International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & and Review Department
This paper evaluates the IMF’s policy on the use of quantitative limits on public debt in IMF-supported programs (the “debt limits policy”) and proposes a number of modifications. The review is taking place at a time when many countries are experiencing heightened debt vulnerabilities or actual debt distress, aggravated by the COVID-19 shock, and occurring against the backdrop of a changing credit landscape in which concessional finance is scarcer relative to countries’ investment needs.
Maximilien Kaffo Melou, Mariusz A. Sumlinski, and Chris Geiregat
We analyse the debt dynamics in countries that benefited from the HIPC/MDRI debt relief initiatives with a view to applying a probabilistic approach to estimating future debt paths for those countries. We extend the probabilistic approach to public debt sustainability analysis (DSA) proposed by Celasun et al. (2006). This required addressing the twin challenges of a the time period that is too short to conduct country-by-country estimations and the presence, suggested by econometric evidence, of a break–point around 2006 in the dynamics of debt accumulation. To overcome the data limitations, we pool the data and estimate a panel VAR, thus taking advantage of the large cross–section. To account for the break–point, while applying a probabilistic approach to forecasting debt paths, we use the post–break–point information so as not to bias the forecasts of debt paths. As an illustration of the approach we apply the methodology to eight countries with different debt profiles.
We employ a structural panel VAR model with interaction terms to identify determinants of effective transmission from central bank policy rates to retail lending rates in a large country sample. The framework allows deriving country specific pass-through estimates broken down into the contributions of structural country characteristics and policies. The findings suggest that industrial economies tend to enjoy a higher pass-through largely on account of their more flexible exchange rate regimes and their more developed financial systems. The average pass-through in our sample increased from 30 to 60 percent between 2003 and 2008, mainly due to positive risk sentiment, rising inflation and increasingly diversified banking sectors. The crisis reversed this trend partly as banks increased precautionary liquidity holdings, non-performing loans proliferated and inflation moderated.
This section provides the background studies relating to dimensions of Fund policy on conditionality. Appendix 1 provides a review of Fund experience with coordination, both in a low-income country (LIC) setting (in African programs) and in an emerging market and advanced economy setting in the European Union (EU) and Euro Area (EA). Appendix 2 summarizes the recent changes to debt limits in LICs and provides an assessment of the implementation of this policy in the early stages (up to mid-February 2011). Appendix 3 reviews the experience of countries with the Flexible Credit Line (FCL) and Precautionary Credit Line (PCL)-supported programs. Appendix 4 examines the impact of the 2009 Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocation on program design
The report gives the details of the Ghanaian authorities’ request for modification of the performance criterion under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF)-supported program. The proposed loan involves borrowing at nonconcessional terms. The authorities’ request is with the intention to consider modification of the limit on external borrowing at nonconcessional terms in the context of the combined first and second reviews to accommodate new high-return projects, in line with the new IMF policy on debt limits.
In May 2007, the IMF and World Bank Boards discussed the paper "Strengthening Debt Management Practices: Lessons from Country Experiences and Issues Going Forward". In those discussions, the Boards of both institutions endorsed a public debt management (PDM) work program that was particularly focused on strengthening frameworks and capacity in low-income countries (LICs). This comprised three main elements: (i) develop a toolkit to help LICs formulate an effective Medium-Term Debt Management Strategy (MTDS) and apply it in 4–6 countries a year; (ii) undertake debt management performance assessments; and (iii) continue the provision of debt management and domestic market development technical assistance (TA) and advisory services to middle-income countries (MICs). This paper is a response to the Boards' request for an update on the development and implementation of that work program.
Developing a Medium-Term Debt Management Strategy (MTDS)— Guidance Note for Country Authorities
Debt Management Performance Assessment Tool (DEMPA)
Developing a Medium Term Debt Management Strategy: User Guide and Analytical Tool — In March 2009, the Executive Boards of the World Bank and the IMF endorsed the Medium Term Debt Management Strategy (MTDS) Framework developed by IMF and World Bank staff to help countries elaborate effective debt management strategies. The MTDS framework and toolkit comprises two elements: An operational guidance note (GN) and a spreadsheet-based analytical tool (AT). The GN provides practical guidance on the process of developing an effective MTDS, describing each step involved, while the AT provides quantitative analysis to guide the MTDS decision-making process.
This paper contains background material to the Board paper on "Aid Inflows— The Role of the Fund and Operational Issues for Program Design." The main paper draws operational implications for program design of increased and volatile aid inflows, based on selected case studies (Annex I) and a review of program conditionality (Annex II). It also uses findings on recent developments in official donor assistance (ODA) and meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (Annex III).
This study provides information on official financing and the debt situation of developing countries. It discusses issues related to trade finance in financial crises, and the challenge of maintaining external debt sustainability in debtor countries. It updates the 2001 edition of Official Financing for Developing Countries.