The Medium-Term Debt Management Strategy: An Assessment of Recent Capacity Building


The Medium-Term Debt Management Strategy: An Assessment of Recent Capacity Building


1. The report provides an updated assessment of IMF and WB efforts to help countries develop capacity in formulating and implementing medium-term debt management strategies. It seeks the view of the Boards on whether those efforts are on the right track in adapting advice to the needs of countries as they face new challenges in debt management, related notably to increasing market access and potential realizations of contingent liabilities.

2. The primary aim of debt management is to raise the required amount of funding at the lowest possible cost over the medium to long run, consistent with a prudent degree of risk, but it can also be critical to macro-financial stability and to financial sector development (Annex I, Section A).1 A debt management strategy (DMS) is a plan for the evolution of the public debt portfolio that operationalizes the debt management objectives given the constraints, and specifically the government’s preferences with regard to cost-risk trade-offs. A DMS should thus have a strong focus on managing the risk exposure embedded in the debt portfolio, and notably the potential variations in the cost of debt servicing. A DMS is one, guiding component of public debt management, which involves also tactical decisions, and coordination with other public sector policies. Debt managers are responsible for ensuring that financing constraints do not lead to sharp reversals in fiscal policy or spikes in interest costs. Thus, sound debt management contributes to reduced macro-financial risks, complementing prudent fiscal management and monetary policy implementation. Debt management contributes also to market and institutional development.

3. The MTDS framework consists of a methodology and associated analytical tool (AT) to facilitate sound debt management (Annex I, Section B).2 The framework seeks to help countries develop a DMS that explicitly recognizes the relative costs and risks of alternative financing choices; takes into account the linkages with other key macroeconomic policies; is consistent with maintaining debt sustainability; and facilitates domestic debt market development.3 The framework is adaptable, but it is especially geared towards the needs of low-income developing countries (LIDCs) and emerging market developing countries (EMDCs).4 The main components addressed by the MTDS framework include: the objectives and scope of debt management; the characteristics of the existing debt portfolio and the identification of risk priorities; the sources of potential domestic and external financing; the macroeconomic framework and structural factors; baseline pricing assumptions and shock scenarios; and the comparison of alternative funding strategies based on estimates of cost and risk. The resulting DMS is typically published in a separate document.

4. Many EMDCs and LIDCs currently face increasingly complex debt-related vulnerabilities, making effective and prudent debt management all the more macro-critical. Several countries’ debt vulnerabilities—in terms of total and external debt stocks, but also financing and debt service needs—have been rising (Figure 1).5 These trends over the past few years are mainly due to:

Figure 1.
Figure 1.

Evolution of Public Debt, 2007–2020

Citation: Policy Papers 2017, 044; 10.5089/9781498346573.007.A001

  • A prolonged growth slowdown, increased fiscal deficits, and heightened geopolitical risks in some developing countries;

  • Negative terms of trade shocks—particularly commodity and energy price shocks—weather-related shocks, and contagion from global financial market crisis (Figures 2 and 3); and

    Figure 2.
    Figure 2.

    Commodity Prices Indices, 2007–2017

    From their peaks levels in 2008, commodity prices have been declining for the past two years.

    Commodity Price Index

    (Index, January 2007=100)

    Citation: Policy Papers 2017, 044; 10.5089/9781498346573.007.A001

    Sources: Bloomberg; and staff calculations.
    Figure 3.
    Figure 3.

    Countries’ Credit Rating Heat Map, 2007 versus 2016 /1

    Based on Fitch’s credit rating of foreign currency bond, credit risks have heightened since 2007.

    Citation: Policy Papers 2017, 044; 10.5089/9781498346573.007.A001

    Sources: Fitch Ratings; and staff calculations.1/ Each box presents a country rated by Fitch. High income (HI), Upper middle income (UMI), Lower middel income (LMI), and Low income (LI)

  • A deliberate increase in reliance on foreign financing in a low interest rate environment.

5. Many EMDCs and LIDCs are widening the range of debt instruments that they employ. New opportunities for LIDCs to access non-concessional sources of financing, including access to the international capital markets, have increased the risks of the public debt portfolios. In particular, there was a surge in Eurobond issues (Figure 1), supported also by prolonged low global interest rates.6 The Eurobond market can be volatile and spreads can vary by several hundred basis points in a few months in reaction to local or global events (Figure 4). Hence, access conditions can be highly uncertain, not only for LIDCs, but also for EMDCs. Going forward, if global interest rates return to historical levels, and if capital flow reversal coincides with the initial wave of Eurobonds reaching maturity, refinancing risk could become acute, particularly for countries with macroeconomic imbalances.7 Hence, effective debt management is likely to gain in importance for these countries.

Figure 4.
Figure 4.

Selected Countries: Eurobond Spreads 1/

(In basis points)

Citation: Policy Papers 2017, 044; 10.5089/9781498346573.007.A001

Sources: Bloomberg; and IMF staff calculations.1/ Spreads over comparable US treasury bond yields.

6. EMDCs and LIDCs have been developing their local currency bond markets (LCBMs). In Africa, for example, countries such as Senegal, Namibia, Cote d’Ivoire, and Uganda more than doubled the issuance of local currency government bonds between 2009 and 2014; the stock of local currency bonds in these countries is now on average equivalent to 8.5 percent of GDP. The maturity of bonds issued between 2009 and 2014 increased on average from 1.5 years to 6.4 years; some counties such as Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, and Tanzania issued local currency bonds in maturities over 15 years.8 Non-resident investors often supported the development of the market for longer maturity local currency bonds, but may also subject markets to swings in sentiment of international investors. While the local currency bond issuance helps to mitigate the currency mismatch, and long maturities help to reduce refinancing risk, they are often issued at relatively high cost. Overall, the increasing importance of commercial borrowing necessitates a careful and on-going assessment of related costs and risk implications as part of the DMS.

7. The IMF and WB Boards recognized the critical importance of the MTDS framework in their respective 2007 discussions on strengthening debt management practices, and supported the intensification of resource allocation to capacity building work related to MTDS activities.9 The Board discussions, the review conducted in 2009, and the 2013 report for information yielded a number of underlying themes and challenges (Annex II):

  • The Boards expressed ongoing support for the provision of technical assistance to help countries strengthen their capacity in debt management. The work programs endorsed by the Boards in 2007 and 2009 suggested that MTDS-related activities and capacity building focus on LIDCs and International Development Association (IDA)-eligible countries.10 However, it was recognized that EMDCs and high-income countries could benefit as well;

  • Strong country ownership is essential for building and maintaining capacity. To this end, senior policy makers need to be committed to organizational and legal changes, and devote sufficient resources to debt management; and

  • With more countries gaining market access and graduating from IDA, financing challenges are changing. In particular, substituting market-based finance for concessional financing presents new demands and risks. Thus, debt management strategies need to continue to adapt.

