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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights low oil prices’ and falling oil production’s blow to the Nigerian economy. The country entered a recession in 2016, with growth contracting by 1.5 percent. Annual inflation doubled to 18.6 percent, reflecting higher electricity costs and fuel tariffs, a weaker naira, and accommodating monetary conditions. Even with significantly lower capital spending, the consolidated fiscal deficit increased from 3.5 percent of GDP in 2015 to 4.7 percent of GDP in 2016. Under unchanged policies, the outlook remains challenging and growth would pick up only slightly to 0.8 percent in 2017, mostly reflecting some recovery in oil production and a continuing strong performance in agriculture.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix paper presents an assessment of Nigeria’s past economic reform efforts—in particular the program supported by the 2000–01 Stand-By Arrangement (SBA). The paper also reviews weaknesses in the current fiscal management framework in Nigeria and proposes reforms to further strengthen the budget process. It describes weaknesses in the current public debt management framework and the government’s reform strategy. It highlights the reform implication and addresses further actions that will be needed to put the government’s domestic debt reform strategy on a solid foundation.
International Monetary Fund
Nigeria’s 2002 Article IV Consultation highlights that major macroeconomic imbalances had emerged as a result of sharp increases in government spending and expressed concern at the risks of a further acceleration of inflation and continuing instability in the exchange market. The overall fiscal balance deteriorated sharply in 2001, the external accounts worsened, and inflation accelerated. The overall stance of fiscal policy remains highly expansionary in 2002, notwithstanding efforts by the authorities to contain capital spending. Lax financial policies have led to a sharp fall in international reserves.
Daudi Ballali, Mr. Pierre Dhonte, Mr. G. Terrier, and Mr. Stéphane Cossé
This paper highlights selected recent developments in the economies of sub-Saharan Africa. It notes that the outlook for commodity prices has improved, and with it the outlook for economic activity beyond 1994; it also notes, however, the need for higher savings and investment to sustain growth over the medium term. The paper also covers two aspects of structural adjustment: the liberalization of exchange and trade systems, which has been extensive and has resulted in a sharp reduction in exchange market distortions; and the momentum of regional integration in the CFA countries and in the Southern Africa region.
Ms. Yin-Fun Lum and Mr. Calvin A McDonald
This paper discusses the main operational issues involved in the implementation of interbank foreign exchange systems in selected African countries. The countries considered are The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. The paper finds that exchange rates in these markets tend to be determined through transactions between dealers and clients at the retail level, for the most part, rather than through wholesale interdealer transactions. Additionally, many factors continue to limit the full development of these markets. In particular, informational problems limiting “real time” quotes, inadequate competition in the market, and insufficient regulations to reduce exchange rate risk and encourage “true” interdealer transactions. Despite these limitations, the markets studied have improved the efficiency of foreign exchange allocation and substantially narrowed exchange rate differentials between the official and parallel markets.
Vicente Galbis
This paper reviews the experience with floating interbank exchange rate systems in five developing countries--The Gambia, Guyana, Jamaica, Nigeria and Sri Lanka--and draws some conclusions about the stability and efficiency of these systems. The experience of these countries illustrates both the difficulties and the advantages of interbank exchange rate markets. The main conclusion is that these markets can operate relatively well with a minimum banking infrastructure, provided that the authorities remove legal and institutional impediments to the free operation of these markets including, in particular, exchange restrictions. Any residual restrictions that may remain will likely give rise to the continued existence of parallel markets.
Mr. Mohsin S. Khan and Pierre-Richard Agénor
This paper examines the relative demands for domestic and foreign currency deposits by residents of developing countries. A dynamic currency substitution model that incorporates forward-looking rational expectations is formulated and then estimated for a group of ten developing countries. The results indicate that the foreign rate of interest and the expected rate of depreciation of the parallel market exchange rate are important factors in the choice between holding domestic money or switching to foreign currency deposits held abroad. From an empirical standpoint, the forward-looking framework adopted here also turns out to be superior to the conventional currency-substitution model.
International Monetary Fund
The paper reviews recent theoretical and empirical developments in the analysis of informal currency markets in developing countries. The basic characteristics of these markets are highlighted, and alternative analytical models to explain them are discussed. The implications for exchange rate policy —including imposition of foreign exchange restrictions, devaluation, and unification of exchange markets— in countries with a sizable parallel market are also examined.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This paper describes and analyzes forward market systems with varying degrees of sophistication, and it assesses them from the viewpoint of a smaller industrial or developing country asking itself how it could institute such a system, or how it could further develop an existing system in a way consistent with its institutional and macroeconomic structure. All industrial countries except Iceland now have forward exchange markets in which the rate is determined by the market. Forward markets that have been liberalized in several countries in the 1980s have matured quickly. There are several variants of market-determined systems which could be envisaged. An auction market could be devised for forward transactions, but is unlikely to be practical, because the supply of forward exchange probably may not be determined in advance sufficiently accurately. As the last stage of its development, the market could be extended from underlying commercial transactions to forward transactions of a purely financial character, a process that is taking place in most of the few industrial countries that have retained regulated forward systems. Development of a forward market is not a panacea for incorrect financial policies. In fact, cultivation of the market will require the adoption and maintenance of realistic financial policies.

Mr. Saleh M. Nsouli, Mr. John B. McLenaghan, and Mr. Klaus-Walter Riechel

Abstract

One of the principal aims of the effort to integrate the economies of the 16 member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is to expand intra-Community trade. This objective is to be achieved partly through the elimination of quantitive and other restrictions on trade.