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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

Global financial stability risks have increased amid a series of cascading shocks. Chapter 1 analyzes the policy response of central banks to high inflation, the risks of a disorderly tightening of financial conditions, and debt distress among emerging and frontier markets. Markets have been extremely volatile, and a deterioration in market liquidity appears to have amplified price moves. In Europe, the energy crisis is contributing to a worsening outlook. In China, the property sector remains a key source of vulnerability. Chapter 2 examines how to narrow the climate financing gap in emerging market and developing economies. Climate policies, including carbon pricing, climate disclosures, and transition taxonomies, are crucial for enabling private climate finance. Innovative financial instruments can help to scale up private climate finance, but the public sector—including multilateral development banks—will have to play a key supporting role. Chapter 3 analyzes the contributions of open-end investment funds to fragilities in asset markets. Open-end investment funds play a key role in financial markets, but those offering daily redemptions while holding illiquid assets can amplify the effects of adverse shocks by raising the likelihood of investor runs and asset fire sales. This contributes to volatility in asset markets and potentially threatens financial stability.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

Chapter 1 looks at the implications of the war in Ukraine on the financial system. Commodity prices pose challenging trade-offs for central banks. Many emerging and frontier markets are facing especially difficult conditions. In China, financial vulnerabilities remain elevated amid ongoing stress in the property sector and new COVID-19 outbreaks. Central banks should act decisively to prevent inflation from becoming entrenched without jeopardizing the recovery. Policymakers will need to confront the structural issues brought to the fore by the war, including the trade-off between energy security and climate transition. Chapter 2 discusses the sovereign-bank nexus in emerging markets. Bank holdings of domestic sovereign bonds have surged in emerging markets during the pandemic. With public debt at historically high levels and the sovereign credit outlook deteriorating, there is a risk of a negative feedback loop that could threaten macro-financial stability. Chapter 3 examines the challenges to financial stability posed by the rapid rise of risky business segments in fintech. Policies that target both fintech firms and incumbent banks proportionately are needed.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

Financial stability risks have been contained so far, reflecting ongoing policy support and a rebound in the global economy earlier this year. Chapter 1 explains that financial conditions have eased further in net in advanced economies but changed little in emerging markets. However, the optimism that propelled markets earlier in the year has faded on growing concerns about the strength of the global recovery, and ongoing supply chain disruptions intensified inflation concerns. Signs of stretched asset valuations in some market segments persist, and pockets of vulnerabilities remain in the nonbank financial sector; recovery is uneven in the corporate sector. Chapter 2 discusses the opportunities and challenges of the crypto ecosystem. Crypto asset providers’ lack of operational or cyber resilience poses risks, and significant data gaps imperil financial integrity. Crypto assets in emerging markets may accelerate dollarization risks. Chapter 3 shows that sustainable funds can support the global transition to a green economy but must be scaled up to have a major impact. It also discusses how a disorderly transition could disrupt the broader investment fund sector in the future.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

Extraordinary policy measures have eased financial conditions and supported the economy, helping to contain financial stability risks. Chapter 1 warns that there is a pressing need to act to avoid a legacy of vulnerabilities while avoiding a broad tightening of financial conditions. Actions taken during the pandemic may have unintended consequences such as stretched valuations and rising financial vulnerabilities. The recovery is also expected to be asynchronous and divergent between advanced and emerging market economies. Given large external financing needs, several emerging markets face challenges, especially if a persistent rise in US rates brings about a repricing of risk and tighter financial conditions. The corporate sector in many countries is emerging from the pandemic overindebted, with notable differences depending on firm size and sector. Concerns about the credit quality of hard-hit borrowers and profitability are likely to weigh on the risk appetite of banks. Chapter 2 studies leverage in the nonfinancial private sector before and during the COVID-19 crisis, pointing out that policymakers face a trade-off between boosting growth in the short term by facilitating an easing of financial conditions and containing future downside risks. This trade-off may be amplified by the existing high and rapidly building leverage, increasing downside risks to future growth. The appropriate timing for deployment of macroprudential tools should be country-specific, depending on the pace of recovery, vulnerabilities, and policy tools available. Chapter 3 turns to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the commercial real estate sector. While there is little evidence of large price misalignments at the onset of the pandemic, signs of overvaluation have now emerged in some economies. Misalignments in commercial real estate prices, especially if they interact with other vulnerabilities, increase downside risks to future growth due to the possibility of sharp price corrections.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

