Middle East and Central Asia

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International Monetary Fund
This paper reviews the progress made by the Tunisian authorities in their efforts to liberalize the capital account and highlights the potential benefits of implementing the remaining reforms in this area. It also analyzes the developments within a unified analytical framework, provides tentative insights regarding priorities for the government’s growth strategy ahead, and discusses the impact of ongoing labor market reforms and investment promotion policies.
Mr. Philip R. Lane and Mr. Gian M Milesi-Ferretti
The paper provides a systematic analysis of bilateral, source and host factors driving portfolio equity investment across countries, using newly-released data on international equity holdings at the end of 2001. It develops a model that links bilateral equity holdings to bilateral trade in goods and services and finds that the data strongly support such a correlation. Larger bilateral positions are also associated with proxies for informational proximity. It further documents that the scale of aggregate foreign equity asset and liability holdings is larger for richer countries and countries with more developed stock markets.
Ms. Nada Mora, Ms. Ratna Sahay, Mr. Jeromin Zettelmeyer, and Mr. Pietro Garibaldi
Between 1991 and 1999, capital flows to 25 transition economies in Europe and the former Soviet Union differed widely in terms of overall levels and the share and composition of private flows. With some exceptions (notably Russia), the main form of private inflows was foreign direct investment. Portfolio investment was volatile and concentrated in a handful of countries. Regressions show that direct investment can be well explained in terms of economic fundamentals, whereas the presence of a financial market infrastructure and a property-rights indicator are the only explanatory variables that seem to have had a robust effect on portfolio investment.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey Guide is provided to assist balance of payments compilers in the conduct of an internationally coordinated survey of security holdings being conducted under the auspices of the IMF with reference to year-end 1997. The Guide has two main purposes: to set out the objectives of the Coordinated Survey; and to provide practical advice on how to prepare, organize, and conduct a national survey. The appendices include three model survey forms, a glossary of security terms, a listing of the major security databases that national compilers may find useful in their work, and a method for reconciling security position and transactions data.

International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.

Abstract

This article discusses different aspects and tables in the seventh Supplement of Balance of Payments Statistics. A balance of payments statement can be broadly described as the record of an economy's international economic transactions, that is, of the goods and services that an economy has received from, and provided to, the rest of the world, and of changes in the economy's claims on and liabilities to the rest of the world. The report highlights that for recent years the global current account figures contain a large discrepancy that implies either that surpluses are under-recorded, or deficits are over-recorded, or some combination of the two. The inconsistencies that give rise to the recorded current account asymmetry stem mainly from deficiencies in the balance of payments statements of individual countries covered in the statistics. The growth in the discrepancy is most noticeable for the category ‘other goods, services, and income’. The problem is still to be resolved, and therefore, considerable caution should be exercised when interpreting the statistics for the most recent years.