Business and Economics > Industries: Financial Services

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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This technical assistance mission report underlines efforts to estimate the economic and revenue contributions of the international financial services industry in the Cook Islands. This report discusses the data and methodology used and presents the results. One matter that has been raised is that international companies are exempt from all taxes in the Cook Islands. The economic contribution of the international financial services industry can be measured by the value added of resident institutional units engaged, directly or indirectly, in the production of international financial services in the Cook Islands. The production of international financial services generates income which is distributed to the various agents or groups of agents who use that income to acquire goods and services for consumption now or later. The international financial services industry also contributes indirectly to gross domestic product through two channels. The first channel is through the goods and services that the industry purchases from other suppliers, such as electricity, accounting services, telecommunications, etc.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the performance and vulnerabilities of Qatar’s nonfinancial corporate (NFC) sector. Qatar’s NFC sector is sizable in terms of the overall share of economic activity. The total turnover of these companies was US$ 28 billion in 2016. Assets of listed and non-listed NFCs in Qatar were estimated at about 115 percent of non-hydrocarbon GDP in 2016. Although profitability of Qatari corporates, as measured by Return on Equity and Return on Assets, has declined, it is still high. Qatari companies remain resilient in the face of moderate to severe interest and earnings shocks, as median Interest Coverage Ratio of Qatari firms remains well above 1. The impact of these shocks on debt-at-risk and firms-at-risk is also limited.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper examines the vulnerability of firms in Malta and investigates the effect of their balance sheets on investment in innovation. The results indicate that, while the financial health of medium and large firms has improved in recent years, vulnerabilities remain in the construction sector and for small and medium enterprises. Firms with weaker balance sheets tend to invest less in innovation, even during good times. Policy implications call for (1) accelerating the restructuring of corporate balance sheets of highly leveraged but viable firms, (2) improving the insolvency framework to allow a fast exit of nonviable companies, and (3) expanding corporate funding options for small and medium enterprises, including via nonbank financing alternatives.
Fumiko Hayashi, Ms. Grace B Li, and Zhu Wang
This paper examines innovation, deregulation, and firm dynamics over the life cycle of the U.S. ATM and debit card industry. In doing so, we construct a dynamic equilibrium model to study how a major product innovation (introducing the new debit card function) interacted with banking deregulation drove the industry shakeout. Calibrating the model to a novel dataset on ATM network entry, exit, size, and product offerings shows that our theory fits the quantitative pattern of the industry well. The model also allows us to conduct counterfactual analyses to evaluate the respective roles that innovation and deregulation played in the industry evolution.
Mr. Papa M N'Diaye
China is poised on the brink of a transition to a service-based economy. The Japanese experience of the 1980s provides several insights about the way to manage such a transition and the downsides to avoid. In particular Japan offers useful insights on (1) the limits to an export-oriented growth strategy; (2) the role of exchange rate, macroeconomic policies, and structural reforms in rebalancing the economy toward the nontradables sector; and (3) the risks associated with financial liberalization. The similarities between the Chinese economy today and the Japanese economy of the 1980s make these insights relevant for China. However, with the benefit of analyzing the Japanese experience and, given the important differences between the two economies, China should be able to successfully rebalance its growth pattern while avoiding the downsides encountered by Japan.
International Monetary Fund
This 2004 Article IV Consultation highlights that from 1999 to 2002, Korea’s economy grew rapidly, by an average of 7¼ percent per year. But starting in 2003, the economy has begun to sputter. Growth suddenly stopped in the first half of the year, leapt ahead in the second half as exports boomed, but then slowed again to an anemic 2¾ percent annualized rate during January–September 2004 as exports decelerated. The authorities have been countering this slowdown by easing macroeconomic policies. The fiscal policy stance has been shifted from neutral to mildly expansionary.
Ms. Natalia T. Tamirisa, Mr. Alexander Lehmann, and Mr. Jaroslaw Wieczorek
This paper reviews the characteristics of international trade in services and of the World Trade Organization’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) framework, which was established to regulate it. Further liberalization of services trade in developing countries, as currently envisaged in the context of the WTO Doha Development Agenda, holds a number of potential benefits, such as underpinning the liberalization of goods trade, but it is also being resisted due to its potential adjustment costs. Two implications for IMF activities are examined: coherence among the three principal international economic institutions and sequencing with macroeconomic stabilization and regulatory reforms.