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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

This is the 64th issue of the AREAER. It provides a description of the foreign exchange arrangements, exchange and trade systems, and capital controls of all IMF member countries. It also provides information on the operation of foreign exchange markets and controls on international trade. It describes controls on capital transactions and measures implemented in the financial sector, including prudential measures. In addition, it reports on exchange measures imposed by member countries for security reasons. A single table provides a snapshot of the exchange and trade systems of all IMF member countries. The Overview describes in detail how the general trend toward foreign exchange liberalization continued during 2012, alongside a strengthening of the financial sector regulatory framework. The AREAER is available in several formats. The Overview in print and online, and the detailed information for each of the 191 member countries and territories is included on a CD that accompanies the printed Overview and in an online database, AREAER Online. In addition to the information on the exchange and trade system of IMF member countries in 2012, AREAER Online contains historical data published in previous issues of the AREAER. It is searchable by year, country, and category of measure and allows cross country comparisons for time series.

Mr. Slavi T Slavov
There are 22 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) with floating exchange rate regimes, de jure. Some target the money supply or the inflation rate; others practice "managed floating." Statistical analysis on monthly data for the past decade reveals that in most cases these exchange rate regimes can be approximated surprisingly well by a soft peg to a basket dominated by the US dollar. The weight on the dollar appears to have fallen somewhat across the continent in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. Replicating the model with weekly data for The Gambia suggests that the focus on the dollar might be even more pronounced at higher data frequencies. While there might be strong arguments in favor of limiting exchange rate volatility in SSA countries, soft-pegging to the dollar does not appear to be the best fit for them, given the currency structure of their external trade and finance. The paper concludes by discussing some policy options for SSA countries with flexible exchange rates, in the context of an illustrative recent country case.
Ms. Era Dabla-Norris and Yasemin Bal Gunduz
This paper develops a new index which provides early warning signals of a growth crisis in the event of large external shocks in low-income countries. Multivariate regression analysis and a univariate signaling approach are used to map information from a parsimonious set of underlying policy, structural, and institutional indicators into a composite vulnerability index. The results show that vulnerabilities to a growth crisis in low-income countries declined significantly from their peaks in the early 1990s, but have risen in recent years as fiscal policy buffers were expended in the wake of the global financial crisis.