International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
Over the course of the pandemic, the Fund has made several modifications to the access limits on the use of Fund’s resources to increase the borrowing space under the hard caps on emergency financing and under the annual limits that trigger exceptional access (EA) safeguards under GRA and PRGT. The current temporarily-increased access limits expire at end-December 2021, and absent policy changes, the limits would return to the lower pre-pandemic levels or to the new PRGT annual access limit. Staff proposes to let all access limits return to pre-pandemic levels (or the new PRGT annual access limit), with the exception of the cumulative access limits for emergency financing instruments, which would be extended at the current level for another 18 months.
This paper reviews the interest rate structure that would apply to the PRGT in 2017–18. Based on the interest rate setting mechanism agreed in 2009, the interest rate for the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) would be zero and the rate for the Standby Credit Facility (SCF) would be 0.25 percent. The interest rate for the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) was set permanently at zero in July 2015. Since the current mechanism was agreed, the Executive Board has granted successive exceptional interest waivers on all outstanding Fund concessional credit, setting all interest rates charged at zero percent. These waivers have been extended three times, providing interest rate relief to many low-income countries at a time when they faced considerable headwinds from the global economic environment. A strong case remains for maintaining zero rates on Fund concessional credit at the current global economic juncture. The global outlook for LICs has not significantly improved since the last review and downside risks remain significant. At the same time, many Directors noted at the last review in 2014 that the possibility of a prolonged period of very low interest rates warrants an early re-examination of the mechanism, including an exit strategy from repeated application of the waiver, with the objective of safeguarding the self-sustaining capacity of the PRGT. The paper seeks to respond to this call. It proposes that the PRGT interest rate mechanism be amended to accommodate anomalies created by a prolonged period of very low interest rates. Specifically, a new threshold is proposed whereby both the ECF and the SCF rate would be set at zero when the 12-month average SDR rate is less than or equal to 0.75 percent. This proposal will likely keep all PRGT interest rates under the mechanism at zero through at least 2020 given current market expectations while incurring only minimal subsidy costs and eliminating the need for continual waivers. In addition, staff proposes to waive interest rate charges on outstanding legacy balances under the Exogenous Shocks Facility (ESF), which are not determined via the interest rate mechanism, until the next review.
International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, and Review Department
This paper reviews the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) interest rate structure for the period July 2019–June 2021. Since the interest rate mechanism was first established in 2009, no interest has been charged on PRGT credit. In line with the package of reforms proposed in the parallel Review of LIC Facilities, this paper proposes to align interest rates on the SCF with those on the ECF. Based on the average SDR rate over the most recently observed 12-month period, the proposed revised interest rate mechanism would result in zero interest rates on both ECF and SCF credit for the period July 2019–June 2021.
This paper provides the basis for the second review of the interest rate structure approved under the 2009 reforms of the Fund’s concessional lending facilities. Based on the application of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) interest rate mechanism, PRGT interest rates for 2015–16 would be zero percent for both the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and Rapid Credit Facility (RCF), and 0.25 percent for the Stand-by Credit Facility (SCF). The interest rate on remaining balances of the Exogenous Shock Facility (ESF) is not set by the PRGT interest mechanism and it would be 0.25 percent. In accordance with the PRGT Instrument, the next review of PRGT interest rates will take place by December 31, 2016.