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Edited by Zubair Iqbal and Ravi Kanbur, this volume consists of papers presented at a joint IMF and World Bank conference on external financing for low-income countries. The primary focus was on the impact of external indebtedness on low-income countries, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, the HIPC Debt initiative, the determinants and role of private capital flow, policies that could be implemented to catalyze private capital flows, and the appropriate role for official finance in the period ahead.

Kingsley I. Obiora
Should policymakers still be concerned about economic growth in trading partners? Have developing and emerging market countries decoupled from the US enough to grow despite significant recession in the US? Using VAR models, this paper addresses these questions for Nigeria in the context of the global crisis. The results seem to debunk the "decoupling theory" and suggest there are still significant spillovers from Nigeria's main trading partners, including the US, with trade and commodity price linkages being the dominant transmission channels. Given the sharp fall in both trade financing and commodity prices in aftermath of the crisis, these results provide some explanation to the realization of adverse second-round effects in Nigeria.
Mr. Paul Henri Mathieu, Mr. Marco Pani, Shiyuan Chen, and Mr. Rodolfo Maino
Using data collected from pan-African banks’ (PABs), balance sheets and other sources (Orbis, Fitch), this study identifies some key patterns of cross-border investment in bank subsidiaries by key banking groups in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and discusses some of the determinants of this investment. Using a gravity model relating the annual value of a banking group’s investment in the net equity of its subsidiaries to a set of explanatory variables, the analysis finds that cross-border banking is in part driven by a search for yield, diversification, and expansion for strategic reasons.
Mr. Martin Cihak, Simon Wolfe, and Mr. Klaus Schaeck
This paper provides the first empirical analysis of the cross-country relationship between a direct measure of competitive conduct of financial institutions and banking system fragility. Using the Panzar and Rosse H-Statistic as a measure for competition in 38 countries during 1980-2003, we present evidence that more competitive banking systems are less prone to systemic crises and that time to crisis is longer in a competitive environment. Our results hold when concentration and the regulatory environment are controlled for and are robust to different methodologies, different sampling periods, and alternative samples.