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Moez Ben Hassine and Mr. Nooman Rebei
We analyze the effects of macroprudential policies through the lens of an estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model tailored to developing markets. In particular, we explicitly introduce informality in the labor and goods markets within a small open economy embedding financial frictions, nominal and real rigidities, labor search and matching, and an explicit banking sector. We use the estimated version of the model to run welfare analysis under optimized monetary and macroprudential rules. Results show that although informality reduces the efficiency of macroprudential policies following a convex fashion, combining the latter with an inflation targeting objective could be beneficial.
Mr. Ananthakrishnan Prasad, Heba Abdel Monem, and Pilar Garcia Martinez
Several characteristics of the structure of the Arab economies, their economic policy framework, and their banking systems make macroprudential policy a particular relevant tool. For most oil exporters, heavy reliance on the extractive sector for generating fiscal revenues and export earnings translates into increased vulnerabilities to oil price shocks. In the case of oil importers, relatively small external and fiscal buffers make them highly vulnerable to shocks. This paper discusses the experience of Arab countries in implementing macroprudential policies and contains recommendations to strengthen their macroprudential framework.
Ms. Sanchita Mukherjee and Ms. Rina Bhattacharya
In this paper we empirically examine the operation of the traditional Keynesian interest rate channel of the monetary policy transmission mechanism in five potential inflation targeting economies in the MENA region and compare it with fourteen inflation targeting (IT) emerging market economies (EMEs) using panel data analysis. Contrary to some existing studies, our empirical results suggest that private consumption and investment in both groups of countries are sensitive to movements in real interest rates. Moreover, we find that the adoption of IT did not significantly alter the operation of the interest rate channel in IT EMEs. Also, the interest rate elasticities of private consumption and private investment vary with the level of development of the domestic financial market. Finally, capital account liberalization have opposite effects on private consumption and private investment in the two groups of countries.
Mr. Sami Ben Naceur, Barbara Casu, and Hichem Ben-Khedhiri
This study examines the effect of financial-sector reform on bank performance in selected Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries in the period 1994 -2008. We evaluate bank efficiency in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Lebanon and Tunisia by means of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and we employ a meta-frontier approach to calculate efficiency scores in a cross-country setting. We then employ a second-stage regression to investigate the impact of institutional, financial, and bank specific variables on bank efficiency. Overall, the analysis shows that, despite similarities in the process of financial reforms undertaken in the five MENA countries, the observed efficiency levels of banks vary substantially across markets, with Morocco consistently outperforming the rest of the region.Differences in technology seem to be crucial in explaining efficiency differences. To foster banking sector performance, policies should be aimed at giving banks incentives to improve their risk management and portfolio management techniques. Improvements in the legal system and in the regulatory and supervisory bodies would also help to reduce inefficiency.
International Monetary Fund
Based on data collected on a wide range of financial sector indicators, new indices of financial development for countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are constructed, encompassing six themes: development of the monetary sector and monetary policy, banking sector development, nonbank financial development, regulation and supervision, financial openness, and institutional quality. The paper finds that the degree of financial development varies across the region. Some countries have relatively well-developed banking sectors and regulatory and supervisory regimes. However, across the region, more needs to be done to reinforce the institutional environment and promote nonbank financial sector development. Based on a subset of indicators, the MENA region is found to compare favorably with a few other regions, but it ranks far behind the industrialized countries and East Asia.
Mr. Abdelali Jbili
This paper reviews and assesses the financial sector reforms in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. After a description of the financial sector before reforms, it explains the main features of the comprehensive reform process in each country. It also reviews the sequencing of reforms and discusses econometric evidence of the impact of the reforms on saving in each of the three countries. Subsequently, the paper sets out remaining issues to be addressed in the three countries, including a further strengthening of the banking system and development of financial instruments and markets.