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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

This chapter was prepared by a staff team composed of Vizhdan Boranova, Kamil Dybczak, and Sylwia Nowak, with input from Raju Huidrom and Nemanja Jovanovic. The team was led by Emil Stavrev under the general guidance of Jörg Decressin. Laura Papi provided useful advice and comments. Nomelie Veluz provided administrative support. The chapter reflects data and developments as of October 15, 2018.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

This chapter was prepared by an IMF staff team composed of Cheikh Anta Gueye, Marco Arena, Tingyun Chen, Seung Mo Choi, Nan Geng, Tonny Lybek, and Evan Papageorgiou. The team was led by Tomas Dorsey and Cheikh Anta Gueye under the overall guidance of Jörg Decressin and Enrica Detragiache. Laura Papi provided useful advice and comments. Hannah Jung and Nomelie Veluz provided administrative support.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

This Selected Issues paper analyzes pace of economic growth for Brazil. Moderating activity and stubbornly elevated inflation since 2010 have led to a reevaluation of Brazil’s long-term potential growth rate. Growth accounting suggests that potential growth is probably lower than was widely assumed in recent years and now stands at about 3½ percent. The demographic dividend of a rapidly expanding labor force is fading and further structural declines in unemployment are likely to be limited. Potential growth will rely more on the pace of capital deepening and productivity growth. Lifting both may require successful implementation of the infrastructure investment program, higher domestic saving, and structural reforms.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues Paper discusses the macroeconomic implications of pension reforms in Brazil. It assesses empirically the relationship between fiscal policy and the real effective exchange rate in emerging markets and draws policy implications. It reviews the current status of local capital markets in the country, the key challenges, and policy options for further development. The paper also provides a detailed description of consumer credit developments and analyzes recent indicators of household financial distress associated with the credit expansion that has taken place in the last couple of years.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

The global economy and international financial markets have been performing strongly in recent years, thanks in large part to low interest rates in mature markets. As a result, corporations and financial institutions in many mature and emerging market (EM) countries have been quite profitable. Their balance sheets have been significantly strengthened, with many accumulating substantial liquid assets. Many EM countries have prudently used the recent period of strong global growth and supportive financing conditions to improve their fiscal accounts, accumulate reserves, and strengthen public debt structures.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

Credit to households is growing rapidly, albeit from a low base, across many emerging market (EM) countries.1 In most countries, the growth rates of household credit outstrip those of corporate credit. The contributing factors include lower inflation and interest rates, higher income levels, higher asset (particularly housing) prices, financial liberalization, reduced corporate credit following recent EM financial crises and greater capital market access by EM corporates, and increased presence of retail-lending-oriented foreign banks. Given the likely persistence of these factors and the current low levels of household credit in EM countries, these growth rates are likely to remain high.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

The Global Financial Stability Report (GSFR), published twice a year by the IMF, provides timely analysis of developments in mature and emerging market countries and seeks to identify potential fault lines in the global financial system that could lead to crisis. The GFSR aims to deepen its readers’ understanding of global capital flows, which play a critical role as an engine of world economic growth. Along with the IMF’s semiannual World Economic Outlook, the GFSR is a key vehicle for the IMF’s multilateral surveillance. The Global Financial Stability Report was created to provide a more frequent assessment of global financial markets and to address emerging market financing in a global context. The report focuses on current conditions in global financial markets, highlighting issues of financial imbalances, and of a structural nature, that could pose risks to financial market stability and sustained market access by emerging market borrowers. The GFSR focuses on relevant contemporary issues, not attempting to be a comprehensive survey of all potential risks. It also draws out the financial ramifications of economic imbalances highlighted by the IMF’s World Economic Outlook. It regularly contains, as a special feature, articles on structural or systemic issues relevant to international financial stability.

International Monetary Fund
This paper discusses the Observance of Standards and Codes and Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations for Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) in Belgium. In Belgium, the financial intelligence unit (CTIF-CFI) has noted a shift in money laundering activities in recent years. It has emerged that the proportion of new cases involving layering operations and, to a lesser extent, integration, is on the rise. At the layering stage, the methods favored by criminals are national or international payments via wire transfers or cheques, as well as remittance transactions.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix on Portugal attempts to “feel the pulse” of Portugal’s banking system on the eve of European Monetary Union. It surveys the reforms of the financial sector, explores whether prudential concerns have arisen in the process of liberalization, and gauges how well prepared the Portuguese banking system is for heightened competition from abroad. The paper also draws policy lessons from its approach to reform. The paper reviews the financial liberalization process prior to Portugal’s accession to the European Union and its broadening thereafter.