This paper reviews the adequacy of the Fund’s precautionary balances, using the framework approved by the Board in 2010. The review takes place on the standard two-year cycle and assesses developments since the last review in 2016.
Ms. Anastasia Guscina, Sheheryar Malik, and Mr. Michael G. Papaioannou
Loss of market access (LMA) is a central element and an exacerbator of balance of payments and fiscal crises. This paper provides an operational definition of LMA, examines the predictive power of potential LMA leading indicators, attempts to determine the likely nature (temporary versus structural) of an LMA episode, and analyzes potential implications of such an assessment on the required degree of adjustment to restore market access. Finally, it highlights the possible application of the methodological framework for identifying emerging risks to market access.
Scope and strategy: This paper reviews access limits and surcharge policies in the Fund’s General Resources Account (GRA). It builds on the preliminary Executive Board discussion that took place in May 2014, against the backdrop of the 14th Review quotas expected to become effective early in 2016, which will on average double individual members’ quotas. At the meeting in 2014, most Directors considered that a moderate increase in normal access limits in SDR terms would broadly restore the normal Fund access to levels considered acceptable in 2009, and saw merit in adjusting the surcharge threshold to allow for a moderate increase in the SDR value of credit not subject to the charge.
In discussing the June 2014 paper, Executive Directors broadly supported staff’s proposal to introduce more flexibility into the Fund’s exceptional access framework to reduce unnecessary costs for the member, its creditors, and the overall system. Directors’ views varied on staff’s proposal to eliminate the systemic exemption introduced in 2010. Many Directors favored removing the exemption but some others preferred to retain it and requested staff to consult further with relevant stakeholders on possible approaches to managing contagion. This paper offers specific proposals on how the Fund’s policy framework could be changed, presents staff’s analysis on the specific issue of managing contagion, and addresses some implementation issues. No Board decision is proposed at this stage. The paper is consistent with the Executive Board’s May 2013 endorsement of a work program focused on strengthening market-based approaches to resolving sovereign debt crises.
FY 2015 net income is now projected at SDR 1.5 billion. Lending continues to be the main source of income, although advance repurchases have lowered projected lending income in FY 2015 by SDR 0.3 billion. Investment income remains constrained in the low interest environment but the returns were somewhat stronger than projected. A revaluation of pension obligations, required under accounting standard IAS 19 and stemming from a further fall in the discount rate, is projected to entail an adjustment to FY 2015 net income of about SDR 0.8 billion.
The paper proposes that GRA net income of SDR 1.3 billion, which excludes the retained earnings of the gold endowment, be placed to the special reserve.* After the placement to reserves, precautionary balances are projected at SDR 14.0 billion at the end of FY 2015.
The paper further proposes to retain currencies available for transfer to the Investment Account in the GRA, pending completion later this year of the Board’s review of the mandate for the Fixed-Income Subaccount.
Under the Fund’s safeguards policy introduced in 2000, assessments of central banks are carried out for countries seeking financing from the IMF. They are part of the Fund’s approach to prudent lending and complement the Fund’s other safeguards such as program design, conditionality, and access limits, to name a few. The assessments aim to provide reasonable assurance that governance and controls can protect Fund resources from misuse and guard against misreporting of monetary data used for program monitoring purposes.
Bertrand Candelon, Mr. Amadou N Sy, and Mr. Rabah Arezki
This paper examines the spillover effects of sovereign rating news on European financial markets during the period 2007-2010. Our main finding is that sovereign rating downgrades have statistically and economically significant spillover effects both across countries and financial markets. The sign and magnitude of the spillover effects depend both on the type of announcements, the source country experiencing the downgrade and the rating agency from which the announcements originates. However, we also find evidence that downgrades to near speculative grade ratings for relatively large economies such as Greece have a systematic spillover effects across Euro zone countries. Rating-based triggers used in banking regulation, CDS contracts, and investment mandates may help explain these results.
This first issue of IMF Staff Papers for 2005 contains 7 papers that discuss: whether output recovered after the Asian crisis; the value of a country's trading partners to its own economic growth; whether interdependence is a factor in understanding the spread of currency crises; can remittance payments from expatriates be a reliable source of capital for economic development?; total factor productivity; designing a VAT for the energy trade in Russia and Ukraine; and lastly, a discussion of the reasons for central bank intervention in ERM-I since 1993