Mr. Serkan Arslanalp, Dimitris Drakopoulos, Rohit Goel, and Mr. Robin Koepke
This paper reviews the role of benchmark-driven investments in EM local bond markets. We provide an overview of how key EM bond benchmark indices are constructed, how they affect the behavior of investment funds, and what are the likely implications for capital flows and policy-making. Several methods are presented suggesting that the amount of assets benchmarked against widely followed EM local-currency bond indices have risen fivefold since the mid-2000s to around $300 billion. Our review suggests that the benefits of index membership may be tempered by portfolio outflow risks for some countries. This is because benchmark-driven investments may increase the importance of external factors at the expense of domestic factors, raising the risks of outflows unrelated to recipient country fundamentals. Some countries may be disproportionately exposed to these risks, reflecting the way the indices are constructed.
This technical note for the Republic of Poland on competition and performance explains the Polish pension system and domestic capital market. Competition policies may need to be reviewed, in particular the combination of measures to maintain small pension funds operating while imposing strict caps on fees. If the government decides to continue pursuing policy of promoting competition in returns while reducing fees further, it may need to consider more structural changes in the second pillar, along the lines of the Swedish model.