Abdullah Al-Hassan, Imen Benmohamed, Aidyn Bibolov, Giovanni Ugazio, and Ms. Tian Zhang
The Gulf Cooperation Council region faced a significant economic toll from the COVID-19 pandemic and oil price shocks in 2020. Policymakers responded to the pandemic with decisive and broad measures to support households and businesses and mitigate the long-term impact on the economy. Financial vulnerabilities have been generally contained, reflecting ongoing policy support and the rebound in economic activity and oil prices, as well as banks entering the COVID-19 crisis with strong capital, liquidity, and profitability. The banking systems remained well-capitalized, but profitability and asset quality were adversely affected. Ongoing COVID-19 policy support could also obscure deterioration in asset quality. Policymakers need to continue to strike a balance between supporting recovery and mitigating risks to financial stability, including ensuring that banks’ buffers are adequate to withstand prolonged pandemic and withdrawal of COVID-related policy support measures. Addressing data gaps would help policymakers to further assess vulnerabilities and mitigate sectoral risks.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
This report provides an overview of recent developments in the implementation of the Fund’s Transparency Policy, as required by the Executive Board. It covers documents considered by the Board in 2020 and their respective publication status up to June 2021. To provide some perspective on trends, it compares the implementation of the Fund’s Transparency Policy on the 2020 documents with preceding years.
Tryggvi Gudmundsson, Mr. Vladimir Klyuev, Leandro Medina, Mr. Boaz Nandwa, Dmitry Plotnikov, Francisco Schiffrer, and Di Yang
This article documents recent developments in emerging markets in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, assesses their prospects and challenges, and discusses appropriate policy settings for the medium term. It argues that EM policymakers’ ability to grapple with an incomplete and uneven recovery will be constrained by high public debt and uncertain inflation prospects as well as external risks surrounding capital flows and exchange rate developments. The paper also discusses potential impact of a tightening in global financial conditions and appreciation of the US dollar that could be triggered by a general increase in risk aversion or a reassessment of the likely path of US monetary policy.