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  • Corporate Finance and Governance: Government Policy and Regulation x
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Ernesto Crivelli, Ruud A. de Mooij, J. E. J. De Vrijer, Mr. Shafik Hebous, and Mr. Alexander D Klemm
This paper aims to contribute to the European policy debate on corporate income tax reform in three ways. First, it takes a step back to review the performance of the CIT in Europe over the past several decades and the important role played by MNEs in European economies. Second, it analyses corporate tax spillovers in Europe with a focus on the channels and magnitudes of both profit shifting and CIT competition. Third, the paper examines the progress made in European CIT coordination and discusses reforms to strengthen the harmonization of corporate tax policies, in order to effectively reduce both tax competition and profit shifting.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

The current report finds that short-term risks to global financial stability have abated since April 2016, but that medium-term risks continue to build. Financial institutions in advanced economies face a number of cyclical and structural challenges and need to adapt to low growth and low interest rates, as well as to an evolving market and regulatory environment. Weak profitability could erode banks’ buffers over time and undermine their ability to support growth. A cyclical recovery will not resolve the problem of low profitability. More deep-rooted reforms and systemic management are needed, especially for European banks. The solvency of many life insurance companies and pension funds is threatened by a prolonged period of low interest rates. Corporate leverage in emerging market economies remains elevated in some countries, but the current favorable external environment presents an opportunity for overly indebted firms to restructure their balance sheets. The political climate is unsettled in many countries. A lack of income growth and a rise in inequality have opened the door for populist, inward-looking policies. These factors make it even harder to tackle legacy problems and further expose economies and markets to shocks. A potent and more balanced policy mix is needed to deliver a stronger path for growth and financial stability, and avoid slipping into a state of financial and economic stagnation. The report also examines how the rise of nonbank financing has altered the impact of monetary policy and finds that fears of a decline in the effectiveness of monetary policy are unfounded. It appears that the transmission of monetary policy is, if anything, stronger in economies with larger nonbank financial sectors. Finally, the report examines the link between corporate governance, investor protection, and financial stability in emerging market economies. It finds that the improvements over the past two decades have helped bolster the resilience of their financial systems. These benefits strengthen the case for further reform.

Mr. John M Abbott and Mr. R. B. Johnston
Assessing financial systems' stability has required the IMF to dig deeper into financial sector issues and to include financial integrity elements in its assessments. Integrity elements are increasingly being addressed by international standards. More progress is needed, however, to prepare a comprehensive framework to prevent the abuse of the financial systems by both outsiders and insiders.
International Monetary Fund
This paper presents a Detailed Assessment of the Isle of Man’s (IOM) observance of the Insurance Core Principles. Regulation has been strengthened since the 2003 Offshore Financial Center assessment. The Insurance and Pension Authority has been putting in place Memorandums of Understanding with home regulators and is exchanging information extensively. After rapid growth in 2005 and 2006, new business volumes and investment performance have been adversely affected by weaker global equity markets. The number of captives established in the IOM has fallen, reflecting competition from jurisdictions within the European Union.
Jürgen Odenius
This article reviews Germany's corporate governance system and the effectiveness of recent reforms. Since the early 1990s far-reaching reforms have complemented the traditional stakeholder system with important elements of the shareholder system. Instead of taking a view on the superiority of either system, this article raises the important question whether these reforms created sufficient flexibility for the market to optimize its corporate governance structure within well established social and legal norms. It concludes that there is scope for enhancing flexibility in three core areas, relating to (i) internal control mechanisms, especially the flexibility of board structures; (ii) self-dealing; and (iii) external control, particularly take-over activity.
Mr. David Woo
The unprecedented rise in nonperforming assets during the recent Asian financial crisis severely tested the limit and capacity of the existing asset management infrastructure, leading policymakers to consider new approaches to resolve them. This paper examines two such approaches—the creation of asset management companies and the development of out-of-court centralized corporate debt workout frameworks—that came to define the core asset management setting in countries most seriously affected by the crisis. In addition to investigating their respective role, and evaluating their strengths and weaknesses, this paper seeks to benchmark some best practices in their design.
Mariusz Jarmuzek and Mr. Tonny Lybek
This paper argues that better governance practices can reduce the costs, risks and uncertainty of financial intermediation. Our sample covers high-, middle- and low-income countries before and after the global financial crisis (GFC). We find that net interest margins of banks are lower if various governance indicators are better. More cross-border lending also appears conducive to lower intermediation costs, while the level of capital market development is not significant. The GFC seems not to have had a strong impact except via credit risk. Finally, we estimate the size of potential gains from improved governance.
Kentaro Asai
This paper develops a theoretical framework to study the impact of bonus caps on banks’ risk taking. In the model, labor market price adjustments can offset the direct effects of bonus caps. The calibrated model suggests that bonus caps are only effective when bank executives’ mobility is restricted. It also suggests, irrespective of the degree of labor market mobility, bonus caps simultaneously reduce risk shifting by bank executives (too much risk taking because of limited liability), but aggravate underinvestment (bank executives foregoing risky but productive projects). Hence, the welfare effects of bonus caps critically depend on initial conditions, including the relative importance of risk shifting versus underinvestment.
Ms. Deniz O Igan, Ali Mirzaei, and Tomoe Moore
We examine the extent to which regulations of entry and credit access are related to competition using data on 28 manufacturing sectors across 64 countries. A robust finding is that bureaucratic and costly entry regulations tend to hamper competition, as proxied by the price-cost margin, in the industries with a naturally high entry rate. Rigid entry regulations are also associated with a larger average firm size. Conversely, credit information registries are associated with lower price-cost margin and smaller average firm size in industries that rely heavily on external finance—consistent with access to finance exerting a positive effect on competition. These results suggest that incumbent firms are likely to enjoy the rent and market share arising from strict entry regulations, whereas regulations enhancing access to credit limit such benefits.