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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Regime (HKSAR) is home to a fast-growing and highly international investment fund industry. The public investment fund industry authorized in HKSAR has grown rapidly from US$628 billion in 2008 to US$1.6 trillion in net asset value (NAV) in 2020. The locally domiciled sector grew from US$121 billion in early 2015 to almost US$155 billion in 2020. Open-end funds authorized for sale in HKSAR are substantially invested in foreign assets and significantly invested in by non-HKSAR residents and are therefore reactive to international liquidity and price conditions. Locally domiciled funds invest their portfolios in both local and overseas assets markets, while they are overwhelmingly funded by HKSAR investors.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Hong Kong SAR (HKSAR) is a small and open economy, and a major international financial center with extensive linkages to Mainland China. Over the past two years, Hong Kong SAR’s economy and financial sector were adversely impacted by domestic social unrest, US-China tensions, and the global COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in an unprecedented two consecutive years of negative economic growth.
Thilo Kroeger, Anh Thi Ngoc Nguyen, Yuanyan Sophia Zhang, Pham Dinh Thuy, Nguyen Huy Minh, and Duong Danh Tuan
The paper uses firm-level data to assess the financial health of the Vietnamese non-financial corporate sector on the eve of pandemic. Our analysis finds that smaller domestic firms were particularly vulnerable even by regional comparison. A sensitivity analysis suggests that the COVID-19 shock will have a substantial impact on firms’ profitability, liquidity and even solvency, particularly in the hardest hit sectors that are dominated by SMEs and account for a sizeable employment share, but large firms are not immune to the crisis. Risks of default can propagate more broadly through upstream and downstream linkages to industries not directly impacted, with stresses potentially translating into an increase in corporate bankruptcies and bank fragility. Policy measures taken in the immediate aftermath of the crisis have helped alleviate liquidity pressures, but the nature of policy support may have to pivot to support the recovery.
Mr. Ghiath Shabsigh, Mr. Tanai Khiaonarong, and Mr. Harry Leinonen
Major transformations in payment and settlements have occurred in generations. The first generation was paper-based. Delivery times for payment instruments took several days domestically and weeks internationally. The second generation involved computerization with batch processing. Links between payment systems were made through manual or file-based interfaces. The change-over period between technologies was long and still some paper-based instruments like checks and cash remain in use. The third generation, which has been emerging, involves electronic and mobile payment schemes that enable integrated, immediate, and end-to-end payment and settlement transfers. For example, real-time gross settlement systems have been available in almost all countries. DLT has been viewed as a potential platform for the next generation of payment systems, enhancing the integration and the reconciliation of settlement accounts and their ledgers. So far, experiments with DLT experimentations point to the potential for financial infrastructures to move towards real-time settlement, flatter structures, continuous operations, and global reach. Testing in large-value payments and securities settlement systems have partly demonstrated the technical feasibility of DLT for this new environment. The projects examined analyzed issues associated with operational capacity, resiliency, liquidity savings, settlement finality, and privacy. DLT-based solutions can also facilitate delivery versus payment of securities, payment versus payment of foreign exchange transactions, and efficient cross-border payments.
Rama Cont, Artur Kotlicki, and Ms. Laura Valderrama
The traditional approach to the stress testing of financial institutions focuses on capital adequacy and solvency. Liquidity stress tests have been applied in parallel to and independently from solvency stress tests, based on scenarios which may not be consistent with those used in solvency stress tests. We propose a structural framework for the joint stress testing of solvency and liquidity: our approach exploits the mechanisms underlying the solvency-liquidity nexus to derive relations between solvency shocks and liquidity shocks. These relations are then used to model liquidity and solvency risk in a coherent framework, involving external shocks to solvency and endogenous liquidity shocks arising from these solvency shocks. We define the concept of ‘Liquidity at Risk’, which quantifies the liquidity resources required for a financial institution facing a stress scenario. Finally, we show that the interaction of liquidity and solvency may lead to the amplification of equity losses due to funding costs which arise from liquidity needs. The approach described in this study provides in particular a clear methodology for quantifying the impact of economic shocks resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis on the solvency and liquidity of financial institutions and may serve as a useful tool for calibrating policy responses.
Ronald Heijmans and Ms. Froukelien Wendt
Banks and financial market infrastructures (FMIs) that are not able to fulfill their payment obligations can be a source of financial instability. This paper develops a composite risk indicator to evaluate the criticality of participants in a large value payment system network, combining liquidity risk and interconnections in one approach, and applying this to the TARGET2 payment system. Findings suggest that the most critical participants in TARGET2 are other payment systems, because of the size of underlying payment flows. Some banks may be critical, but this is mainly due to their interconnectedness with other TARGET2 participants. Central counterparties and central securities depositories are less critical. These findings can be used in financial stability analysis, and feed into central bank policies on payment system access, oversight, and crisis management.