8. There has been increased emphasis on debt management in IMF-WB policy frameworks, commensurate with the increasing importance of debt management for developing countries. For example:

  • Revised IMF and WB Guidelines for Public Debt Management (2014).11 The Revised Guidelines for Public Debt Management stressed the importance of having a DMS to avoid risky debt structures.

  • Introduction of the market access country debt sustainability analysis (MAC DSA) and the current review and update of the Low-Income Country Debt Sustainability Framework (LIC-DSF; see paragraph 33). The MAC DSA includes five indicators of debt structure characteristics relating to maturity, currency composition, spreads, investor base and total external financing requirement in the analysis of debt distress. Therefore, effective debt management and the use of the results from an MTDS analysis will have a strong bearing on the assessment of the sustainability of a country’s debt.12

  • IMF’s Public Debt Limits Policy in IMF-Supported Programs (effective June 2015).13 The reformed policy uses an assessment of debt management capacity (see below) in determining the debt limit under a program.

  • The Public Investment Management Assessment (PIMA) Framework. The PIMA framework focuses on the need to ensure that all costs (including debt service costs) associated with these projects are published.

  • WB’s revised non-concessional borrowing policy (NCBP). Findings from the application of the Debt Management Performance Assessment (DeMPA) tool are used to provide options regarding the type of the non-concessional borrowing ceiling under the NCBP (see paragraph 17 and Annex III).14

9. The international community continues to strongly support the debt management agenda:

  • The G20 has endorsed an action plan to support the development of local currency bond markets (LCBMs), which involves elements of sound debt management.15 Under this action plan, the IMF, the WB, the EBRD, and OECD have prepared a diagnostic framework to identify general preconditions, key components, and constraints for successful LCBM development.16 One such element is sound debt management that fosters the effective evolution of a country’s LCBM.

  • The United Nations Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development concludes that borrowing is critical for financing investment and reaching sustainable development goals. In that context, prudent debt management is a priority. The efforts of the IMF, the WB and the United Nations in further strengthening debt management capacity and analytical tools for debt management were stressed.17

10. The increased attention paid to debt management and its growing importance for many EMDCs and LIDCs suggest that a review of capacity building in this area is timely. Section II documents and reviews capacity building efforts in MTDS and related fields, including data on resources and delivery; the range of technical assistance recommendations and themes, and innovations in both the content and the modalities of technical assistance. Section III assesses evidence on the effectiveness of technical assistance, based in part on responses to a questionnaire from recipient countries and on various quantitative and qualitative measures. Section IV draws lessons for future efforts in this area, and some issues for discussion.

Technical Assistance in Developing MTDS

A. Resources and Delivery


11. A large volume of technical assistance has been delivered and resources deployed within the context of the MTDS framework. There have been over 100 WB and IMF technical assistance missions on MTDS since 2008 (Table 1). About half of missions have been to Africa, and a quarter to Latin America and the Caribbean, but all regions have received missions.18 It is notable that many middle-income and even some high-income countries are recipients of this assistance: it is once countries start to have international market access and develop a domestic debt market that the cost and risk tradeoffs of their financing decisions become acute and the need for proactive debt management and a medium-term perspective becomes pressing. Hence, it is typically such countries that request related technical assistance.

Table 1.

Delivery of Bilateral Technical Assistance on the MTDS Framework (2008–2016) 1/

Sources: World Bank and IMF.

indicates multiple missions in that year.

As part of broader technical assistance, MTDS analysis has also been used in Bhutan, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Nepal, Panama, Peru and Tunisia.

12. The pace of delivery has been steady. Over 10 MTDS technical missions are delivered in a typical year. In 2016, 18 MTDS technical assistance missions were completed. There is currently a strong “pipeline” of outstanding requests.

13. The bilateral technical assistance missions have been supported by regional, international, and on-line training on the MTDS. Typically, about 30 national officials take part in each training event. Since 2008 over 27 dedicated MTDS training events have been held in all regions. This has further been supplemented by 8 more general trainings on debt management that have incorporated selected elements of the MTDS training (Table 2). In many instances, the delivery has been with other development partners, broadening the pool of trainers, and used venues such as those provided by the Joint Vienna Institute, the Asia Pacific Finance Development Institute, and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency.

Table 2.

MTDS and Debt Management Regional Training Coverage (2008–2016)

Sources: IMF; and WB.

indicates multiple training events were delivered that year, or in multiple years for the respective region.

14. Capacity building is increasingly complemented by online training. Since 2013, ten offerings have been made of the two online courses on debt sustainability and debt management.19 More than 6,400 participants were involved in the courses, and a total of 3,629 participants were awarded course certificates (more than half of which were government officials). In addition to those, several hundred government officials have accessed the online material ahead of MTDS technical assistance missions.

15. A considerable portion of costs was covered by donors (Box 1). Numerous donors have recognized the importance of sound debt management for development and stability in EMDCs and LIDCs, and have therefore supported WB and IMF capacity building in this area.

16. Capacity building efforts have been leveraged through the contributions of various partners, who are well-placed to provide training and advice tailored to regional needs. Regional partners can provide targeted assistance to their member countries at relatively low-cost. Specifically, the DMF II facility finances “implementing partners” whose staff participate in MTDS technical assistance missions as well as host MTDS training events.20 Typically the training is delivered by a mix of WB-IMF staff and experts and counterparts from implementing partners. The latter’s capacity is increasing; in Africa for example, MEFMI and WAIFEM have delivered MTDS workshops. In addition, the long-term experts residing in IMF’s regional technical assistance centers have increasingly played a role as MTDS technical assistance has been incorporated in their work programs.

17. Country progress in developing and implementing debt management strategies is informed and monitored by application of the DeMPA tool in many of the same countries (Annex III). Specifically, the DeMPA tool allows, to assess a country’s strengths and weaknesses in debt management, including debt recording capacity, and on that basis, define and benchmark debt management reforms. The DeMPA framework is used also in the implementation of the IMF’s Public Debt Limits Policy.

