Middle East and Central Asia > United Arab Emirates

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Mr. Balazs Csonto and Mr. Camilo E Tovar Mora
Uphill capital flows constitute a key transmission channel through which reserve accumulation can distort the stability of the international monetary system. This paper examines and quantifies the importance of this transmission channel by examining how foreign official purchases of U.S. Treasuries influences the U.S. yield curve at different maturities. Our findings suggest that a percentage point increase in foreign official holdings relative to outstanding marketable securities reduces the term premium by 2.0–2.4 basis points at maturities of 2–3 years. These estimates are then used to gauge the role of a global policy in reducing excess reserve accumulation?e.g., a composite global reserve asset or through global liquidity facilities. Findings show that a policy that reduces the demand for Treasuries by $100 billion would increase yields by 1.5–1.8 basis points.
Padamja Khandelwal, Mr. Ken Miyajima, and Mr. Andre O Santos
This paper examines the links between global oil price movements and macroeconomic and financial developments in the GCC. Using a range of multivariate panel approaches, including a panel vector autoregression approach, it finds strong empirical evidence of feedback loops between oil price movements, bank balance sheets, and asset prices. Empirical evidence also suggests that bank capital and provisioning have behaved countercyclically through the cycle.
Mariam El Hamiani Khatat
This paper discusses key issues related to the conduct of monetary policy in countries that have Islamic banks. It describes the macrofinancial background and monetary policy frameworks where Islamic banks typically operate, and discusses the monetary transmission mechanism in economies where Islamic and conventional banking coexist. Most economies with Islamic banks also have conventional banks and this calls for a comprehensive approach to monetary policy. At the same time, a dual approach to monetary policy should be considered whenever the Islamic segment of the financial system is not as developed as the conventional one. The paper tries to shed light on potential spillovers between conventional and Islamic financial systems, and proposes specific recommendations on the design of Islamic monetary policy operations and for facilitating monetary transmission through the Islamic financial system.
Ms. Ritu Basu, Mr. Ananthakrishnan Prasad, and Mr. Sergio L. Rodriguez
The assessment provides evidence of market segmentation across Islamic and conventional banks in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), leading to excess liquidity, and an uneven playing field for Islamic banks that might affect their growth. Liquidiy management has been a long-standing concern in the global Islamic finance industry as there is a general lack of Shari’ah compliant instruments than can serve as high-quality short-term liquid assets. The degree of segmentation and bank behavior varies across countries depending on Shari’ah permissibility and the availability of Shari’ah-compliant instruments. A partial response would be to support efforts to build Islamic liquid interbank and money markets, which are crucial for monetary policy transmission through the Islamic financial system.This can be achieved, to a large extent, by deepening Islamic government securities and developing Shari’ah-compliant money market instruments.
International Monetary Fund
Economic and financial developments in the GCC economies are interwoven with oil price movements. GCC economies are highly dependent on oil and gas exports. Oil price upturns lead to higher oil revenues, stronger fiscal and external positions, and higher government spending. This boosts corporate profitability and equity prices and strengthens bank balance sheets, but can also lead to the buildup of systemic vulnerabilities in the financial sector. Banks in the GCC are well-capitalized, liquid, and profitable at present, and well-positioned to manage structural systemic risks. However, oil-macro-financial linkages mean that asset quality and liquidity in the financial system may deteriorate in a low oil price environment and financial sector stress may emerge. The scope for amplification of oil price shocks through the financial sector suggests a role for a countercyclical approach to macroprudential policies. Countercyclical macroprudential policy can prove useful to reduce the buildup of systemic risks in the financial sector during upswings, and to cushion against disruption to financial services during periods of financial sector stress. The GCC countries have considerable experience with implementing a wide range of macroprudential policies, but these policies have not generally been adjusted through the cycle. GCC central banks implemented several macroprudential measures before the global financial crisis and have continued to enhance their macroprudential frameworks and toolkits to limit systemic financial sector risks. Although there is some evidence of macroprudential tools being adjusted in a countercyclical way, most of the tools have not been adjusted over the financial cycle. Further enhancements to the GCC macroprudential framework are needed to support the countercyclical use of these policies. A comprehensive and established framework, supported by strong institutional capacity, is essential for countercyclical macroprudential policies. This framework should provide clear assignment of responsibilities and guidance on how policies will be implemented to maintain financial stability and manage systemic risks over the financial cycle. Addressing data gaps and the further development of reliable early warning indicators in signaling potential systemic stress are needed to help guide the countercyclical use of a broad set of macroprudential policies. Expanding the countercyclical policy toolkit and its coverage can help address emerging financial sector risks. The implementation of countercyclical capital buffers and dynamic loan loss provisions could boost resilience in line with systemic risks faced in GCC economies. At the same time, using existing macroprudential policies countercyclically would prove useful to address emerging financial sector risks in a more targeted way. Expanding the coverage of macroprudential tools to nonbanks can help boost effectiveness by reducing leakages.
