In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
What attracts conventional investors to Islamic financial instruments? We answer this question by comparing Malaysian Islamic and conventional security prices and their response to macrofinancial factors. Our analysis suggests that Islamic and conventional bond and equity prices are driven by common factors. Likewise, especially in recent years, Islamic banks have responded to economic and financial shocks in the same way as conventional banks, suggesting that the gap between Islamic and conventional financial practices is shrinking.
This paper reviews the adequacy of the Fund’s precautionary balances, using the framework approved by the Board in 2010. The review takes place on a standard two year cycle. The paper discusses developments since the last review in 2012 and revisits several issues relating to the assessment of reserve adequacy that were discussed at that time.
This 1999 Article IV Consultation highlights that real GDP growth of Estonia slowed to 4 percent in 1998. Tighter macroeconomic policies, the decline in the stock market, and banking difficulties in the wake of the Russian crisis in August 1998 dampened domestic consumption and investment. Output growth in early 1999 has remained weak. Overall, the direct impact of the Russian crisis on growth was relatively modest, mainly because Estonia had reoriented most of its trade to the West and the exposure of Estonian banks to Russian financial markets was limited.
The Australian banking system, which holds approximately half of total financial systems assets, and is dominated by four major banks, is sound with high earnings, high asset growth, and low levels of problem assets. Stress tests did not reveal near-term stability concerns, suggesting the banking system is likely to be resilient to adverse shocks. Australia’s financial supervisory structure of prudential authority and market conduct authority is sound overall. The medium-term challenges facing the banking sector are opportunities for growth and pressure on profitability.
The fiscal policy stance continues to be appropriate, facilitating a reduction in public debt. Seychelles has made a good start on its second stage of reforms under an Extended Fund Facility (EFF)-supported program, despite a difficult international environment, showing strong resilience to the double crisis it confronted. The economy is reaping the benefits of strong macroeconomic stabilization policies. Seychelles remains highly exposed to external shocks. Progress on the ambitious program of tax and public finance management reform is encouraging, but important steps still lie ahead.
This paper discusses Mali’s 2005 Article IV Consultation and Second and Third Reviews Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). The PRGF-supported program is broadly on track. Performance on quantitative aspects remains strong. Although the record on the structural program has been disappointing, the program for 2006 would mark significant progress on addressing key challenges. The IMF staff supports the authorities’ request for completion of the second and third reviews under the arrangement and waivers for nonobservance of three structural performance criteria.