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Aliona Cebotari and Karim Youssef
Natural disasters are a source of economic risks in many countries, especially in smaller and lower-income states, and ex-ante preparedness is needed to manage the risks. The paper discusses sovereign experience with disaster insurance as a key instrument to mitigate the risks; proposes ways to judge the adequacy of insurance; and considers ways to enhance its use by vulnerable countries. The paper especially aims to inform policy decisions on disaster insurance. Through simulations of natural disasters and various insurance options, we find that sovereign decisions on optimal risk transfer involve balancing trade-offs between growth and debt, based on government risk preferences and country risk exposure. The choice of optimal insurance for smaller countries turns out to be more constrained by cost considerations due to their higher exposure, likely resulting in underinsurance; donor grants could help them achieve a more optimal protection. We also find that optimal insurance packages are those that are least costly relative to expected payouts (i.e. have the lowest insurance multiple), which are also the packages that insure less severe (more frequent) disasters.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept., and International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper discusses how countries vulnerable to natural disasters can reduce the associated human and economic cost. Building on earlier work by IMF staff, the paper views disaster risk management through the lens of a three-pillar strategy for building structural, financial, and post-disaster (including social) resilience. A coherent disaster resilience strategy, based on a diagnostic of risks and cost-effective responses, can provide a road map for how to tackle disaster related vulnerabilities. It can also help mobilize much-needed support from the international community.
Gustavo Adler and Mr. Daniel Garcia-Macia
With the rapid growth of countries' foreign asset and liability positions over the last two decades, financial returns on those positions ('NFA returns') have become material drivers of current accounts and net stock positions. This paper documents the relative importance of NFA return versus trade channels in driving NFA dynamics, for a sample of 52 economies over 1990-2015. While persistent trade imbalances have been a strong force leading to diverging NFA positions, NFA returns have played an important stabilizing role, mitigating NFA divergence. The stabilizing role of NFA returns primarily reflects the response of asset prices, rather than yield differentials or exchange rates. There is also evidence of heterogeneity in the speed of NFA adjustment, with emerging market economies adjusting more rapidly than advanced economies, and reserve-currency countries adjusting more slowly than others. The paper also documents the role of NFA returns as insurance against domestic and global income shocks, with a focus on reserve-currency countries.
Mr. Charles Enoch, Wouter Bossu, Carlos Caceres, and Ms. Diva Singh

Abstract

With growth slowing across much of the Latin America as a result of the end of the commodity supercycle and economic rebalancing in China, as well as fragmentation of the international banking system, policies to stimulate growth are needed. This book examines the financial landscapes of seven Latin American economies—Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay—and makes a case for them to pursue regional financial integration. Chapters set out the benefits to the region of financial integration, the barriers to cross-border activity in banks, insurance companies, pension funds, and capital markets, as well as recommendations to address these barriers. Finally, the volume makes the case that regional integration now could be a step toward global integration in the short term.

International Monetary Fund
Small developing states are disproportionately vulnerable to natural disasters. On average, the annual cost of disasters for small states is nearly 2 percent of GDP—more than four times that for larger countries. This reflects a higher frequency of disasters, adjusted for land area, as well as greater vulnerability to severe disasters. About 9 percent of disasters in small states involve damage of more than 30 percent of GDP, compared to less than 1 percent for larger states. Greater exposure to disasters has important macroeconomic effects on small states, resulting in lower investment, lower GDP per capita, higher poverty, and a more volatile revenue base.
Mr. Eduardo Valdivia-Velarde and Ms. Tamara Razin

Abstract

The Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual 6: Compilation Guide is a companion document to the sixth edition of the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6). The purpose of the Guide is to show how the conceptual framework described in the BPM6 may be implemented in practice and to provide practical advice on source data and methodologies for compiling statistics on the balance of payments and the international investment position. The Guide is not intended to be a stand-alone manual, and readers should be familiar with the BPM6.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Informational Annex highlights the Canadian authorities’ free-floating exchange rate regime. The exchange rate regime is free from exchange restrictions and multiple currency practices. The Canadian authorities do not maintain margins with respect to exchange transactions. However, the authorities may intervene to ensure orderly conditions in the exchange market. There are no taxes or subsidies on purchases or sales of foreign exchange. Canada’s exchange system is free of restrictions on the making of payments and transfers for current international transactions. Canada also maintains exchange restrictions for security reasons, based on UN Security Council resolutions reported to the IMF for approval.