Mr. Mumtaz Hussain, Asghar Shahmoradi, and Rima Turk
Islamic finance has started to grow in international finance across the globe, with some concentration in few countries. Nearly 20 percent annual growth of Islamic finance in recent years seems to point to its resilience and broad appeal, partly owing to principles that govern Islamic financial activities, including equity, participation, and ownership. In theory, Islamic finance is resilient to shocks because of its emphasis on risk sharing, limits on excessive risk taking, and strong link to real activities. Empirical evidence on the stability of Islamic banks, however, is so far mixed. While these banks face similar risks as conventional banks do, they are also exposed to idiosyncratic risks, necessitating a tailoring of current risk management practices. The macroeconomic policy implications of the rapid expansion of Islamic finance are far reaching and need careful considerations.
Mr. Alfred Kammer, Mr. Mohamed Norat, Mr. Marco A. Piñón-Farah, Mr. Ananthakrishnan Prasad, Mr. Christopher M Towe, and Mr. Zeine Zeidane
The SDN discusses the main policy issues and challenges in building an inclusive and safe Islamic finance industry, with emphasis on Islamic banking and Sukuk markets. To this end, it discuses why Islamic finance matters, taking into account its recent and prospective growth; and, its potential contributions in terms of financial inclusion, support for small- and medium-sized enterprises and investment in public infrastructure and, in principle, reduced systemic risk. It then covers a range of regulatory and other challenges, and offers policy advice, to address factors that hamper the development of the industry and, more generally, the delivery of its potential benefits. The paper covers regulatory and supervisory issues, safety nets and resolution frameworks, access to finance, Sukuk markets, and macroeconomic policies.
Mr. Eugenio M Cerutti, Mr. Stijn Claessens, and Mr. Luc Laeven
Using a recent IMF survey and expanding on previous studies, we document the use of macroprudential policies for 119 countries over the 2000-13 period, covering many instruments. Emerging economies use macroprudential policies most frequently, especially foreign exchange related ones, while advanced countries use borrower-based policies more. Usage is generally associated with lower growth in credit, notably in household credit. Effects are less in financially more developed and open economies, however, and usage comes with greater cross-border borrowing, suggesting some avoidance. And while macroprudential policies can help manage financial cycles, they work less well in busts.
Samy Ben Naceur, Mr. Adolfo Barajas, and Mr. Alexander Massara
The paper analyses existing country-level information on the relationship between the development of Islamic banking and financial inclusion. In Muslim countries—members of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC)—various indicators of financial inclusion tend to be lower, and the share of excluded individuals citing religious reasons for not using bank accounts is noticeably greater than in other countries; Islamic banking would therefore seem to be an effective avenue for financial inclusion. We found, however, that although physical access to financial services has grown more rapidly in the OIC countries, the use of these services has not increased as quickly. Moreover, regression analyis shows evidence of a positive link to credit to households and to firms for financing investment, but this empirical link remains tentative and relatively weak. The paper explores reasons that this might be the case and suggests several recommendations to enhance the ability of Islamic banking to promote financial inclusion.
Ms. Zsofia Arvai, Mr. Ananthakrishnan Prasad, and Mr. Kentaro Katayama
As undiversified commodity exporters, GCC economies are prone to pro-cyclical systemic risk in the financial system. During periods of high hydrocarbon prices, favorable economic prospects make the financial sector keen to lend, leading to higher domestic credit growth and easier access to external financing. Fiscal policy is a very important tool for macroeconomic management, but due to the significant time lags and expenditure rigidities, it has not been a flexible enough tool to prevent credit booms and the build-up of systemic risk in the GCC. This, together with limited monetary policy independence because of the pegged exchange rate, means that macro-prudential policy has a particularly important role in limiting systemic risk in the financial system. This importance is reinforced by the underdeveloped financial markets in the region that provide limited risk management tools and shortcomings in crisis resolution frameworks. This paper will discuss the importance of macro-prudential policy in the GCC countries, look at the experience with macro-prudential policies in the boom/bust cycle in the second half of the 2000s, and use the broad frameworks being developed in the Fund and elsewhere to discuss ways existing frameworks and policy toolkits in the region can be strengthened given the characteristics of the GCC economies.