Near-term global financial stability risks have been contained as an unprecedented policy response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has helped avert a financial meltdown and maintain the flow of credit to the economy. For the first time, many emerging market central banks have launched asset purchase programs to support the smooth functioning of financial markets and the overall economy. But the outlook remains highly uncertain, and vulnerabilities are rising, representing potential headwinds to recovery. The report presents an assessment of the real-financial disconnect, as well as forward-looking analysis of nonfinancial firms, banks, and emerging market capital flows. After the outbreak, firms’ cash flows were adversely affected as economic activity declined sharply. More vulnerable firms—those with weaker solvency and liquidity positions and smaller size—experienced greater financial stress than their peers in the early stages of the crisis. As the crisis unfolds, corporate liquidity pressures may morph into insolvencies, especially if the recovery is delayed. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are more vulnerable than large firms with access to capital markets. Although the global banking system is well capitalized, some banking systems may experience capital shortfalls in an adverse scenario, even with the currently deployed policy measures. The report also assesses the pandemic’s impact on firms’ environmental performance to gauge the extent to which the crisis may result in a reversal of the gains posted in recent years.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

The April 2020 Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) assesses the financial stability challenges posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Chapter 1 describes how financial conditions tightened abrubtly with the onset of the pandemic, with risk asset prices dropping sharply as investors rushed to safety and liquidity. It finds that a further tightening of financial conditions may expose vulnerabilities, including among nonbank financial institutions, and that bank resilience may be tested if economic and financial market stresses rise. Vulnerabilities in global risky corporate credit markets, including weakened credit quality of borrowers, looser underwriting standards, liquidity risks at investment funds, and increased interconnectedness, could generate losses at nonbank financial institutions in a severe adverse scenario, as discussed in Chapter 2. The pandemic led to an unprecedented and sharp reversal of portfolio flows, highlighting the challenges of managing flows in emerging and frontier markets. Chapter 3 shows that global financial conditions tend to influence portfolio flows more during surges than in normal times, that stronger domestic fundamentals can help mitigate outflows, and that greater foreign participation in local currency bond markets may increase price volatility where domestic markets lack depth. Beyond the immediate challenges of COVID-19, Chapter 4 explores the profitability pressures that banks are likely to face over the medium term in an environment where low interest rates are expected to persist. Chapter 5 takes a broader perspective on physical risks associated with climate change. It finds that these risks do not appear to be reflected in global equity valuations and that stress testing and better disclosure of exposures to climatic hazards are essential to better assess physical risk.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

The October 2019 Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) identifies the current key vulnerabilities in the global financial system as the rise in corporate debt burdens, increasing holdings of riskier and more illiquid assets by institutional investors, and growing reliance on external borrowing by emerging and frontier market economies. The report proposes that policymakers mitigate these risks through stricter supervisory and macroprudential oversight of firms, strengthened oversight and disclosure for institutional investors, and the implementation of prudent sovereign debt management practices and frameworks for emerging and frontier market economies.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Financial Systems Dept.

Abstract

The April 2019 Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) finds that despite significant variability over the past two quarters, financial conditions remain accommodative. As a result, financial vulnerabilities have continued to build in the sovereign, corporate, and nonbank financial sectors in several systemically important countries, leading to elevated medium-term risks. The report attempts to provide a comprehensive assessment of these vulnerabilities while focusing specifically on corporate sector debt in advanced economies, the sovereign–financial sector nexus in the euro area, China’s financial imbalances, volatile portfolio flows to emerging markets, and downside risks to the housing market. These vulnerabilities require action by policymakers, including through the clear communication of any changes in their monetary policy outlook, the deployment and expansion of macroprudential tools, the stepping up of measures to repair public and private sector balance sheets, and the strengthening of emerging market resilience to foreign portfolio outflows. This GFSR also takes an in depth look at house prices at risk, a measure of downside risks to future house price growth—using theory, insights from past analyses, and new statistical techniques applied to 32 advanced and emerging market economies and major cities. The chapter finds that lower house price momentum, overvaluation, excessive credit growth, and tighter financial conditions predict heightened downside risks to house prices up to three years ahead. The measure of house prices at risk helps forecast downside risks to GDP growth and adds to early-warning models for financial crises. Policymakers can use estimates of house prices at risk to complement other surveillance indicators of housing market vulnerabilities and guide macroprudential policy actions aimed at building buffers and reducing vulnerabilities. Downside risks to house prices could also be relevant for monetary policymakers when forming their views on the downside risks to the economic and inflation outlook. Authorities considering measures to manage capital flows might also find such information useful when a surge in capital inflows increases downside risks to house prices and when other policy options are limited.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

In the 10 years since the global financial crisis, regulatory frameworks have been enhanced and the banking system has become stronger, but new vulnerabilities have emerged, and the resilience of the global financial system has yet to be tested.