Middle East and Central Asia > Iran, Islamic Republic of

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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

Growth in the near term remains subdued for oil exporters in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) region, amid volatile oil prices, precarious global growth, elevated fiscal vulnerabilities, and heightened geopolitical tensions. In addition, declining productivity is dampening medium-term growth prospects. To reduce dependence on oil prices and pave the way for more sustainable growth, fiscal consolidation needs to resume, underpinned by improved medium-term fiscal frameworks. In parallel, structural reforms and further financial sector development would boost foreign direct investment (FDI) and domestic private investment and foster diversification, thus contributing to improved productivity and potential growth.

Mr. Hamid R Tabarraei, Hamed Ghiaie, and Asghar Shahmoradi
The structural model in this paper proposes a micro-founded framework that incorporates an active banking sector with an oil-producing sector. The primary goal of adding a banking sector is to examine the role of an interbank market on shocks, introduce a national development fund and study its link to the banking sector and the government. The government and the national development fund directly play key roles in the propagation of the oil shock. In contrast, the banking sector and the labor market, through perfect substitution between the oil and non-oil sectors, have major indirect impacts in spreading shocks.
Amir Sadeghi
Public investment is key to growth in developing oil-exporting countries and oil revenue is an important source of finance for public investment. Assessing the growth impact of public investment in Iran under various investment scaling-up (gradual, aggressive, and conservative) and oil price (baseline and adverse) scenarios, this paper shows that because of absorptive capacity constraint and investment inefficiency the growth outcome of an aggressive investment scaling-up is not significantly different from a conservative or a gradual scenario while its costs, in terms of fiscal adjustment, are significantly higher, especially during low oil price periods. An improvement in investment efficiency has a significant positive impact on growth outcome and leads to higher private consumption and investment. Using an oil fund, on the other hand, can help contain the size of fiscal adjustments, although it would result in a larger appreciation of real exchange rate and deterioration in the current account balance.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes impediments to correspondent banking with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Even though international nuclear sanctions were lifted January 16, 2016, Iranian banks face protracted difficulties in reentering the international financial system through correspondent relationships with global banks. Significant challenges continue to prevent Iranian banks from fully reconnecting with global banks. These challenges relate mostly to remaining sanctions from the United States; the regulatory enforcement environment; and significant deficiencies in Iran’s Anti–Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism framework, including Iranian companies’ lack of transparency. Domestic policy reforms can potentially facilitate reconnection to non-US global banks.
Mr. Alberto Behar and Robert A Ritz
In November 2014, OPEC announced a new strategy geared towards improving its market share. Oil-market analysts interpreted this as an attempt to squeeze higher-cost producers including US shale oil out of the market. Over the next year, crude oil prices crashed, with large repercussions for the global economy. We present a simple equilibrium model that explains the fundamental market factors that can rationalize such a "regime switch" by OPEC. These include: (i) the growth of US shale oil production; (ii) the slowdown of global oil demand; (iii) reduced cohesiveness of the OPEC cartel; (iv) production ramp-ups in other non-OPEC countries. We show that these qualitative predictions are broadly consistent with oil market developments during 2014-15. The model is calibrated to oil market data; it predicts accommodation up to 2014 and a market-share strategy thereafter, and explains large oil-price swings as well as realistically high levels of OPEC output.