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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

The MENAP oil exporters were directly affected by the global financial crisis through a sharp drop in oil prices, a contraction in the global economy, and a sudden drying up of capital inflows. Although activity in the oil sector will likely drop by 3.5 percent in 2009, strong countercyclical macroeconomic policies have helped mitigate the impact of the crisis on the non-oil sector, which is projected to grow by 3.2 percent. Looking ahead, higher oil prices, a revival of global demand, and continued government spending will provide the basis for stronger growth in 2010. The crisis also revealed some vulnerabilities in the banking and corporate sectors, requiring countries to undertake exceptional stabilization measures and highlighting the need to strengthen financial sector supervision, enhance corporate governance, foster resource mobilization, and diversify risks.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

The MENAP oil importers are a diverse group, encompassing both emerging and low-income economies. Many have seen significant slowdowns in the past year but, overall, these countries have escaped the substantial contractions experienced in other parts of the world. Supportive policy responses, a low degree of integration with international capital markets and manufacturing supply chains, and banking systems that had little exposure to structured financial products have contained the fallout. While the slowdown has been modest, this group of countries is also likely to experience a slow recovery. Limited external financing, little space for fiscal stimulus, a real appreciation of most domestic currencies, sluggish receipts from tourism and remittances, and higher energy prices will all continue to be a drag on growth for some time.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

For many countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) region, the impact of the global economic downturn has been severe, but prospects for energy importers and exporters differ starkly. For energy importers, the economic outlook remains challenging and recovery in 2010 is likely to be gradual, primarily because of their linkages with Russia. In particular, remittances have fallen sharply, hurting low-income households. Fiscal policy should remain accommodative in 2010 to support growth and mitigate the impact on the poor, but continued concessional donor support will be needed to prevent a buildup of unsustainable debt levels.

Ina Kota

The June 2007 issue of F&D spotlights gender equality. The lead article discusses progress toward fulfilling the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on redressing gender discrimination and empowering women and related MDGs. The section also looks at how budgeting with gender issues in mind can help countries promote gender equality and what needs to be done to get girls from 'excluded' social groups into school. Other articles focus on Asia 10 years after the financial crisis, the implications of China's and India's growing ties with Africa, and making remittances work for Africa. 'Country Focus' looks at the challenges facing Bulgaria now that it has joined the European Union, 'Picture This' highlights the globalization of labor, and 'Back to Basics' gives a primer on microfinance. Two other pieces discuss the efficiency of public spending in Latin America and how countries can use the public sector balance sheet approach to diagnose vulnerabilities that are not immediately visible in the budget.

Mr. Charles Enoch, Mr. Paul Henri Mathieu, Mr. Mauro Mecagni, and Mr. Jorge I Canales Kriljenko
Pan-African banks are expanding rapidly across the continent, creating cross-border networks, and having a systemic presence in the banking sectors of many Sub-Saharan African countries. These banking groups are fostering financial development and economic integration, stimulating competition and efficiency, introducing product innovation and modern management and information systems, and bringing higher skills and expertise to host countries. At the same time, the rise of pan-African banks presents new challenges for regulators and supervisors. As networks expand, new channels for transmission of macro-financial risks and spillovers across home and host countries may emerge. To ensure that the gains from cross border banking are sustained and avoid raising financial stability risks, enhanced cross-border cooperation on regulatory and supervisory oversight is needed, in particular to support effective supervision on a consolidated basis. This paper takes stock of the development of pan-African banking groups; identifies regulatory, supervisory and resolution gaps; and suggests how the IMF can help the authorities address the related challenges.
Mr. Simon T Gray and Mr. Philippe D Karam
This paper documents the main themes covered in two seminars (December 2011 and September 2012) on monetary policy and implementation at the IMF—Middle East Center for Economics and Finance, and includes country case studies. Against the backdrop of the global financial crisis and swings in cross-border capital flows, operational frameworks have become more flexible, and liquidity management has impacted the relationship between the policy rate corridor and market rates. The balance sheet structure of central banks in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) shows differences between oil exporters and others, while a few countries have exhibited notable changes since early 2011. Collateral now has a significant financial stability function. Although only one MENA country is part of the G20, implementation of the Basel III bank capital adequacy and liquidity rules will most likely impact banks’ way of doing business in MENA countries, even if indirectly.
The June issue of the IMF Research Bulletin looks at the role of IMF programs and capacity building in fostering structural reforms and the economics of Arab countries undergoing political transitions. The Q&A analyzes the neutral interest rate through the experiences of several Latin American countries. The Research Bulletin also includes its regular features: a listing of IMF Working Papers and Staff Discussion Notes, information on the forthcoming IMF Economic Review and the Fourteenth Jacques Polack Annual Research Conference, and recommended readings from IMF Publications.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper examines Côte d’Ivoire’s growth experience and argues that the development of a manufacturing export sector, lower income inequality, and prudent fiscal policy would strengthen the sustainability of growth. This paper aims to draw lessons for Côte d’Ivoire based on experience of other comparable countries that are now emerging market economies. The financial sector could trigger a shock to the economy or reinforce impact on the real sector of nonfinancial shocks. The current economic conditions in Côte d’Ivoire offer a favorable opportunity to resolve the financial status of public entities facing difficulties and for banks to raise their capital buffers to absorb a possible rise of nonperforming loans in event of a growth shock.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses the finalization of the development of standardized report forms (SRF) for other financial corporations (OFC). The mission held constructive discussions with Bank Al-Maghrib’s (BAM) staff on various other aspects of the compilation of monetary and financial statistics (MFS) aimed at improving the quality of the data. These discussions led to the preparation of a detailed action plan with the following priority recommendations carrying particular weight to make headway in improving MFS. The mission held constructive discussions with the staff of the Banking Supervision Department on the classification in the monetary statistics of the financial products offered by Islamic banks. The mission supported BAM proposal to develop a reporting form for the collection of bank source data on securities valuation. The mission made recommendations to improve the sectoring of the financial statements of finance companies and offshore banks.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper for Morocco discusses possible fiscal policy anchors, specifically deficit targets, and the sustainability of the resulting fiscal paths. Morocco has made great progress toward fiscal consolidation in recent years, under the combined effect of a strong revenue performance and efforts to tackle expenditure rigidities, notably the wage bill. Morocco’s low social indicators and large infrastructure needs could justify an increase in social spending and public investment. Morocco’s fiscal performance lags that of the better-rated emerging market economies.