18. MTDS capacity building is complementary to other technical assistance on related topics, with the aim not only of enhancing debt management, but also of achieving financial deepening and improving fiscal management (Box 2). Capacity to prepare a DMS based on the MTDS framework is most beneficial when a country has adequate capacity in the formulation and implementation of appropriate monetary, financial, and fiscal policies, but the dependence is mutual. Also, institutional and legal reforms may be needed to complement efforts to employ the MTDS framework to full effect. In addition, well-functioning domestic markets provide the authorities with better choices in implementing their DMS.21

Donor Funding

The Debt Management Facility (DMF) trust fund is dedicated to supporting technical assistance on debt management and debt sustainability.1 The DMF is a multi-donor trust fund currently supported by Austria, African Development Bank, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, the Russian Federation and Switzerland, with the objective of strengthening debt management capacity and institutions. The DMF works with all LIDCs, IDA-eligible and PRGT countries (84 in all). Along with on-going program activities, new activities have been included, such as: strengthening capacity in the application of the Joint Bank-IMF Debt Sustainability Framework, domestic debt market development, sub-national debt management, risk management, and international capital markets access. Besides “traditional” country missions, DMF supports training events, on-line training courses, outreach programs, and research and development. From its inception to end-FY16, the DMF supported over 230 missions across 75 countries and twenty sub-national governments, and trained over 800 client practitioners. Moreover, peer learning and outreach activities include the DMF Stakeholders Forum, the Debt Managers’ Network, the quarterly DMF newsletter, and the Debt Management Practitioners’ Program.

The Government Debt and Risk Management Program provides medium-term technical assistance for middle income countries. Implemented by the WB, the program covers Azerbaijan, Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Ghana, Macedonia, Peru, Serbia, South Africa, Tunisia and Vietnam, and is currently supported by Switzerland.2 The technical assistance supports the design and implementation of tailored reform plans—with a 3- to 5-year engagement—in governance arrangements, risk management, strategy design and implementation, debt market development, management of contingent liabilities, and asset and liability management.

Other donors have contributed as well. Regional advisors on debt management, including MTDS, are hosted by the IMF’s Central and Western African Regional Technical Assistance Centers, and are thus supported by donors to those centers (including governments from the respective regions). The Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (previously the Canadian International Development Agency) has supported a resident advisor in the Caribbean who contributes to strengthening debt management capacity in that region. Some donors provide support in kind: the MTDS training session in December 2016 was held in Tokyo, facilitated by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency.

1 Countries included are those that are eligible for technical assistance funded by the Debt Management Facility II (DMF II), where data are available. DMF-eligible countries comprise all IDA-eligible and PRGT countries; see list at IEG (2016) Project Performance Assessment Report on policy based guarantees for Serbia, and IEG (2016) findings from Evaluations of Recent Policy Based Guarantees point towards the importance of IMF and Bank collaboration for sound debt management.

Complementary Technical Assistance

Capacity building related to the MTDS is often complemented by, and complements, technical assistance in other areas, notably:

  • Strengthening public debt and associated risk management capacity, going beyond the MTDS;

  • Establishing the requisite institutions, subject to suitable arrangements for operational independence and accountability, including the centralization of the public debt management functions in one office/unit of the Ministry of Finance;

  • Putting in place the appropriate legal framework for debt operations and debt market functions;

  • Deepening domestic primary and secondary debt markets, for example, by establishing a primary dealer network and instituting reliable settlement and depository services;

  • Developing securities markets generally, refining monetary policy operations, and issuing and enforcing a suitable framework of regulation and oversight;

  • Managing contingent liabilities, including those arising from public-private partnership investments;

  • Improving government cash and public investment management;

  • Ensuring the timely and reliable recording of government debt data and the availability of government debt statistics;1

  • Ensuring timely payment of debt service obligations;

  • Preparing, developing and implementing rules-based fiscal frameworks; and

  • Building capacity to apply the debt sustainability framework and undertaking debt sustainability analysis.2

1 A specific issue is the identification of the institutional coverage reported in accordance with the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014 and the 2011 Public Sector Debt Statistics: A Guide for Compliers and Users (revised 2013).2 Trainings to strengthen client capacity in using the revised DSF will be significantly increased during the coming fiscal year (see below).

Innovations in modalities of delivery

19. The modalities of technical assistance missions were adjusted to increase effectiveness, ownership, and coordination within and across agencies in the recipient countries. Earlier missions focused on preparing and presenting a main report. Starting in 2011, the approach was modified by:

  • Greater reliance on workshops on MTDS analysis using the AT as part of technical assistance missions. Missions increasingly hold workshops involving hands-on training using country data. The authorities then conduct the analysis and consider alternative debt management strategies, with immediate applicability to their country circumstances.

  • Increasing reliance on briefings/presentations by the authorities rather than technical meetings. This more participatory approach enhances interactions between the different stakeholders in debt management and promotes internal discussions (strengthening the horizontal communications).

  • Having the authorities present a draft DMS in the final wrap-up presentation to the senior policy makers. Besides strengthening engagement and ownership, this procedure allows the authorities to gauge their own technical capacities and creates demand for analytic work (strengthening the vertical communications).

20. The technical assistance missions ensure that sufficient time is allocated to prepare the debt database that feeds into the MTDS AT. Understanding the country’s current debt portfolio is the first step to identifying risk priorities. Depending on the country, advance teams assist the authorities to analyze the debt data and consider the options for aggregating them into stylized debt instruments.

21. Similarly, technical assistance missions conduct training on constructing yield curves, and baseline and risk scenarios for interest rates and exchange rates. The analysis can be as simple or complex as data and capacity allows. Most of the technical assistance recipient countries do not have a well-developed domestic yield curve, or the yield curve does not extend into longer maturities, so an implied domestic yield curve is derived, for example, based on an external benchmark yield curve combined with the application of parity relationships.

22. Innovations in the modalities of trainings on the MTDS framework have enhanced the effectiveness of training courses. In the past, mostly basic MTDS training courses were offered, to which participants (not exceeding 30) from multiple countries (as many as 20 diverse countries) were invited. In 2015, staff developed the “Advanced MTDS and Annual Borrowing Plan (ABP)” training course, in which teams of representatives from selected EMDCs and LIDCs prepared and delivered presentations on MTDS and ABP issues, based on their respective country data. The course was innovative in that it:

  • Integrated the MTDS and ABP. Participants used the outputs from the MTDS analysis to develop an annual borrowing plan and a debt auction calendar;

  • Used country data. Rather than fictional data, country representatives brought their own data and worked on their respective country cases; and

  • Invited teams from a limited number of countries. Four to five debt management specialists from a limited number of countries were invited representing the middle, front and back offices of the debt management office (DMO), the budget office, and the central bank, to enhance policy coordination and ensure macroeconomic consistency.

