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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Background: In February 2014, the Executive Board approved a three-year Extended Arrangement with access equivalent to SDR 295.42 million (492.4 percent of quota). So far, four purchases totaling the equivalent of SDR 123.1 million have been made, and another one equivalent to SDR 57.76 million will be made available upon completion of the fifth and sixth reviews. Recent Economic Developments: Economic recovery is underway, but growth remains below potential and inflationary pressures are limited. Nonperforming loans (NPLs) have started declining but are still high, and credit growth remains sluggish despite substantial monetary easing.

Galen Sher
Over the last two decades, cash holdings in nonfinancial firms around the world have increased. This phenomenon is particularly concerning in Japan, where the success of Abenomics depends on a transition from stimulus-driven to self-sustaining growth based on private consumption and investment. This paper finds that Japanese nonfinancial firms have accumulated cash at the expense of investment and dividends, hampering this transition. The evidence suggests that cash accumulation is due to financial imperfections combined with rising corporate profitability and uncertainty, while corporate governance plays only a limited role. These firms have cash holdings available for investment of about 5 percent of GDP. Policy options for encouraging the use of these cash holdings include improving firms’ access to market-based financing and discouraging CEO duality.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

On September 29, on the fringes of the Annual Meetings of the Governors of the IMF and the World Bank in Washington, E. Gerald Corrigan, Managing Director of Goldman, Sachs & Company, delivered the 2002 Per Jacobsson lecture, “The Boom-Bust Capital Spending Cycle in the United States: Lessons Learned” His remarks are summarized here; the full text is available at www.perjacobsson.org.

International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper on the Czech Republic discusses issues relating to the enterprise sector and corporate governance. This includes an overview and assessment of enterprise performance along with a discussion of the concept of corporate governance and its application in the Czech Republic, including how corporate governance practices compare in an international context. The paper discusses issues related to financial sector performance and restructuring. It also takes stock of banking sector developments and performance and reviews financial policy and supervisory challenges, including the definition of policies for bank privatization and the appropriate prudential framework.