International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper studies the inefficiencies related to the electricity sector and assesses the potential impact of the 2019 reform plan. Electricity shortages are the second constraint to competitiveness reported by businesses in Lebanon, based on the Enterprise Survey conducted by the World Bank. Lebanon’s electricity sector performance is worse than other similar countries in the region. Many businesses must rely on costly private generators. Income inequalities are exacerbated by both the geographical disparities in Electricité du Liban’s (EdL) electricity provision and its tariff structure. The most vulnerable households are the small consumers located in regions with little electricity provision from EdL. A new electricity plan was approved by Cabinet on April 9, 2019 and ratified by Parliament on April 17, 2019. Although it is critical that the plan is decisively implemented, it is also important that it is enhanced further to fully restore EdL’s viability. Introducing well-targeted measures, such as cash transfers, would help protect the most vulnerable households from the tariff increase. As planned in the reform package, consumer tariffs should be indexed on the evolution of input prices to guarantee that it will not be negatively impacted by future developments in fuel or gas prices.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper looks at the factors behind the accumulation of cash positions by Canadian nonfinancial corporations. Focusing only on listed firms and running a model of changes in cash holdings suggest that greater macroeconomic and business uncertainty may have induced firms to raise the cash buffer at their disposal over the last decade. This is especially the case for firms in the energy and mining sector, which account for the majority of cash accumulation in the sample used in current analysis. The analysis also shows that firms’ high cash balances are typically associated with higher levels of capital expenditure, which bodes well for the acceleration of business investment in the near future.
This 2004 Article IV Consultation highlights that Trinidad and Tobago’s economy, which is endowed with large energy reserves, is experiencing a strong energy sector-based expansion owing to increased output and high international prices. The energy sector already accounts for about 40 percent of GDP, 83 percent of domestic goods exports, and slightly more than 40 percent of government revenue. The balance of payments recorded an increased surplus in 2003, despite large capital outflows, reflecting the strong performance of the energy sector.