Feedback from participants suggests the structure is effective because of its practical orientation and utilization of own-country data; focus on relatively advanced issues; and in particular, the peer-to-peer exchange based on diverse mix of countries and experiences.

23. Innovative online training has increased exposure to the IMF-WB toolkits, including the MTDS (see above). Going forward, consideration is being given to making the courses available year-round, and developing additional language modules.

24. Results-Based Management Framework is being used to facilitate the monitoring of MTDS technical assistance. The objective of the results based management framework is to enhance accountability by systematizing the definition of objectives and the tracking of outcomes. For each mission, a logical framework is established to describe the development objectives of the activity, outcome indicators, how they will be verified, and the associated risks and risk mitigants. A hierarchy of such frameworks is established for the DMF II, for capacity building related to the MTDS, for individual projects, and for single missions. Specifically, the desired result of much capacity building related to the MTDS framework is the enhanced ability of national authorities to prepare their own debt management strategies and to use it to steer debt management operations. Publication by the national authorities of a DMS document and improved DeMPA indicators provide evidence that desired results have been achieved. Typical risks relate to shifting government priorities, lack of ownership, and high turn-over of trained staff.

B. Technical Assistance Recommendations and Themes

Common themes

25. MTDS technical assistance missions and training courses provide overarching recommendations on how best to design, produce and document a DMS based on an analysis of a range of options and scenarios. Technical assistance teams jointly with country authorities conduct comprehensive and systematic analysis of the existing debt portfolios, recent macroeconomic developments and medium-term projections, financing choices available to the sovereign, the baseline and shock pricing assumptions, and the overall cost and risk implications of the financing choices over the medium-term. Thus, the framework provides strategy options and an approach to assess the costs and risks attached to each under various market scenarios. Often the advice provokes debates among policy makers that may have conflicting policy objectives, while bringing consensus on the benefit of containing excessive risks that would imply risks to the economy as a whole. The selection of a specific strategy to be followed depends on the judgement of the authorities based on their risk preferences.

26. MTDS technical assistance missions typically analyze the need for complementary reforms to strengthen institutional capacity and deepen the domestic debt markets, and make recommendations in those areas. For example, using the MTDS framework requires the availability of coherent, timely debt data derived from debt records, but often record keeping is found to be deficient. Hence, recommendations are often included related to improvements in record keeping and the regular compilation of needed data.

27. The review of country cases underlined the importance of adapting technical assistance to the needs of the relevant country (Annex V). This view was corroborated by the responses to the questionnaire of country authorities (see below and Annex IV). MTDS analysis has been extended to address specific country needs, for example, by:

  • Analyzing jointly government assets and liabilities, particularly relevant for commodity exporting countries;

  • Incorporating the risks related to state owned enterprises (SOEs) liabilities into the MTDS analysis where quasi-fiscal activities are significant;

  • Applying the MTDS framework to sub-national debt in a confederal system;

  • Taking into account debt related to leasing obligations in the MTDS analysis;

  • Exploring liability management operations; and

  • Basing the development of more complex, stochastic models of debt dynamics on the MTDS framework.

Development and innovations


28. The MTDS AT has been updated, incorporating improvements and adaptations to evolving country needs. The aim is to make it more adaptable, transparent, and user-friendly by:

  • Introduction of operational financing targets as policy anchors and constraints. Countries face policy constraints such as limits on their ability to borrow from domestic sources, or the need to fill an external financing gap. In some cases, these are included as performance criteria in IMF program countries. To facilitate consistent analysis, a feature that constrains the financing choices based on these anchors was introduced.

  • Addition of more customizable features. Additional features introduced include the ability to assess the impact of liability management operations (such as buyback and exchange operations); accumulation and use of cash buffers; and expansion of the number of debt instruments from 15 to 20 instruments. Additional features being planned would account for interest costs for intra-year borrowing; introduce the ability to track cost and risk indicators over a longer time horizon; and to develop an ABP consistent with the DMS.

  • Enhancement of transparency of calculations and outputs. Development of the AT has focused on ensuring that all equations are tractable and is based on excel spreadsheet, which facilitates integration with other tools including the IMF’s financial programming and the joint IMF-WB DSA. The AT is built on the principle that it should not become a black box to users, and hence it is not menu driven.

Challenges and emerging issues

29. Experience from recent technical assistance suggests that some emerging issues need to be addressed, even while capacity “at a more basic level” needs to be enhanced. For many countries, capacity building starts with “getting the basics right,” and can be refined and extended subsequently. Moreover, as countries develop their debt management capacity and their debt markets, and especially as they move on to being “frontier” markets, the analytical framework and techniques need to evolve. The questionnaire helped identify countries’ priorities for more detailed advice, and in particular an increasing need to advise countries on issues such as:

  • Expanding the scope of public debt covered by the strategy. In over three quarters of responding countries, the current strategy is limited to central government debt;

  • Incorporation of contingent liabilities. Less than half of respondents include explicit central government guarantees in the analysis;

  • Ensuring more consistent implementation of the DMS. In over one third of the countries, actual borrowing decisions are not informed by the strategy document (in most of these cases, the highest national authorities independently negotiate with the creditors). Moreover, about one fifth of the countries do not complement the strategy with a detailed annual borrowing plan;

  • Construction of well-targeted macro-financial scenarios that are tractable but well-calibrated, use of diverse risk metrics. Some countries noted that data preparation is often one of the greatest practical challenges; and

  • Many countries use qualitative guidelines to express the DMS and would benefit from using quantitative benchmarks for key risk indicators.

