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International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
Stock and bond issues and capital markets in less developed countries (LDCs) have recently received increasing attention from policymakers, and this preliminary study provides a cross-country survey of the actual experience of LDCs in this respect. Capital markets in LDCs are markedly underdeveloped, reflecting a combination of historical circumstances, current level of economic and financial development, and government policy—including inflation and low interest rates on government debt. Through its regulatory powers, the government can do much to reduce uncertainty (and, hence, risk). Supervising capital markets has several dimensions: preventing fraud; improving information; reducing transactions costs; and developing capital market techniques and institutions. Information on the Brazilian experience includes the fact that a strong, self-sustained capital market has not yet been established, despite the gains made. Tax incentives do provide a way of promoting capital market development, but the benefits of initial development must be judged in terms of the cost of tax receipts forgone.