Algeria’s local corporate bond market provides a good basis for further diversifying the economy’s financing channels. This study analyzes the nexus of bank financing of public enterprises in the ongoing national investment program (NIP) and also sets Algeria’s local corporate bond market in a cross-country perspective. It develops options for developing local capital markets during the timeframe of the NIP, and considers improvements in some aspects of market functioning. The authorities have taken measures to help the banking system increase lending to public enterprises over the next few years.
Algeria’s 2004 Article IV Consultation reports that the fiscal expansion has contributed to job creation, but unemployment remains high. The vulnerability of public finances to oil price fluctuations has increased and monetary policy has helped to keep inflation under control. Sound management of high external inflows from hydrocarbon exports is the key to improve the outlook for private sector-driven economic growth and employment. The fiscal adjustment planned by the government will gradually bring the nonhydrocarbon primary deficit to a sustainable level.
Algeria’s Financial System Stability Assessment highlights the Observance of Standards and Codes on monetary and financial policy transparency and banking supervision. Financial intermediation in Algeria will be bank-based in the future, and only politically difficult decisions to gradually sell state banks will eliminate the drag that current banking practices have on resource allocation. No system dominated by state banks has avoided large loan losses or contributed effectively to economic development.
Algeria remains heavily dependent on the hydrocarbon sector and still maintains a sizable and inefficient state-owned enterprise sector. Against this background, the paper addresses two different issues with important implications for macroeconomic stability in Algeria. The paper proposes the replacement of directed credit to large loss-making public enterprises with temporary and explicit budget subsidies. It also shows that money, volume of imports, and weather conditions have a strong impact on price movements in the short term, whereas the exchange rate has none.
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix deals with the issue of low growth in Algeria. A growth-accounting exercise indicates that negative total factor productivity growth explains Algeria’s low growth rates. This paper highlights the sources of this low growth that mainly consist of incomplete structural reforms and the weaknesses of Algeria’s institutions. It describes policy recommendations, focusing on the institutional reforms required to improve the business environment. The paper also analyzes Algeria’s monetary policy in the context of volatile hydrocarbon revenues.
This 2002 Article IV Consultation highlights that the overall budget balance of Algeria weakened in 2001 and the first half of 2002. This deterioration mainly reflected higher spending and a decline in hydrocarbon revenues owing to a reduction in volumes and prices. The overall balance dropped from a surplus of 9.8 percent of GDP in 2000 to a surplus of 3.4 percent of GDP in 2001 and to a small deficit in the first half of 2002. Regarding structural reforms, some progress has been achieved in two areas: economic liberalization and privatization/public sector restructuring.
Since the outset of IMF-supported adjustment and reform program, Algeria has made substantial progress toward the restoration of macroeconomic stability and implemented a set of structural reforms. High hydrocarbon prices also contributed to a sharp improvement in the budget position. A prudent fiscal stance and cautious easing of monetary conditions have led to a major strengthening of the balance of payments position and a large accumulation of official reserves. The authorities are urged to enhance transparency and strengthen the efforts to improve governance.
Owing to the implementation of IMF-supported programs in 1994–98, Algeria’s macroeconomy has improved. In 1999, there was an upward trend in the agricultural sector. The hydrocarbon sector represents the main source of foreign exchange earnings. Revenue developments are particularly sensitive to changes in the world oil prices and exchange rate fluctuations. The monetary policy framework used by the monetary authority could be more explicit. Finally, a low level of inflation in the medium term has been attained. Algeria's tariffs ranges between 5 and 45 percent.
In 1994–98, Algeria was successful in restoring macroeconomic stability and implementing structural reforms. The fiscal position deteriorated in the first part of 1999, owing to low oil prices. Executive Directors supported the reform program introduced in early 2000, and welcomed its emphasis on accelerating reform of the banking and public sector companies but stressed the need for detailed implementation plans. The economic environment should be improved to promote private economic activity, including domestic and foreign investment. The authorities are urged to accelerate trade liberalization.
This paper explores the linkages between external sector reforms and public enterprise restructuring, paying attention to the role of the financial sector in ensuring the success of these reforms in the context of a comprehensive medium-term structural adjustment program. It discusses the arguments made in the academic literature on this issue, and analyzes how some countries—namely Algeria, Egypt, and Poland—have tackled reforms in these areas.