30. Another area of emerging importance relates to the use of innovative instruments. Some EMDCs have begun introducing debt instruments other than conventional loans and bonds. The MTDS AT can accommodate instruments such as Sukuk, Green Bonds and Debt-for-nature swaps, while acknowledging that demand for and pricing of these instruments may diverge from that of conventional instruments. State contingent debt instruments and hedges, however, cannot be accommodated. To ensure the MTDS AT retains its simplicity and transparency, the latter should be treated outside of the AT. In terms of their features:

  • Sukuk, the equivalent of bonds in Islamic finance. Sukuk rely on the transfer of benefits on an underlying asset, and its structure should adhere to the Islamic legal principles. Therefore, their use requires some adjustment, mainly in the legal and operational framework, especially in non-Islamic jurisdictions;

  • Green bonds, to fund projects that have positive environmental and/or climate benefits. Disclosure ex ante and ex post verification of “green” features, remain challenging;

  • Debt-for-nature swaps, used for generating funding for environmental programs; and

  • State Contingent Debt Instruments and hedges.22 Many EMDCs and LIDCs could potentially benefit from linking debt servicing to some state variable capturing their ability to pay (such as GDP, a commodity price or export performance), either through “bundled” instruments or through hedges.

31. Government contingent liabilities present a particular challenge that may require adaptation of the MTDS framework or its linkage to other tools. Contingent liabilities are a source of fiscal risks that, if realized, can become a prominent part of the government debt portfolios.23 They arose not only in the context of the global financial crisis when banks were under strain, but also, for example, because some governments use them to finance infrastructure investment and public services through “off-budget”’ borrowing and guarantees. There is a need to develop more targeted diagnostic tools and provide dedicated technical assistance that can then provide inputs into an MTDS analysis.24

Program integration

32. Staff have integrated the MTDS AT into the financial programming exercise for a number of countries (see text chart). In the traditional financial programming exercise, there is no explicit financing file, as financing is generally a residual in the macroeconomic framework. Further, normally only net financing is considered, with refinancing of maturing debt taken as given. However, in countries where financing pressures have been acute, it has been useful to have an explicit financing file that allows for debt management considerations. This has been the approach in the cases of Ghana, Grenada, and Nigeria. The general architecture for integrating the financing file with the traditional financial programming is illustrated in the text chart. The MTDS (financing) file receives information on the primary balance from the fiscal file, and generates information on (domestic and external) interest payment and amortizations. That information is input into other parts of the framework. Mechanisms are incorporated to represent feedback mechanisms and to ensure consistency. Exploration of more formal linkages between the MTDS analysis and the macro-framework, including the DSA, may help in better integration of the MTDS framework into the IMF and WB macro-financial work.25


MTDS Financial Programming Linkages

Citation: Policy Papers 2017, 044; 10.5089/9781498346573.007.A001

33. Complementing work on the MTDS, IMF and WB staff are making progress towards completing the review and update of the LIC-DSF.26 Since the framework was introduced in 2005, the nature of risks facing LIDCs has shifted, including due to increased exposure to rollover and market volatility risks, and risks from domestic debt. The new framework would: bring more country-specific information into the determination of debt thresholds; introduce new tools to help analyze scenario risks (e.g., related to exposure to debt markets, commodities, natural disasters or contingent liabilities); introduce new tools to help assess underlying macro assumptions (including with respect to the relationship between investment and growth); and provide enhanced guidance on the use of judgment to complement model-based results. Given the new focus on market-related risks (where relevant), effective debt management and the use of the results from an MTDS will have a bearing on the assessment of the sustainability of debt for many countries.


A. Assessing Effectiveness

Responses from recipients

34. Based on the questionnaire results, the MTDS framework, the associated AT, and related technical assistance are highly valued by national authorities, who see an impact on several fronts. Responses have been received from 62 authorities of the 110 to whom the questionnaire was sent.27 The great majority of countries that had received technical assistance in MTDS indicated that it helped them to introduce a structured and coherent approach to designing a DMS. Another main benefit of technical assistance has been the increased recognition of the importance of the strategy document and the institutional role of the DMO. Explicit monitoring of cost and risk indicators is seen as a way to raise risk sensitivity among senior officials and broader stakeholders. In this connection, more than four-fifths of respondents indicated that they have prepared and published DMS. Countries were highly appreciative of advice on the institutional and governance reforms needed to develop a DMS. Assistance helped elevate the role of the DMO within the respective institution and integrate debt management into macroeconomic policy formulation and implementation. Other benefits reported included improving institutional coordination, revision of the DMS, and monitoring of additional debt portfolio cost and risk indicators.

35. Yet, even when capacity to formulate a DMS and undertake the necessary analysis has been established, implementation has sometimes lagged. Weakness in translating strategy into operations can often be related to institutional and organizational shortcomings, including fragmentation of debt management responsibilities across several entities, or limited support from senior officials. Large turnover of staff at the debt management units, sometimes induced by restructuring within the government, diminishes the pool of staff with the capacity to internalize the numerous concepts embedded in the MTDS analysis; and requires renewed efforts to rebuild capacity. Particularly when debt is largely concessional, and especially when it relates to financing of investment projects, often limited attention is paid to the selected DMS. Even then, debt management considerations are becoming more important as the multilateral development banks increasingly offer financial choices to the borrower.28 The timely compilation of necessary information from the debt recording database has often been challenging. A number of countries continue to lack a capable and fully functional debt recording system; assistance to ensure adequate debt recording is often a precondition for successful assistance related to the MTDS.29

36. National authorities viewed the technical assistance delivery mechanisms as appropriate and effective. Countries found national workshops most helpful, followed by international trainings, and regional workshops. The vast majority of responding countries reported that integrated Debt Sustainability Analysis–MTDS Trainings were helpful.

Case studies

37. Results of case studies for a select group of countries that use the MTDS toolkit and have recently received technical assistance in this area illustrate how these countries have tried to optimize the composition of their respective debt stocks (Annex V). Most of these countries exhibit rising debt ratios and greater reliance on external financing. However, within the envelope, countries have mostly exhibited improvements in refinancing risk indicators; the reduction in the share of debt maturing within one year, has been very marked in certain cases. Successful improvement of refinancing risk of the portfolio was often complemented by improvements in interest rate risk indicators. Thus, many of these countries seem to have chosen to take on more foreign currency risk in exchange for lower roll-over and interest rate risk. Some examples illustrate that the MTDS methodology and approach is sufficiently flexible to be applied across a wide spectrum of economic development, market access levels, and even across confederal levels.

