The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. With nearly 300 released each year, working papers cover a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Hemant Shah, Jorge Chan-Lau, Geoffrey Bannister, Ana Carvajal, and Ivan Guerra
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
This study focuses on equity, private debt, and asset-backed securities markets in Central America. These markets are generally under-developed throughout the region due to several structural problems, economic and political factors, and weaknesses in regulation and in institutional investor base. The paper identifies key country-specific recommendations to strengthen securities laws, regulatory oversight, market infrastructure, investor base, and new products such as asset-backed securities. Despite these efforts, developing seven viable private capital markets is a difficult goal. The paper thus also explores the benefits and difficulties of creating a single capital market in a region still short of full economic integration.