International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a fragile state, vulnerable to recurrent shocks. A third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is straining the healthcare system. Widespread vaccine hesitancy has contributed to very low uptake of the vaccines with about only 2 percent of the population fully vaccinated. Real GDP is estimated to rebound modestly to grow by 1.7 percent in 2021 after the downturn in 2020. Elections are due to take place in June 2022, and the formal campaign period will commence by end-April.
In recent years, we have observed an increase in low-income countries’ (LICs) access to international capital markets, especially after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). This paper investigates what factors—country-specific macroeconomic fundamentals and/or external variables—have contributed to the surge in external bond issuance by these LICs, which we refer to in our paper as ‘frontier economies’. Using data on public and publicly guaranteed (PPG) external bond issuance, outstanding PPG bond stock, as well as sovereign spreads, we employ panel data analysis to examine factors related to the increase in issuance by these economies as well as the reduction in their spreads over time. Our empirical study shows that both country-specific fundamentals (such as public debt, current account balance, level of reserves, quality of institutions) and external variables (such as US growth and the VIX index) play a role in explaining the increased amount of issuance and the decline in spreads of frontier economies’ sovereign bonds. The impact of some of these variables on issuance appears to reflect a country’s need to issue bonds for external financing (‘the supply side’ of bond issuance), while others appear to correlate more through their impact on investors’ appetite for a country’s debt (‘the demand side’). In addition, the impact of country-specific variables can also be affected by external factors such as global risk appetite. Our analysis of key factors that have contributed to increased market access for frontier economies over the past decade provides important information to gauge the prospects for their continued market access, and for other LICs to join this group by tapping international markets for the first time.
International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, and Review Department
The paper revisits the two-pillar framework for assessing the adequacy of Fund resources. Responding to Directors suggestions, the quantitative pillar is updated to include alternative assumptions and to provide a longer-term perspective on likely resource needs. While quantitative estimates are generally somewhat lower after factoring in the alternative assumptions, these reductions are more than outweighed when the analysis is extended through the middle of the next decade, recognizing that the outcome of the 15th Review will likely determine permanent Fund resources through at least the middle of the next decade. The updated qualitative pillar analysis highlights reforms since the global financial crisis and discusses uncertainties in the global environment. It also provides an assessment of the general impact of the various qualitative considerations. Taken together, the two pillars continue to make a case for at least maintaining existing Fund resources. Against this background, the simulations in the paper cover three illustrative sizes for quota increases (50, 75, and 100 percent), centered on broadly maintaining Fund resources, assuming the New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB) is maintained at its current level and Bilateral Borrowing Agreements (BBAs) expire.