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Jannick Damgaard, Thomas Elkjaer, and Niels Johannesen
Macro statistics on foreign direct investment (FDI) are blurred by offshore centers with enormous inward and outward investment positions. This paper uses several new data sources, both macro and micro, to estimate the global FDI network while disentangling real investment and phantom investment and allocating real investment to ultimate investor economies. We find that phantom investment into corporate shells with no substance and no real links to the local economy may account for almost 40 percent of global FDI. Ignoring phantom investment and allocating real investment to ultimate investors increases the explanatory power of standard gravity variables by around 25 percent.
Emma Angulo and Alicia Hierro
This paper analyzes asymmetries in direct investment positions reported in the Coordinated Direct Investment Survey (CDIS) following a top down approach. First, it examines asymmetries at global level; second, it examines asymmetries between CDIS reported and derived data for individual economies; and third, the paper analyzes data at bilateral economy level. Then, the paper explores seven main reasons for asymmetries, including those arising even when economies follow international standards. Finally, the paper includes a section on addressing bilateral asymmetries and concludes with specific planned actions to reduce asymmetries, including initiatives led by international organizations.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper assesses the recent trends in The Bahamas’ offshore financial center (OFC) and their contribution to the real economy. The Bahamas hosts one of the largest OFCs in the world. International banks are the most important institutions in the Bahamian OFC. Despite a sharp contraction in the size of the offshore sector, the direct impact on the real economy appears to have been modest. The direct contribution of offshore banks to the real economy appears to have remained broadly stable, reflecting an orderly adjustment so far. Strong compliance with anti–money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism and tax transparency standards should help ensure that this orderly adjustment continues.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Latvia has rebounded from the crisis, after successfully undertaking a difficult adjustment program. The recovery has been well balanced between external and domestic demand. The labor market is improving but unemployment is still high. Past consolidation efforts have brought down the fiscal deficit. The banking system is recovering. Nonresident deposits in the banking system have been expanding rapidly. Economic growth is expected to weaken slightly in 2013, before picking up later. Euro adoption in 2014 appears within reach, subject to some technical uncertainties.
Mr. Philip R. Lane and Mr. Gian M Milesi-Ferretti
This note documents and assesses the role of small financial centers in the international financial system using a newly-assembled dataset. It presents estimates of the foreign asset and liability positions for a number of the most important small financial centers, and places these into context by calculating the importance of these locations in the global aggregate of cross-border investment positions. It also reports some information on bilateral cross-border investment patterns, highlighting which countries engage in financial trade with small financial centers.
International Monetary Fund
This supplement reviews the data received thus far and the progress made by participating jurisdictions in their dissemination efforts. Data for major jurisdictions that declined to participate are also provided where it is available from published sources. In addition, data on a sample of advanced economies are provided for comparative purposes. The framework identified a minimum set of variables for dissemination and recommended that jurisdictions publish data on those variables although jurisdictions could choose to publish more. Tables 2 and 5 to 13 provide the data received on those variables. The framework also identified additional variables that were to be provided to the Fund to help Fund staff monitor developments in financial centers.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Globalization requires enhanced information flows among financial regulators. Standard-setting bodies for financial sector regulation provide extensive guidance, but financial sector assessments have often found that problems in cooperation and information exchange continue to constrain cross-border supervision and financial integrity oversight. In July 2004, the IMF organized a conference on cross-border cooperation for standard setters, financial intelligence units (FIUs), and financial regulatory agencies. This book brings together conference papers in which participants discuss: information exchange for an effective anti–money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime, in terms of both standards and practices; the standards for cooperation in the insurance sector; and the experiences of regulators from banking, securities, and unified regulatory agencies with international cooperation. The book also includes papers providing a general overview of international standards and their implementation and, on the basis of survey results, of practices among financial sector regulators and FIUs.

International Monetary Fund
This paper updates Executive Directors on the progress since February 2005 in implementing the second phase of the offshore financial center (OFC) program as agreed in November 2003 (see PIN No. 03/138 at http://www.imf.org). At that time, Directors recognized that OFCs could pose prudential and financial integrity risks to the international financial system. In this context, Directors agreed that the monitoring of OFCs' activities and their compliance with supervisory and integrity standards should become a standard component of the financial sector work of the Fund. They also requested periodic updates on the progress with implementation of the program. Earlier updates were provided in March 2004 (Offshore Financial Centers—The Assessment Program—An Update) and February 2005 (Offshore Financial Centers—The Assessment Program—A Progress Report). With the completion of the first round of assessments, staff have begun implementing the second phase of the program.
Mr. Francis E. Warnock
Partly reflecting structural advantages such a liquidity and strong investor protection, foreigners have built up extremely large positions in U.S. (as well as other dollar-denominated) financial assets. This paper describes the impact on global wealth of an unanticipated shock to U.S. financial markets. For every 10 percent decline in the dollar, U.S. equity markets, and U.S. bond markets, total wealth losses to foreigners could amount to about 5 percentage points of foreign GDP. Four stylized facts emerge: (i) foreign countries, particularly emerging markets, are more exposed to U.S. bonds than U.S. equities; (ii) U.S. exposure has increased for most countries; (iii) on average, U.S. asset holdings of developed countries and emerging markets (scaled by GDP) are very similar; and (iv) based on their reserve positions, wealth losses of emerging market governments could, on average, amount to about 2¾ percentage points of their GDP.
International Monetary Fund
This paper presents an assessment of the supervision and regulation of Samoa’s financial sector. The size of the offshore business remains very small compared with major offshore centers. The registration of International Business Companies represents the largest offshore business for Samoa. For offshore banks, the Samoan authorities have tightened regulatory controls following the amendment to the Offshore Banking Act in 1998, and as a result, the number of offshore banks has been reduced significantly.