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Mr. Armando Méndez Morales
This paper surveys concepts, practices and analytical literature to assess benefits and risks for monetary stability of cross-border currency and interest rate derivative operations in calm and turbulent periods, with a view of extracting implications for emerging economies. Monetary authorities must prevent one-sided positions in the currency, favor asset substitutability, and incorporate the enriched information set provided by derivative-based transactions into monetary policy design. In some circumstances, the use of derivatives by monetary authorities may help fulfill this role. By contrast, surcharges to compensate for a downward impact of derivatives on the cost of capital appear neither advisable nor necessary.
Olatundun Janet Adelegan
This paper examines the role of the derivatives market in South Africa and provides policy options for promoting the development of derivatives markets in sub-Saharan Africa. South Africa's derivatives market has grown rapidly in recent years, supporting capital inflows and helping market participants to price, unbundle and transfer risk. There are tight regulations on asset allocations by insurance and pension funds to prevent excessive risk taking. The development of derivatives markets in sub-Saharan African countries could enable market participants to self-insure against volatile capital flows. Theiroverdependence on bank credit as a source of funding could be reduced and their management of seasonal risk could be improved through the introduction of commodity futures. However, these markets must be appropriately regulated and supervised. Since such markets would likely be small, consideration should be given to the establishment of a regional derivatives market.
Mr. M. G O'Callaghan
This paper describes the structure of the world gold market, its sources of supply and demand, and how it functions. The market has three principal functions in three major locations: the New York futures market speculates on spot prices, which are largely determined in London, whereas physical gold is in large part shipped through Zurich. The market is dominated by large suppliers and gold holders, including monetary authorities. Some unique characteristics of the gold market ensure confidentiality, and as a result, there are gaps in existing knowledge and data. The paper identifies and attempts to fill these gaps.