Western Hemisphere > Colombia

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Mr. David J Hofman, Mr. Marcos d Chamon, Mr. Pragyan Deb, Mr. Thomas Harjes, Umang Rawat, and Itaru Yamamoto
We investigate the motives inflation-targeting central banks in emerging markets may have for intervening in foreign exchange markets and evaluate the case for such interventions based on the existing literature. Our findings suggest that the rationale for interventions depends on initial conditions and country-specific circumstances. The case is strongest in the presence of large currency mismatches or underdeveloped markets. While interventions can have benefits in the short-term, sustained over time they could entrench unfavorable initial conditions, though more work is needed to establish this empirically. A first effort to measure the cost of interventions to the credibility of policy frameworks suggests that the negative impact may be smaller than often assumed—at least for the set of more sophisticated inflation-targeting emerging-market central banks considered here.
Ms. Maria Gonzalez
We examine corporate sector vulnerabilities in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. First, we identify stylized facts based on corporate financial indicators. Second, we assess vulnerability of individual firms to a sudden stop in financing through a probit model, using a panel of 18 countries in 2000-11. Results suggest that higher leverage and maturity exposures raise a firm’s probability to become exposed to a funding shock, while a larger firm size and buffers reduce it. Further, greater exchange rate flexibility can help mitigate corporate vulnerability. Identification of firms at risk through the model suggests that some vulnerabilities may be building in Latin America led by leverage, currency exposures and moderating buffers. These effects are partially offset, however, by a significant reduction in maturity exposures.
Gustavo Adler and Mr. Camilo E Tovar Mora
This paper examines foreign exchange intervention practices and their effectiveness using a new qualitative and quantitative database for a panel of 15 economies covering 2004 - 10, with special focus on Latin America. Qualitatively, it examines institutional aspects such as declared motives, instruments employed, the use of rules versus discretion, and the degree of transparency. Quantitatively, it assesses the effectiveness of sterilized interventions in influencing the exchange rate using a two-stage IV-panel data approach to overcome endogeneity bias. Results suggest that interventions slow the pace of appreciation, but the effects decrease rapidly with the degree of capital account openness. At the same time, interventions are more effective in the context of already ?overvalued' exchange rates.
Mr. Jorge I Canales Kriljenko, Mr. Cem Karacadag, Roberto Guimarães-Filho, and Mr. Shogo Ishii


Despite increasing exchange rate flexibility, central banks in emerging markets still intervene in their foreign exchange markets for several reasons. In doing so, they face many operational questions, including on the degree of transparency and the choice of markets and counterparties. This paper identifies elements of best practice in official foreign exchange intervention, presents survey evidence on intervention practices in developing countries, and assesses the effectiveness of intervention in Mexico and Turkey.

Mr. Jorge I Canales Kriljenko, Mr. Cem Karacadag, and Roberto Guimarães-Filho
This paper offers guidance on the operational aspects of official intervention in the foreign exchange market, particularly in developing countries with flexible exchange rate regimes. A brief survey of the literature and country experience is followed by an analysis of the objectives, timing, amount, degree of transparency, and choice of markets and counterparties in conducting intervention. The analysis highlights the difficulty of detecting exchange rate misalignments and disorderly markets, and argues in favor of parsimony in official intervention. Determining the timing and amount of intervention is a highly subjective excercise, and some degree of discretion is almost necessary, though policy rules may serve as "rules of thumb."
Mr. Ousmene J Mandeng
This paper aims to identify appropriate option contract specifications for effective central bank exchange market intervention. Option contract specifications determine the impact of options on the underlying asset or currency, and hence their actual effect on asset price or currency volatility and are therefore key to determining the effectiveness of option-based intervention. The paper reviews the experience of the systematic option-based foreign exchange market intervention of the Central Bank of Colombia and finds that its contract has only been moderately successful at abating exchange rate volatility, which is attributed here to sub-optimal contract specifications.
Mr. Peter Wickham
The paper examines the behavior of daily spot exchange rates for a sample of industrialized countries which are generally considered to be floating with only occasional official foreign exchange market intervention. This behavior is then compared to the behavior of the exchange rates of a sample of sixteen developing countries whose regimes are often classified as being “flexible”. Considerable differences in the way these developing countries’ exchange rate regimes operate is apparent from the daily data, with some sharing similarities with the regimes of the industrialized countries and with others demonstrating regime shifts and other marked discontinuities.
Mr. Akira Ariyoshi, Mr. Andrei A Kirilenko, Ms. Inci Ötker, Mr. Bernard J Laurens, Mr. Jorge I Canales Kriljenko, and Mr. Karl F Habermeier


This paper examines country experiences with the use and liberalization of capital controls to develop a deeper understanding of the role of capital controls in coping with volatile capital flows, as well as the issues surrounding their liberalization. Detailed analyses of country cases aim to shed light on the motivations to limit capital flows; the role the controls may have played in coping with particular situations, including in financial crises and in limiting short-term inflows; the nature and design of the controls; and their effectivenes and potential costs. The paper also examines the link between prudential policies and capital controls and illstrates the ways in which better prudential practices and accelerated financial reforms could address the risks in cross-border capital transactions.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper describes problems and prospects associated with urbanization. The paper sees the rapid urbanization in the less developed world not as a crisis that can be “dealt with” by urgent measures but as a major historical phenomenon that calls for analytical study as well as current action in the hope that it can be influenced to play a positive role in economic development. The paper also analyzes the exchange rates at the beginning of the 1970s.