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Ahmed Zorome

With financial markets becoming more integrated and financial services becoming more international, cross-border cooperation among national regulators has become key to financial sector supervision. As part of its efforts to strengthen this cooperation, the IMF’s Monetary and Financial Systems Department hosted a conference on July 7–8 to examine the current state of “Cross-Border Cooperation and Information Exchange.” Participants were drawn from onshore and offshore supervisory bodies; agencies combating money laundering and terrorist financing; standard setters in banking (Basel Committee on Banking Supervision), insurance (IAIS), securities (IOSCO), and anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (FATF); the Egmont Group of financial intelligence units; and the Financial Stability Forum (FSF).

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

IMF Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato concluded his two-day visit to Nigeria on August 3, noting that he was very impressed by the Nigerian government’s strong commitment to its far-reaching economic and social reform agenda—the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS)—but warned against the potentially destabilizing effects of rising inflation. This was the first stop on a three-country visit to Africa, which also includes Gabon and Uganda. In a message to IMF staff from Gabon on August 4, he said that he was closely following the events related to the reported al Qaeda security threat to the IMF headquarters and other financial institutions, while keeping his commitment to meet with African leaders “in support of our important work in this continent.” He reassured IMF staff on steps taken to ensure their security, and stressed the importance of continuing the IMF’s work on behalf of its members (see box, page 233).

International Monetary Fund
In a previous assessment, it was concluded that the British Virgin Islands (BVI) regulatory system governing securities markets functioned well overall, but required improvement in certain areas. Those areas are implemented with regulatory code, Securities and Investment Business Act (SIBA), related regulations, and the public funds code. The standards and eligibility of those who wish to manage or administer a mutual fund are determined by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) under the authority granted by statute. A mutual fund can be organized as a corporation, unit trust, or partnership.
Emma Angulo and Alicia Hierro
This paper analyzes asymmetries in direct investment positions reported in the Coordinated Direct Investment Survey (CDIS) following a top down approach. First, it examines asymmetries at global level; second, it examines asymmetries between CDIS reported and derived data for individual economies; and third, the paper analyzes data at bilateral economy level. Then, the paper explores seven main reasons for asymmetries, including those arising even when economies follow international standards. Finally, the paper includes a section on addressing bilateral asymmetries and concludes with specific planned actions to reduce asymmetries, including initiatives led by international organizations.
Jannick Damgaard, Thomas Elkjaer, and Niels Johannesen
Macro statistics on foreign direct investment (FDI) are blurred by offshore centers with enormous inward and outward investment positions. This paper uses several new data sources, both macro and micro, to estimate the global FDI network while disentangling real investment and phantom investment and allocating real investment to ultimate investor economies. We find that phantom investment into corporate shells with no substance and no real links to the local economy may account for almost 40 percent of global FDI. Ignoring phantom investment and allocating real investment to ultimate investors increases the explanatory power of standard gravity variables by around 25 percent.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Offshore financial centers, which nowadays account for a significant portion of global financial flows, typically do better than many countries in complying with international standards and codes of good practice, and in cooperating and sharing information among regulatory bodies, reflecting the on-average higher incomes of these centers. A staff report on the initial assessment phase of the IMF program noted that 41 of 44 contacted jurisdictions had been appraised, and these centers have published their reports.

International Monetary Fund
This supplement reviews the data received thus far and the progress made by participating jurisdictions in their dissemination efforts. Data for major jurisdictions that declined to participate are also provided where it is available from published sources. In addition, data on a sample of advanced economies are provided for comparative purposes. The framework identified a minimum set of variables for dissemination and recommended that jurisdictions publish data on those variables although jurisdictions could choose to publish more. Tables 2 and 5 to 13 provide the data received on those variables. The framework also identified additional variables that were to be provided to the Fund to help Fund staff monitor developments in financial centers.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

At the recent IMF–World Bank Annual Meetings in Singapore, the IMF’s 184 Governors debated Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato’s proposal for governance reform. His strategy, endorsed by an overwhelming majority of the governors, involved ad hoc quota increases for four countries—China, Korea, Mexico, and Turkey—whose calculated quotas are most seriously out of line with their actual quotas, and a two-year work program on a new quota formula. The IMF is hoping that its Executive Board will reach agreement by the fall of 2007 on a new formula to be implemented by the 2008 Annual Meetings.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

04/84: “Does Financial Globalization Induce Better Macroeconomic Policies?” Irina Tytell, Shang-Jin Wei

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The widening U.S. current account deficit and the associated large positions that foreigners are amassing in U.S. bonds and equities—roughly $5 billion—have garnered much attention from academics, policymakers, practitioners, and the financial press. There are many structural reasons for this accumulation. For portfolio equity investors, few countries protect the rights of outside investors more vigorously. For fixed-income investors, U.S. bond markets offer unparalleled depth and liquidity. But these large positions also leave foreigners exposed to fluctuations in U.S. asset prices. In an IMF Working Paper, Francis E. Warnock addresses this aspect of foreigners’ U.S. positions by assessing how a rapid decline in U.S. financial market prices could impact foreigners across a wide range of countries.