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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation discusses that driven by popular frustration with high levels of corruption and inequality, Haiti has been experiencing a protracted political crisis and prolonged civil unrest. The baseline scenario assumes some stabilization in the political situation by early 2020 but no major political or economic reforms. This would allow growth to recover only gradually and in the absence of sustained implementation of good policies and structural reforms, potential growth would remain low at about 1.4 percent over the medium term. Downside risks, both domestic and external, remain elevated. A prolongation of political instability, extreme natural disaster, drop in remittances, and/or a contraction in exports because of trade tensions would worsen the outlook, particularly given the absence of buffers and fragile social conditions. The challenge is to stabilize the macroeconomic situation in an unstable political context. The IMF Staff encourages the authorities to continue their efforts to contain the fiscal deficit and its monetary financing by the central bank. Improving domestic revenue collection and redirecting current spending would help create space for much needed social and capital expenditures. Together with steps to strengthen the central bank’s autonomy and legal framework, this would help reduce fiscal dominance.
Mr. Jochen R. Andritzky and Julian Schumacher
Sovereign debt restructurings are perceived as inflicting large losses to bondholders. However, many bonds feature high coupons and often exhibit strong post-crisis recoveries. To account for these aspects, we analyze the long-term returns of sovereign bonds during 32 crises since 1998, taking into account losses from bond exchanges as well as profits before and after such events. We show that the average excess return over risk-free rates in crises with debt restructuring is not significantly lower than the return on bonds in crises without restructuring. Returns differ considerably depending on the investment strategy: Investors who sell during crises fare much worse than buy-and-hold investors or investors entering the market upon signs of distress
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses the findings and recommendations made by the IMF mission regarding the balance of payments and international investment position in Dominican Republic. The Central Bank of the Dominican Republic has made considerable progress in disseminating external sector statistics. It will soon disseminate monthly the international reserves and foreign currency liquidity data template to the IMF and data for Table 6 (Gross External Debt Position: by Sector) in the Quarterly External Debt Statistics to the World Bank. Much progress has also been made on the project to compile data on manufacturing services on inputs owned by others.
Ms. Svetlana Cerovic and Jose Saboin
This paper examines the financial position of the key sectors of the Dominican Republic. It contributes to macroeconomic surveillance by identifying financial interlinkages and vulnerabilities through the balance sheet approach. The balance sheet of the economy has been weakening, particularly in foreign currency, due to persistent fiscal deficits. Risks arising from weaker foreign currency position, however, seem to be mitigated by long-term maturities on government debt and increasing accumulation of foreign currency assets. Given the strong links of the rest of the economy with the public sector, network analysis suggests that while the financial position of the other sectors of the economy is stronger, they could be adversely affected in an external stress scenario. Exposures to public sector are particularly pronounced in the domestic financial system (directly) and households (indirectly, through pension funds).