38. Moreover, the case studies provide evidence on the value of supporting capacity building through a sustained, multi-pronged approach. Building capacity in debt management takes time and requires sustained assistance, accompanying recipient countries throughout the process. Experience suggests that the design, monitoring, delivery, and follow-up of technical assistance demand a medium-term commitment from the delivering institutions and from the recipients. Preliminary evidence suggests that EMDCs are especially receptive to such a programmatic approach. Also, there is some evidence that MTDS technical assistance recommendations have been more effectively implemented in the context of a IMF-supported adjustment program or a WB investment or policy-based operation. Case studies show how technical assistance in debt management can complement an adjustment program in the restoration of market confidence, and ensure that financing needs are met while other adjustment measures are being implemented.

Quantitative measures

39. A variety of measures are available to quantify countries’ debt management capacity, and in particular, improvements in formulating and implementing debt management strategies. However, it must be acknowledged that the evidence is limited, mainly because of constraints on data across time and countries, and that it is hard to link changes in quantitative indicators to specific technical assistance events.

DeMPA scores

40. The DeMPA findings reveal improvement in countries’ ability to prepare and publish debt management strategies (Figure 5 and Table 3).30 The number of countries with approved or published DMS has increased. Moreover, additional countries are fulfilling the quality requirements. These countries also saw an improvement in debt recording and the legal framework. Most already had relatively strong institutional arrangements and coordination with monetary policy. However, deficiencies in cash management, assessment of loan guarantees, and management of operational risk remained; these factors tend to hinder the smooth implementation of the DMS and are the focus of further technical assistance.

Figure 5.
Figure 5.

Changes in DeMPA Scores /1

(Number of countries that scored A, B, or C)

Citation: Policy Papers 2017, 044; 10.5089/9781498346573.007.A001

Sourcec: WB; and staff calculations.1/ The sample includes a total of 31 countries. A score of A, B, or C means that a formally approved and publicly available medium-term DMS, covering all central government debt, is in place. The DMS strategy should contain a discussion of the evolution of interest rate, refinancing, and foreign currency risk, and the opinion of the Central Bank are obtained. A score of D applies if a medium-term DMS is not published or the quality is insuffiicient.
Table 3.

Changes in DeMPA Detailed Scores

(Number of countries)

Source: WB

This dimension of the DMS was not assessed for all countries; the sample includes a total of 31 countries.

Other measures

41. Additional quantitative measures can shed light on the success of recent efforts at capacity building related to debt management:

  • The WB’s Country Policy and Institutional Assessments (CPIA) scores show improvements on debt policy and debt management in countries that received MTDS intervention.31 Between 2008 and 2015, CPIA scores for criteria on debt policy and debt management increased for low- and middle-income countries (text chart).32 It is notable that the quality of debt management performance frequently correlates to other, broader, vulnerabilities, and capacity constraints. Thus, all countries where the CPIA currently scores debt management at 2.5 or below are classified as fragile and/or small states. Conversely, those with a score of 4.5 and above typically either (i) enjoy middle income levels and access to market-based sources of financing, including to IBRD financing; or (ii) have low- and lower-middle income levels with low public debt relative to GDP.

  • The WB’s Debtor Reporting System (DRS) suggests a parallel improvement in debt reporting.33 Based on end-2015 data, three quarters of these countries were rated satisfactory, measured in relation to adherence to the specified reporting requirements and timetable. This was a marked improvement over end-2010 when only half met the criteria.


Changes in CPIA Debt Policy and Debt Management Scores

(Number of DMF-eligible countries)

Citation: Policy Papers 2017, 044; 10.5089/9781498346573.007.A001

Source: WB

42. Evidence from a study combining several indicators suggests the limited improvement in debt management observed in several countries is attributable mainly to weaknesses in other areas rather than in MTDS capacity itself.34 Often it was fiscal challenges, mandatory civil service rotation policies, and lack of high-level ownership and support that hindered progress (Figure 6).

Figure 6.
Figure 6.

Debt Management Performance and Support

(In percent)

Citation: Policy Papers 2017, 044; 10.5089/9781498346573.007.A001

Sources: WB; and staff calculations.

B. Enhancing Effectiveness

Priorities based on questionnaire results

43. The questionnaire results suggested some approaches to improving the effectiveness of capacity building and to address issues ancillary to the MTDS:

  • Several countries mentioned the need for stronger involvement of high-level officials in the process, as they play a pivotal role in ensuring that the strategy is disclosed and implemented on a sustained basis, and that institutional capacity is maintained;

  • Some respondents pointed to the need to facilitate the exporting of debt data from the debt recording system to the AT, thus allowing effort to focus on debt management analysis;

  • Some countries mentioned the value of greater flexibility and granularity in the AT to allow for more country-specific scenarios; and

  • A few respondents mentioned the need to expand the scope of the MTDS framework and the AT to cover possible debt restructuring or liability management operations.

Effectiveness and program design

44. Building institutional capacity in debt management is a long-term endeavor, often times requiring a more “programmatic” approach and sustained client ownership. Such an approach would involve diagnosis followed by an actionable reform plan supported by tailored technical assistance. Up-front country ownership and political commitment, and commitment from technical assistance providers and donors are crucial to allowing this approach to succeed. Also, capacity development in related areas and follow-up through regular reviews and adjustment would normally be part of the program.

45. A programmatic approach may be particularly relevant to countries where their debt management practices need substantial and extensive support, but would not suit every case. One-off engagements can run a risk of failed implementation and wasted resources, but designing a technical assistance program is no guarantee of success. A programmatic approach implies substantial start-up costs (to donors and technical assistance providers), which in some cases may have to be written off if country circumstances change. For a given resource envelope, a programmatic approach implies turning down ad hoc requests. However, some countries request and make good use of focused technical assistance, for which a programmatic approach would not be suitable.

46. A more programmatic approach can be implemented through various (complementary) mechanisms:

  • A commitment from the authorities and providers to an assistance program, based on an agreed diagnosis and scoping effort. The commitment might, for example, be embodied in a memorandum of understanding. The commitment would encompass a definition of objectives and work areas; a time line; planned resource allocations from all parties; commitment by the authorities to make the effort to retain trained and skilled staff in the DMOs, criteria for measuring progress; and review mechanisms to allow for adjustment along the way.

  • More regular follow-up of MTDS capacity development in IMF and WB macro-financial work.35 Regular consultations between country authorities and the IMF and the WB could provide a vehicle for discussing progress made and remaining obstacles, and for reinvigorating high level commitment. This would also allow for a closer monitoring of the implementation of the DMS.

