Over the past two decades, many low-income developing countries have substantially increased openness towards external financing and have received large capital inflows. Using bank-level micro data, this paper finds that capital inflows have been associated with financial deepening through increases in bank loans, deposits, and wholesale funding. Domestic banks increase loans more than foreign banks. There are only modest signs of a build-up in financial vulnerabilities. Causality is examined through an instrumental variable approach and an augmented inverse-probability weighting estimator. These approaches indicate only limited evidence for global push effects, pointing towards the importance of domestic pull factors.
We find that data transparency policy reforms, reflected in subscriptions to the IMF’s Data Standards Initiatives (SDDS and GDDS), reduce the spreads of emerging market sovereign bonds. To overcome endogeneity issues regarding a country’s decision to adopt such reforms, we first show that the reform decision is largely independent of its macroeconomic development. By using an event study, we find that subscriptions to the SDDS or GDDS leads to a 15 percent reduction in the spreads one year following such reforms. This finding is robust to various sensitivity tests, including careful consideration of the interdependence among the structural reforms.
Private cross-border financial flows and stocks have grown to account for an increasingly significant part of overall transactions and positions in many African countries. Direct reporting through enterprise surveys has become a key data source to enable them to be measured accurately. The paper describes a multi-year technical assistance project in The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, and Nigeria, where annual enterprise surveys are now established. To varying degrees, the survey results have been incorporated into the balance of payments and International Investment Position statistics. The case studies may serve as a useful reference for other countries embarking on efforts to establish direct reporting of cross-border financial flows and stocks.
This paper explains Fifth Review Under the Extended Credit Facility and Request for Extension of the Arrangement report for Benin. The IMF report shows that inflation has returned to normal levels since the petroleum price shock in early 2012 when neighboring Nigeria reduced fuel subsidies, and external imbalances were revised downward. Problems with customs reform, which delayed the 5th fifth review, have been addressed by developing a new approach that takes into account lessons from a suspended previous reform attempt and international best practices.
This report presents the results of the mid-term evaluation of the Enhanced Data Dissemination Initiative (EDDI) financed by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) covering the period April 1, 2010 to September 30, 2012. The evaluation was conducted internally by the IMF in consultation with DFID. EDDI is a five-year project (April 2010–March 2015) implemented by the IMF to improve macroeconomic statistics in 25 African countries. The project includes modules for sub-groups of countries covering national accounts, monetary statistics, government finance statistics (GFS), balance of payments statistics (BOP), and harmonization of statistics in several regional organizations. The mid-point of a five-year project is an appropriate time for all stakeholders of the project to step back and take stock of what has been accomplished in the first half of the project, what has gone well, what aspects have been disappointing, and what might be adjusted or changed to make the remainder of the project more effective in achieving its objectives. To facilitate this process, questionnaires were developed to obtain feedback from three groups: counterparts in participating countries, IMF module managers and experts, and DFID country and regional advisors. Recommendations made by the stakeholders that will be followed up in the second half of the project are listed as bullets in italics below.
Benin’s Fifth Review under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility and request for waiver of Nonobservance of Performance Criteria are discussed. The main challenge ahead is to limit inflation pressures from higher food and fuel prices while sustaining medium-term fiscal consolidation and accelerating structural reforms to increase the sustainable growth rate. The authorities have taken actions to address the food and fuel crisis and accelerate structural reforms. They have allowed the full pass-through of higher international food and fuel prices and tightened fiscal policy while putting in place measures to protect the poor.
This paper finds that reforms introduced by the IMF to promote transparency have created more informed markets and reduced borrowing costs for those emerging market countries that volunteered for them. Using a quarterly panel estimation with fixed country effects, we find that sovereign spreads fall following the adoption of three different transparency reforms. The effects are economically important, especially for those countries with low initial transparency. We use two-stage least squares to address any endogeneity in the timing of reforms exploiting internal IMF timetables that are unrelated to country events. Next, using a panel GARCH specification, we show that spreads move more than normal in the days immediately following publication of IMF country documents.