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International Monetary Fund
As use of macroprudential policy tools is growing, the IMF has initiated an annual survey on macroprudential policy with its membership. The resulting new database provides information on policy measures taken by IMF member countries as well as on the institutional arrangements in place to support macroprudential policy. This paper provides detail on the design of the survey and a description of the results from the first edition of the survey, based on responses received from 141 jurisdictions. It reviews institutional arrangements in place across the membership, provides an initial description of the types of measures reported across regions, and describes recent changes in macroprudential policy settings reported by member countries.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper assesses the stability of Saudi Arabia’s financial system as a whole. Banks—the core of the Saudi financial system—remain liquid and resilient. Stress tests show that most banks, including all systemically important banks, would be able to continue operating and meeting regulatory capital requirements in the event of additional severe economic shocks, characterized by oil prices falling substantially below current levels. Despite the recent liquidity challenges, all banks would also be able to cope with additional adverse liquidity shocks. The authorities’ ambitious agenda for improving macro- and microprudential financial sector oversight should be fully implemented and, in some cases, enhanced and further refined.
Janko Cizel, Jon Frost, Aerdt G. F. J. Houben, and Peter Wierts
Macroprudential policy is increasingly being implemented worldwide. Its effectiveness in influencing bank credit and its substitution effects beyond banking have been a key subject of discussion. Our empirical analysis confirms the expected effects of macroprudential policies on bank credit, both for advanced economies and emerging market economies. Yet we also find evidence of substitution effects towards nonbank credit, especially in advanced economies, reducing the policies’ effect on total credit. Quantity restrictions are particularly potent in constraining bank credit but also cause the strongest substitution effects. Policy implications indicate a need to extend macroprudential policy beyond banking, especially in advanced economies.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

This Selected Issues paper assesses the importance of oil and interest rate spillovers for Saudi Arabia. Oil prices have fallen by more than 40 percent since mid-2014 while the Federal Reserve is expected in the coming months to begin raising its policy rate at the beginning of a gradual tightening cycle. Given the importance of oil to the economy and the peg of the riyal to the U.S. dollar, these are two key developments for Saudi Arabia. Although a temporary drop in oil prices would likely have little effect on the economy and banks given the financial cushions that have been built-up, a longer-lasting period of low oil prices would have a more significant impact.

International Monetary Fund
Economic and financial developments in the GCC economies are interwoven with oil price movements. GCC economies are highly dependent on oil and gas exports. Oil price upturns lead to higher oil revenues, stronger fiscal and external positions, and higher government spending. This boosts corporate profitability and equity prices and strengthens bank balance sheets, but can also lead to the buildup of systemic vulnerabilities in the financial sector. Banks in the GCC are well-capitalized, liquid, and profitable at present, and well-positioned to manage structural systemic risks. However, oil-macro-financial linkages mean that asset quality and liquidity in the financial system may deteriorate in a low oil price environment and financial sector stress may emerge. The scope for amplification of oil price shocks through the financial sector suggests a role for a countercyclical approach to macroprudential policies. Countercyclical macroprudential policy can prove useful to reduce the buildup of systemic risks in the financial sector during upswings, and to cushion against disruption to financial services during periods of financial sector stress. The GCC countries have considerable experience with implementing a wide range of macroprudential policies, but these policies have not generally been adjusted through the cycle. GCC central banks implemented several macroprudential measures before the global financial crisis and have continued to enhance their macroprudential frameworks and toolkits to limit systemic financial sector risks. Although there is some evidence of macroprudential tools being adjusted in a countercyclical way, most of the tools have not been adjusted over the financial cycle. Further enhancements to the GCC macroprudential framework are needed to support the countercyclical use of these policies. A comprehensive and established framework, supported by strong institutional capacity, is essential for countercyclical macroprudential policies. This framework should provide clear assignment of responsibilities and guidance on how policies will be implemented to maintain financial stability and manage systemic risks over the financial cycle. Addressing data gaps and the further development of reliable early warning indicators in signaling potential systemic stress are needed to help guide the countercyclical use of a broad set of macroprudential policies. Expanding the countercyclical policy toolkit and its coverage can help address emerging financial sector risks. The implementation of countercyclical capital buffers and dynamic loan loss provisions could boost resilience in line with systemic risks faced in GCC economies. At the same time, using existing macroprudential policies countercyclically would prove useful to address emerging financial sector risks in a more targeted way. Expanding the coverage of macroprudential tools to nonbanks can help boost effectiveness by reducing leakages.
Ms. Zsofia Arvai, Mr. Ananthakrishnan Prasad, and Mr. Kentaro Katayama
As undiversified commodity exporters, GCC economies are prone to pro-cyclical systemic risk in the financial system. During periods of high hydrocarbon prices, favorable economic prospects make the financial sector keen to lend, leading to higher domestic credit growth and easier access to external financing. Fiscal policy is a very important tool for macroeconomic management, but due to the significant time lags and expenditure rigidities, it has not been a flexible enough tool to prevent credit booms and the build-up of systemic risk in the GCC. This, together with limited monetary policy independence because of the pegged exchange rate, means that macro-prudential policy has a particularly important role in limiting systemic risk in the financial system. This importance is reinforced by the underdeveloped financial markets in the region that provide limited risk management tools and shortcomings in crisis resolution frameworks. This paper will discuss the importance of macro-prudential policy in the GCC countries, look at the experience with macro-prudential policies in the boom/bust cycle in the second half of the 2000s, and use the broad frameworks being developed in the Fund and elsewhere to discuss ways existing frameworks and policy toolkits in the region can be strengthened given the characteristics of the GCC economies.
Cheng Hoon Lim, Mr. Ivo Krznar, Mr. Fabian Lipinsky, Mr. Akira Otani, and Mr. Xiaoyong Wu
This paper gauges if, and how, institutional arrangements are correlated with the use of macroprudential policy instruments. Using data from 39 countries, the paper evaluates policy response time in various types of institutional arrangements for macroprudential policy and finds that the macroprudential framework that gives the central bank an important role is associated with more timely use of macroprudential policy instruments. Policymakers may also tend to use macroprudential instruments more quickly if the ability to conduct monetary policy is somehow constrained. This finding points to the importance of coordination between macroprudential and monetary policy.