  • Linkage to IMF- or WB-supported programs, where debt management is macro-critical. Including measures to enhance debt management supported by MTDS-related assistance in a member’s program document or a WB policy-based operation would underline and reinforce the authorities’ sustained commitment in this area, provided that conditionality in IMF-supported programs will be specified where the measures are critical for achieving the goals of the program or for monitoring its implementation. Authorities formally accept “ownership” of the reform effort, and announce the intention to implement actions and provide the necessary resources to the relevant institutions. This mechanism also ensures follow-up (in program reviews, DPFs, and subsequent surveillance) and maintains high-level visibility. Such a linkage is perhaps most appropriate where debt management issues are macro-critical.


Lessons from Recent Capacity Building in Debt Management

47. Debt management and specifically the MTDS have been gaining importance and evolving in both LIDCs and EMDCs, and capacity building has changed in parallel, so it is a good time for a review. As a wave of Eurobonds and local-currency bonds issued by LIDCs and EMDCs in the past decade reach maturity and global interest rates start to rise, debt managers will require more intensive technical assistance to navigate through the expected challenges.

48. Evidence has been provided on the effectiveness of MTDS technical assistance missions and training. IMF-WB capacity building on the MTDS framework remains multifaceted and carefully coordinated. It is effected through country specific technical assistance missions, various forms of regional training events, and desk-based advice. Extensive coordination is undertaken between the IMF and the WB, and with the broader community of partners. Activities have been shown to be relevant, practical, and adaptable. Demand remains strong, as evidenced by activities in recent years and the “pipeline” of outstanding request.

49. Some countries have made rapid strides in developing their debt management capacities with the help of this assistance. Those who have made greatest progress typically require MTDS support either due to external requirements, or they face a more complicated set of decisions, where the tools and the framework can support decision making. These countries have also put in place a legal framework and a coherent institutional set-up that facilitate exchange between debt managers and other concerned parties (in the Ministry of Finance, but also the central bank and market participants). This infrastructure is backed by, and helps generate high-level attention to debt management issues. These countries can then build analytical capacity, for example, in the analysis of portfolio risks and cost-risk trade-offs, and in the promulgation of borrowing calendars and debt reports. Managerial willingness and capacity go a long way in facilitating progress in debt management reforms.

50. Possibly, enhancing the effectiveness of technical assistance in this area requires more emphasis on strengthening operational and “tactical” capacity. MTDS-related advice has mostly concentrated on supporting capacity building in the formulation of a strategy. To complement that, focusing on strengthening capacity to record and monitor public debt is needed where such capacity remains low, so as to have in place the empirical basis for formulating and implementing any DMS. At the other end of the spectrum, there is a need, for a smooth transition to capacity building on more “advanced” issues (for example, sovereign asset-liability management, hedging of debt portfolio risks, developing annual borrowing plans and auction calendars, integration into macro framework and financial market surveillance) especially with the impending arrival of a wave of Eurobond maturities. Implementation capacity could be strengthened through support for loan negotiation; functions of market intelligence; communication with investors and rating agencies; the execution process; and funding transaction, including derivatives. Moreover, the MTDS implementation cannot be seen in isolation; understanding debt sustainability risks and how to address them is not separate from debt management. Hence, capacity building efforts on DSF will complement MTDS advice.36

51. In parallel, there is a need for on-going efforts to develop and extend the MTDS. In this connection, defining appropriately the scope of sovereign debt to be managed is crucial. Especially for smaller member countries very prone to natural disasters or commodity price fluctuations, it may in due course be possible to add an analytic framework that facilitates making the choice between taking out insurance and issuing debt. The viability of sovereign portfolios of some countries may depend critically on contingent liabilities. Hence, they may have to be taken more explicitly into account, not only from a debt sustainability perspective, but also in the development and the implementation of the DMS. Further, the AT could be better adapted to deal with new instruments, such as hedging instruments, and to strengthen its linkages with the annual borrowing plan and the debt sustainability analysis. In this connection, staff intends to review progress on MTDS capacity development and implementation in IMF and WB work, and proposes to inform the Board accordingly from time to time.

52. Despite good progress in general, fundamental capacity building on DMS formulation needs to continue. The ability of some LIDCs and EMDCs to formulate a DMS remains limited, and staff turn-over precludes the establishment of sustained institutional capacity. Often their debt management planning is not well integrated with the fiscal policy formulation process, and debt operations are conducted in an ad hoc manner. In some countries, the fragmentation of responsibilities and the difficulty of controling concessional borrowing disrupts implementation of the strategy. These countries may have other priorities so long as they can rely on (or are limited to) long-term concessional borrowing. But it is useful to anticipate their eventual evolution with basic training: if their development accelerates, lack of capacity in debt management may become costlier and riskier.

53. There may be advantages in delivering MTDS and other debt management technical assistance using a “programmatic” approach, and even to link these efforts to country programs and surveillance where the composition of government debt is macro-critical. A programmatic approach could be substantiated by an up-front understanding between the country and assistance providers, where country ownership and a plan for debt management capacity development are acknowledged. In the context of country programs, the linkage may be embedded in a member’s program document—and even in structural benchmarks and post-program monitoring when of sufficient macroeconomic importance—and in WB lending operations. The proposed revision to the LIC-DSF provides a context for raising the visibility of debt management and in particular the MTDS framework within the context of bilateral surveillance more generally.

54. Sustained support from donors, the WB and the IMF will be needed to deliver and enhance capacity building in debt management. Technical assistance and training—especially that targeted at LIDCs—has been funded largely by donors’ contributions. Steady support, including from the WB and the IMF, is a condition for on-going delivery and in particular for the further development of the MTDS framework and for the more widespread adoption of a programmatic approach to capacity building. This support is equally important for EMDCs, where donor funding and scope for reimbursable advisory services are limited.

Issues for Discussion

55. We seek the feedback from the Board to the following questions:

  • Does the Board support further development of the MTDS, with more focus on, scenario construction, and market risk indicators?

  • Does the Board favor the delivery of MTDS capacity building using a longer-term programmatic approach, whereby countries commit in advance to a reform strategy and implementation?

  • Does the Board support stronger integration of the MTDS capacity development into macro-financial work and the recognition of contingent liability risks, in some cases in IMF and WB supported-programs?


See IMF and WB (2014), “Revised Guidelines for Public Debt Management”.


See IMF and WB (2009), “Developing a Medium-Term Debt Management Strategy (MTDS)—Guidance Note for Country Authorities”.


