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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

: Credit Allocation Disparities Figure 1. Sectoral Shares and Maturity Profile of Outstanding Credit, 2021 (percent) Sources: Banque de la République du Burundi Sectoral. Credit does not appear to be allocated efficiently across sectors and individuals. While the trade (30.2 percent of total private sector credit), housing (16.7 percent) and transport (11.8 percent) are well served, others including the agriculture sector (1.4 percent) are credit deprived ( Figure 1 ). Demographics. Young and women borrowers have been disproportionately underserved

Ms. Ratna Sahay and Mr. Martin Cihak
Women are underrepresented at all levels of the global financial system, from depositors and borrowers to bank board members and regulators. A new study at the IMF finds that greater inclusion of women as users, providers, and regulators of financial services would have benefits beyond addressing gender inequality. Narrowing the gender gap would foster greater stability in the banking system and enhance economic growth. It could also contribute to more effective monetary and fiscal policy. New evidence suggests that greater access for women to and use of accounts for financial transactions, savings, and insurance can have both economic and societal benefits. For example, women merchants who opened a basic bank account tend to invest more in their businesses, while female-headed households often spend more on education after opening a savings account. More inclusive financial systems in turn can magnify the effectiveness of fiscal and monetary policies by broadening financial markets and the tax base. The paper also studies the large gaps between the representation of men and women in leadership positions in banks and in banking-supervision agencies worldwide. It finds that, shockingly, women accounted for less than 2 percent of financial institutions’ chief executive officers and less than 20 percent of executive board members. The analysis suggests that, controlling for relevant bank- and country-specific factors, the presence of women as well as a higher share of women on bank boards appears associated with greater financial resilience. This study also finds that a higher share of women on boards of banking-supervision agencies is associated with greater bank stability. This evidence strengthens the case for closing the gender gaps in leadership positions in finance.
Marco A Espinosa-Vega, Ms. Kazuko Shirono, Mr. Hector Carcel Villanova, Miss Esha Chhabra, Ms. Bidisha Das, and Ms. Yingjie Fan

-income countries in Europe, including Denmark and Poland, the share of women borrowers stands at close to 50 percent. Although several underlying reasons explain women’s exclusion from the financial system, such as women’s limited labor market participation, studies suggest that discriminatory laws can be a factor ( Iqbal 2018 , IMF 2019b ). At the same time, the FAS data also suggest that nonbank institutions such as microfinance institutions, are filling the gap to meet the need for access to finance among women in some countries. Among countries for which gender

Ms. Ratna Sahay and Mr. Martin Cihak

shows that the relationship is statistically the same for men and women. Given that there are less women borrowers than men (9 percent of women worldwide borrowed from financial institutions in 2017, compared with 12 percent of men), an increase in the share of women borrowers is more likely to be associated with an increase in financial stability, as illustrated in Figure 4 . Figure 4. Credit Extension, Gender, and Bank Stability Source: IMF staff calculations. Note: The black line shows the estimated distance-to-distress (“ z -score”), updating the

Marco A Espinosa-Vega, Ms. Kazuko Shirono, Mr. Hector Carcel Villanova, Miss Esha Chhabra, Ms. Bidisha Das, and Ms. Yingjie Fan
This departmental paper marks the 10th anniversary of the IMF Financial Access Survey (FAS). It offers a retrospective of the FAS database, along with some reflections as to its future directions. Since its 2009 launch, the FAS has provided granular data on access to and use of financial services. It is a supply-side database with annual global coverage based on data sourced directly from financial service providers—aimed at supporting policymakers to target and evaluate financial inclusion policies. Its data collection has kept pace with financial innovation, such as the rise of mobile money and growing demand for gender-disaggregated data—and the FAS must continue to evolve.
International Monetary Fund

following shares: 44 percent to small businesses ( petits metiers ), 34 percent to services, 16 percent to agriculture, and 6 percent to artisans. Roughly 31 percent of loans are to women. While the BTS is currently undertaking a study of the success rate of BTS-financed projects, loan recovery is higher for agencies in the field (80 percent) compared to the BTS (60 percent), and is also typically higher for university graduates and women borrowers. While the BTS is working to improve its collection rate, 90 percent of the bank’s outstanding loans are covered by insurance

International Monetary Fund
Tunisia showed strong economic performance, low inflation, and reduced poverty owing to its sound and transparent macroeconomic policies, trade liberalization, and social policies. Executive Directors commended this development, and stressed the need to tighten monetary and fiscal policies, and accelerate structural reforms. They welcomed the banking sector reforms based on the Financial System Stability Assessment report, and the liberalization achieved by Tunisia in the context of its Association Agreement with the European Union. They also urged the authorities to introduce legislation on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

. Only 8 percent of women borrow from a financial institution compared to 10 percent of men, which could be due to the larger share of women working in the informal sector (Global Findex Database, 2017). These disparities, in part, result in sizable gender gaps in hourly wages. Using Lao P.D.R. Expenditure and Consumption Survey data for 2012–2013, we estimate that women’s wages are, on average, 20 percent lower than men’s wages across formal and informal sectors of the economy. Figure 1. Lao P.D.R.: Gender gaps in Labor Force Participation 2. Women’s lower

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Lao People’s Democratic Republic (P.D.R) analyses that after more than a decade of high growth with low inflation, country is solidifying its progress toward graduating from the Least Developed Country (LDC) status. However, more than one-fifth of the population remains poor, regional disparities are persistent, and recurring natural disasters pose risks for poverty reduction. A large current account deficit, low level of reserves, a high level of debt, managed exchange rate, and a dollarized banking system amplify macro-vulnerabilities. The authorities recognize the current economic challenges and their comprehensive reform programs aim at rebalancing the economy from a resource based to a more diversified growth model by investing in human development and improving competitiveness. Modernizing monetary governance and building reserves supported by greater exchange rate flexibility will help to mitigate external shocks in an uncertain global environment.