This guidance note was prepared by International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group staff under a project undertaken with the support of grants from the Financial Sector Reform and Strengthening Initiative, (FIRST).The aim of the project was to deliver a report that provides emerging market and developing economies with guidance and a roadmap in developing their local currency bond markets (LCBMs). This note will also inform technical assistance missions in advising authorities on the formulation of policies to deepen LCBMs.
This technical assistance report on Malaysia highlights that the mission aimed to support the Malaysian authorities in improving government finance statistics (GFS) for decision making. The mission reviewed the progress in the implementation of the accounting project to introduce accrual financial reporting standards at the federal government level. The mission identified considerable potential for collaboration between Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) with respect to fiscal data collection for other general government sublayers and public nonfinancial corporations. The mission concluded that the general ledger structure is sufficient to produce GFS on both cash and an accrual basis. The mission suggested that collaboration between MOF and DOSM going forward would be necessary to ensure data consistency and to facilitate the explanation of remaining minor differences to users. The mission recommends that the authorities verify the causes for inconsistencies based on recent annual data, and to formally align the collaboration between the institutions.
This Technical Assistance report highlights institutional weaknesses that need to be addressed and proposes eight priority reform measures to strengthen the public investment management framework in the Philippines. This report reviews public investment management practices in the Philippines, using the IMF’s Public Investment Management Assessment (PIMA) methodology. The PIMA findings could guide the upcoming Public Expenditure Review that is likely to be completed with the support of the World Bank. The PIMA provides a broad overview of institutional strengths and weaknesses along the public investment cycle. Strengthening public investment management in the Philippines would help maximize the return from the infrastructure investment in the coming years. While the public investment management institutions in the Philippines are generally comparable to emerging market economies, there is scope to improve performance. Standard methodologies for maintenance planning and costing of infrastructure assets exist for certain types of assets, and the same practice should be extended to other sectors. It would also be beneficial to establish a central monitoring mechanism to ensure the routine maintenance of major infrastructure assets.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper analyzes saving to understand history and identify the drivers in Malaysia. IMF analysis suggests that Malaysia’s current account (CA) surplus is higher than warranted by medium-term fundamentals and desired policies. The changes in the corporate saving rate almost entirely reflect the changes within each group of firms of similar size or age. Leveraging firm-level data for listed firms, the paper focuses on the contribution to the CA surplus of private non-financial corporations. The trend analysis indicates a high dependence of listed firms in Malaysia on internal funds (savings) to finance their investments or, equivalently, a lower dependence on external funds. The results suggest that relaxing firms’ external financing constraints and lifting productivity growth could help encourage investment and reduce excess corporate saving. The regression results show that the transaction cost and precautionary saving motives, as well as their interaction with external financing dependence, could play an important role in explaining corporate net saving.
Sandile Hlatshwayo, Anne Oeking, Mr. Manuk Ghazanchyan, David Corvino, Ananya Shukla, and Mr. Lamin Y Leigh
Corruption is macro-relevant for many countries, but is often hidden, making measurement of it—and its effects—inherently difficult. Existing indicators suffer from several weaknesses, including a lack of time variation due to the sticky nature of perception-based measures, reliance on a limited pool of experts, and an inability to distinguish between corruption and institutional capacity gaps. This paper attempts to address these limitations by leveraging news media coverage of corruption. We contribute to the literature by constructing the first big data, cross-country news flow indices of corruption (NIC) and anti-corruption (anti-NIC) by running country-specific search algorithms over more than 665 million international news articles. These indices correlate well with existing measures of corruption but offer additional richness in their time-series variation. Drawing on theory from the corporate finance and behavioral economics literature, we also test to what extent news about corruption and anti-corruption efforts affects economic agents’ assessments of corruption and, in turn, economic outcomes. We find that NIC shocks appear to negatively impact both financial (e.g., stock market returns and yield spreads) and real variables (e.g., growth), albeit with some country heterogeneity. On average, NIC shocks lower real per capita GDP growth by 3 percentage points over a two-year period, illustrating persistence in the effect of such shocks. Conversely, there is suggestive evidence that anti-NIC efforts appear to have a sustained positive macro impact only when paired with meaningful institutional strengthening, proxied by capacity development efforts.
Mr. Julian T Chow, Ms. Florence Jaumotte, Mr. Seok G Park, and Ms. Yuanyan S Zhang
The recent strong, sustained appreciation of the U.S. dollar raises questions about possible financial spillover effects for emerging markets and developing countries. This report finds that, unlike past episodes, emerging markets’ vulnerability has improved along a number of dimensions, though some risks persist (as identified in this report).
In recent years, firms in emerging market countries have increased borrowing, particularly in foreign currency, owing to easy access to global capital markets, prolonged low interest rates and good investment opportunities. This paper discusses the trends in emerging market corporate debt and leverage, and illustrates how those firms are vulnerable to interest rate, exchange rate and earnings shocks. The results of a stress test show that while corporate sector risk remains moderate in most emerging economies, a combination of macroeconomic and financial shocks could significantly erode firms’ ability to service debt and lead to higher debt at risk, especially in countries with high shares of foreign currency debt and low natural hedges.