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
KEY ISSUES Background: Activity is slowly recovering after a cumulative decline of about 5 percent during 2008–10. Expansionary fiscal policies—largely to counteract the impact of the global slowdown and the two successive natural disasters—led to a deterioration in fiscal balances, with public debt up by about 10½ percent of GDP over this period. The fiscal deficit, however, is expected to narrow this year, largely reflecting cuts in capital spending. In the financial sector, non performing loans remain above prudential guidelines; provisioning and profitability are low; and supervision remains weak. Policy Challenges: Further fiscal consolidation—including by rebalancing government expenditure toward growth and employment generating public sector projects—is required to ensure medium-term sustained growth as well as keep public sector debt on a downward trajectory. In this regard, improving the efficiency of revenue collection and reducing current spending—especially on the wage bill, which is high relative to revenues—will be crucial to allow the government to maneuver fiscal policy. Financial sector weaknesses also need to be addressed, including through strengthening of supervisory and regulatory standards, to promote effective financial intermediation that supports private sector growth. Structural reforms, including infrastructure enhancements and labor market reforms are critical to improve competitiveness and ensure medium-term growth and current account sustainability.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
The Research Summaries in the September 2013 IMF Research Bulletin focus on “External Conditions and Debt Sustainability in Latin America” (Gustavo Adler and Sebastian Sosa) and “Monetary Policy Cyclicality in Emerging Markets” (Donal McGettigan, Kenji Moriyama, and Chad Steinberg). In the Q&A, Itai Aigur and Sunil Sharma discuss “Seven Questions on Macroprudential Policy Frameworks.” The Research Bulletin also includes an updated listing of recent IMF Working Papers, Staff Discussion Notes, and Recommended Readings from the IMF Bookstore, as well as information on a forthcoming conference. The IMF Economic Review’s new Impact Factor is also highlighted.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2013 Article IV Consultation highlights that key developments in Guatemala since the 2012 Article IV Consultation have been positive. As commodity prices stabilized and domestic demand pressures weakened, inflation fell sharply in 2012—closing at 3.4 percent by December. Although subsequently inflation rose somewhat—to 4.3 percent by May 2013, owing mainly to domestic prices—it still remained within the central bank’s target range of 4.0±1 percent. The economic outlook is generally benign. Growth is expected to edge up to 3½ percent in 2013 and 2014, reaching its potential rate, supported by ongoing buoyant domestic demand and healthy private-sector credit.
International Monetary Fund
his paper reviews the recent application of the Fund’s policies and practices on sovereign debt restructuring. Specifically, the paper: • recaps in a holistic manner the various policies and practices that underpin the Fund's legal and policy framework for sovereign debt restructuring, including on debt sustainability, market access, financing assurances, arrears, private sector involvement (PSI), official sector involvement (OSI), and the use of legal instruments; • reviews how this framework has been applied in the context of Fund-supported programs and highlights the issues that have emerged in light of recent experience with debt restructuring; and • describes recent initiatives in various fora aimed at promoting orderly sovereign debt restructuring, highlighting differences with the Fund’s existing framework. Based on this stocktaking, the paper identifies issues that could be considered in further depth in follow-up work by staff to assess whether the Fund’s framework for debt restructuring should be adapted: • first, debt restructurings have often been too little and too late, thus failing to re-establish debt sustainability and market access in a durable way. Overcoming these problems likely requires action on several fronts, including (i) increased rigor and transparency of debt sustainability and market access assessments, (ii) exploring ways to prevent the use of Fund resources to simply bail out private creditors, and (iii) measures to alleviate the costs associated with restructurings; • second, while creditor participation has been adequate in recent restructurings, the current contractual, market-based approach to debt restructuring is becoming less potent in overcoming collective action problems, especially in pre-default cases. In response, consideration could be given to making the contractual framework more effective, including through the introduction of more robust aggregation clauses into international sovereign bonds bearing in mind the inter-creditor equity issues that such an approach may raise. The Fund may also consider ways to condition use of its financing more tightly to the resolution of collective action problems; • third, the growing role and changing composition of official lending call for a clearer framework for official sector involvement, especially with regard to non-Paris Club creditors, for which the modality for securing program financing commitments could be tightened; and • fourth, although the collaborative, good-faith approach to resolving external private arrears embedded in the lending into arrears (LIA) policy remains the most promising way to regain market access post-default, a review of the effectiveness of the LIA policy is in order in light of recent experience and the increased complexity of the creditor base. Consideration could also be given to extending the LIA policy to official arrears.
Christoph Trebesch, Mr. Michael G. Papaioannou, and Mr. Udaibir S Das
This paper provides a comprehensive survey of pertinent issues on sovereign debt restructurings, based on a newly constructed database. This is the first complete dataset of sovereign restructuring cases, covering the six decades from 1950–2010; it includes 186 debt exchanges with foreign banks and bondholders, and 447 bilateral debt agreements with the Paris Club. We present new stylized facts on the outcome and process of debt restructurings, including on the size of haircuts, creditor participation, and legal aspects. In addition, the paper summarizes the relevant empirical literature, analyzes recent restructuring episodes, and discusses ongoing debates on crisis resolution mechanisms, credit default swaps, and the role of collective action clauses.