and the design of debt instruments to regain market access.