See IMF and WB (2009), “Managing Public Debt: Formulating Strategies and Strengthening Institutional Capacity” and the update SM/14/74.


See IMF Policy Paper (2014), “Proposed New Grouping in World Economic Outlook Country Classifications: Low-Income Developing Countries” for a full description and list of LIDCs and EMDCs.


See also IMF, Fiscal Monitor, various issues, and IMF and WB, Public Debt Vulnerabilities in Low-Income Countries: The Evolving Landscape, December 2015.


Some oil exporting countries entered or returned to the Eurobond market in response to the fall in oil revenues.


IMF “Capital Flows—Review of Experience with the Institutional View,” December 2016, provides an up-to-date discussion of related issues.


Some countries introduced local currency instruments such as retail bonds and sukuk to attract new investors.


See IMF-WB (2007) “Strengthening Debt Management Practices––Lessons from Country Experiences and Issues Going Forward”; PIN 07/60; SM/09/64; PIN 09/45; SM/13/56.


The rationale for the focus on LIDCs was based on the new borrowing space created by the significant debt relief because of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiatives, and the need to use this borrowing space prudently.


The MTDS and DSA tools are complements: the DSA is a monitoring tool aimed at highlighting debt vulnerabilities for a given debt structure and strategy. The MTDS is a policy tool to then help the authorities adjust strategy to address the debt profile-related vulnerabilities highlighted in the DSA (as well as meet broader cost-risk objectives).


See Annex 5 of the 2015 WB (2015) Non-Concessional Borrowing Policies:


Development of Local currency Bond Markets: Overview of Recent Developments and Key Themes. Staff Note for the G20 IFAWG. IMF and WB Group, 2016. Available at


Local Currency Bond Markets: A Diagnostic Framework, 2013. Available at


Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, United Nations 2015, available at


Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank Group Engagement in Small States (2016) discusses the WB-IMF support for better debt management in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and Pacific Island Countries in more detail.


Participation in the online course on debt sustainability and debt management strategy in English (DSAx) tends to be spread across all regions. Participation in the French course (DSAx-F) tends to come from the African and Middle East and Central Asia regions. Typically, the courses used to run several times a year, for government officials across the globe and as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). As of April 2017, and in response to the preferences of government officials, both English and French versions are open on a rolling basis as MOOCs. The WB offers twice yearly a facilitated on-line DeMPA course, which also covers the fundamental concepts of MTDS and DSF.


The implementing partners comprise the Center of Latin American Monetary Studies; the Commonwealth Secretariat; the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development; Debt Relief International; Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute of Eastern and Southern Africa (MEFMI); and West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management; and the Agence UMOA-Titres.


The IMF and Bank have developed the Government Securities Market Development toolkit to assess the state of functioning of the domestic market.


See SM/17/61.


See Elva Bova ; Frederik G Toscani; H. Elif Ture; Marta Ruiz-Arranz, “The Fiscal Costs of Contingent Liabilities: A New Dataset,” IMF Working Paper WP/16/14.


It should be noted that analyzing risks related to contingent liabilities often goes beyond the scope of the explicit responsibilities of the debt manager. Instead, tools developed by the IMF and WB’s such as public-private partnership (PPP) Fiscal Risk Assessment Model can assist countries in assessing potential fiscal costs and risks arising from PPPs, while the Debt, Investment and Growth model, is helping countries to analyze the debt sustainability of large scale public investment programs.


For example, IMF technical assistance to Jamaica and Barbados in 2016, where financing details from the MTDS were incorporated into the MAC DSA. Similarly, the WB support in Bosnia and Herzegovina linked financing and shock scenarios in both the DSA and MTDS exercises.


The Boards are expected to discuss informally the revised LIC-DSF before this report is considered.


Not all were recipients of technical assistance.


IDA offers choices on currency and customize redemption dates; IBRD provides free currency choice (if WB can swap back to USD), fixed versus floating, and freedom to construct tailor made redemption profiles.


MTDS missions typically devote much time to compiling consistent and up-to-date data (see above).


A description of the DeMPA framework is provided in Annex III. Results from DeMPAs and especially those on DMS should be interpreted with caution: fulfilling the quality requirements hinges on a range of criteria, such as including measures to support domestic debt market development in the strategy, or publishing the strategy on an official website and/or in print media. A country might, therefore, be capable of preparing a DMS but still fall short of fulfilling the minimum requirements if other criteria are not met. Incremental measures and reforms undertaken by countries may not necessarily be reflected in score upgrades.


The CPIA aims to capture the quality of a country’s policies and institutional arrangements on an annual basis. Criteria 3b addresses specifically debt related policies, and the extent to which debt management is conducted in a way that is conducive to minimizing budgetary risks and ensuring long term debt sustainability.


CPIA scores are not available for high-income countries.


As a condition of borrowing from IBRD and IDA, countries are obligated to submit detailed information on the terms and conditions of long-term external debt borrowing and related stocks and flows to the Debtor Reporting System (DRS). Most countries that received MTDS TA borrow from the WB and thus report to DRS. MTDS-eligible countries with no loan obligations to IBRD or IDA do not report to the DRS.


The study is based on a weighted index of CPIA scores, DRS scores, the ability to develop and publish a debt management strategy, and the risk of debt distress.


The MTDS-enhancing measures would be covered under IMF Article IV surveillance if they significantly influence a member’s present or prospective balance of payments or domestic stability, consistent with IMF surveillance policy.


For example, training through workshops on the revised DSF is expected to be increased significantly in the coming years.

The Medium-Term Debt Management Strategy: An Assessment of Recent Capacity Building
Author: International Monetary Fund
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    Evolution of Public Debt, 2007–2020

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    Commodity Prices Indices, 2007–2017

    From their peaks levels in 2008, commodity prices have been declining for the past two years.

    Commodity Price Index

    (Index, January 2007=100)

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    Countries’ Credit Rating Heat Map, 2007 versus 2016 /1

    Based on Fitch’s credit rating of foreign currency bond, credit risks have heightened since 2007.

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    Selected Countries: Eurobond Spreads 1/

    (In basis points)

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    MTDS Financial Programming Linkages

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    Changes in DeMPA Scores /1

    (Number of countries that scored A, B, or C)

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    Changes in CPIA Debt Policy and Debt Management Scores

    (Number of DMF-eligible countries)

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    Debt Management Performance and Support

    (In percent)