There have been significant developments in sovereign debt restructuring involving private-sector creditors since the IMF’s last stocktaking in 2014. While the current contractual approach has been largely effective in resolving sovereign debt cases since 2014, it has gaps that could pose challenges in future restructurings.
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
Mr. Francesco Grigoli, Mr. Mario Mansilla, and Martín Saldías
We propose a stress testing framework of credit risk, which analyzes macro-financial linkages, generates consistent forecasts of macro-financial variables, and projects non-performing loans (NPL) on the basis of such forecasts. Economic contractions are generally associated with increases in NPL. However, despite the common assumption used in the empirical literature of homogeneous impact across banks, the strength of this relationship is often bank-specific, and imposing homogeneity may lead to over or underestimating the resilience of the financial system to macroeconomic woes. Our approach accounts for banks’ heterogeneous reaction to macro-financial shocks in a dynamic context and potential cross-sectional dependence across banks caused by common shocks. An application to Ecuador suggests that substantial heterogeneity is present and that this should be taken into account when trying to anticipate inflections in the quality of portfolio.
Mr. Tidiane Kinda, Mr. Montfort Mlachila, and Rasmané Ouedraogo
This paper investigates the impact of commodity price shocks on financial sector fragility. Using a large sample of 71 commodity exporters among emerging and developing economies, it shows that negative shocks to commodity prices tend to weaken the financial sector, with larger shocks having more pronounced impacts. More specifically, negative commodity price shocks are associated with higher non-performing loans, bank costs and banking crises, while they reduce bank profits, liquidity, and provisions to nonperforming loans. These adverse effects tend to occur in countries with poor quality of governance, weak fiscal space, as well as those that do not have a sovereign wealth fund, do not implement macro-prudential policies and do not have a diversified export base. These findings are robust to a battery of robustness checks.
Nicola Gennaioli, Alberto Martin, and Stefano Rossi
We analyze holdings of public bonds by over 20,000 banks in 191 countries, and the role of these bonds in 20 sovereign defaults over 1998-2012. Banks hold many public bonds (on average 9% of their assets), particularly in less financially-developed countries. During sovereign defaults, banks increase their exposure to public bonds, especially large banks and when expected bond returns are high. At the bank level, bondholdings correlate negatively with subsequent lending during sovereign defaults. This correlation is mostly due to bonds acquired in pre-default years. These findings shed light on alternative theories of the sovereign default-banking crisis nexus.
Following the global financial crisis of 2008-09, regional financing arrangements (RFAs) have been recognized as an important layer of the global financial safety net. This paper summarizes the current landscape of RFAs, and discusses IMF-RFA coordination to date and options for enhancing cooperation going forward. In so doing, it intends to contribute to discussions underway at international fora and solicit views from the Fund and RFA memberships on how to enhance cooperation
We estimate sovereign bond spreads of 28 emerging economies over the period January 1998-December 2011 and test the ability of the model in generating accurate in-sample predictions for emerging economies bond spreads. The impact and significance of country-specific and global explanatory variables on bond spreads varies across regions, as well as economic periods. During crisis times, good macroeconomic fundamentals are helpful in containing bond spreads, but less than in non-crisis times, possibly reflecting the impact of extra-economic forces on bond spreads when a financial crisis occurs. For some emerging economies, in-sample predictions of the monthly changes in bond spreads obtained with rolling regression routines are significantly more accurate than forecasts obtained with a random walk. Rolling regression-based bond spread predictions appear to convey more information than those obtained with a linear prediction method. By contrast, bond spreads forecasts obtained with a linear prediction method are less accurate than those obtained with random guessing.
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.
This paper takes stock of past episodes of debt restructuring and reviews the relevant literature. Based on cross-country experience from the late 1990s through 2010 of emerging markets it offers some stylized facts.