Middle East and Central Asia > Pakistan

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Ms. Senay Agca, Ms. Deniz O Igan, Fuhong Li, and Ms. Prachi Mishra
Why do firms lobby? This paper exploits the unanticipated sequestration of federal budget accounts in March 2013 that reduced the availability of government funds disbursed through procurement contracts to shed light on this question. Following this event, firms with little or no prior exposure to the federal accounts that experienced cuts reduced their lobbying spending. In contrast, firms with a high degree of exposure to the cuts maintained and even increased their lobbying spending. This suggests that, when the same number of contractors competed for a piece of a reduced pie, the more affected firms likely intensified their lobbying efforts to distinguish themselves from the others and improve their chances of procuring a larger share of the smaller overall. These findings are stronger in government-dependent sectors and when there is intense competition. The evidence is more consistent with a rent-seeking explanation for lobbying.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Pakistan’s Twelfth and Final Review Under the Extended Arrangement, Request for Waivers of Nonobservance of Performance Criteria (PCs), and Proposal for Post-Program Monitoring. The authorities met most PCs at end-June 2016, but the PCs on the budget deficit and Net Domestic Assets (NDA) of the State Bank of Pakistan were missed by small margins. They also met all program indicative targets. Structural benchmarks on financial sector reform, privatization, and energy sector reform were met. The IMF staff supports the authorities’ request for completion of the twelfth review under the arrangement and for waivers for nonobservance of the end-June PCs on the budget deficit and NDA.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper assesses El Salvador’s capacity and options for upgrading its fiscal framework and attempts to take a fresh look at the “growth puzzle” from a comparative perspective. The Hausmann’s growth diagnostics approach offers a useful start, but it does not clearly explain El Salvador’s growth gap versus its regional peers. The paper also constructs estimates of potential output growth and the output gap for El Salvador and compares it to those of other Central American countries. It examines potential growth before and after the global financial crisis and its likely medium-term trajectory.
Moazzam Farooq and Sajjad Zaheer
Rapid growth of Islamic banking in developing countries is accompanied with claims about its relative resilience to financial crises as compared to conventional banking. However, little empirical evidence is available to support such claims. Using data from Pakistan, where Islamic and conventional banks co-exist, we compare these banks during a financial panic. Our results show that Islamic bank branches are less prone to deposit withdrawals during financial panics, both unconditionally and after controlling for bank characteristics. The Islamic branches of banks that have both Islamic and conventional operations tend to attract (rather than lose) deposits during panics, which suggests a role for religious branding. We also find that Islamic bank branches grant more loans during financial panics and that their lending decisions are less sensitive to changes in deposits. Our findings suggest that greater financial inclusion of faith-based groups may enhance the stability of the banking system.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This evaluation assesses the IMF’s response to the global financial and economic crisis, focusing on the period September 2008 through 2013. It assesses the IMF’s actions to help contain the crisis and navigate a global recovery, assist individual economies to cope with the impact of the crisis, and identify and warn about future risks.

Aledjandro Lopez Mejia, Suliman Aljabrin, Rachid Awad, Mr. Mohamed Norat, and Mr. In W Song
This paper aims at developing a better understanding of Islamic banking (IB) and providing policy recommendations to enhance the supervision of Islamic banks (IBs). It points out and discusses similarities and differences of IBs with conventional banks (CBs) and reviews whether the IBs are more stable than CBs. Given the risks faced by IBs, the paper concludes that they need a legal, corporate and regulatory framework as much as CB does. The paper also argues that it is important to ensure operational independence of the supervisory agency, which has to be supported by adequate resources, a sound legal framework, a well designed governance structure, and robust accountability practices.
International Monetary Fund
The 2009 reforms have broadly achieved their objective of closing gaps and creating a streamlined architecture of facilities that is better tailored to the diverse needs of LICs. Supported by the financing package to boost the PRGT’s lending capacity for 2009–14 and the accompanying doubling of access, the Fund was able to mount an effective response to LICs’ needs during the global financial crisis.
International Monetary Fund
External study prepared by Stephen Pickford, former IMF/World Bank Executive Director for the United Kingdom and former Managing Director of International and Europe at H.M. Treasury and G-20 Finance Deputy, United Kingdom: Surveillance (both bilateral and multilateral) is a key instrument for the Fund’s crisis prevention role, analyzing economic developments and policies at national, regional and global levels. It also identifies risks and vulnerabilities, and forms the main basis for the Fund‘s discussions with policy-makers.
International Monetary Fund
This paper serves as background reference to the paper, "2011 Review of the Standards and Codes Initiative." The Initiative, which covers standards in 12 policy areas relevant for Bank and Fund work, was created as an integral part of a global response to promote financial stability in the aftermath of the Asian crisis in the 1990s. This paper discusses developments since the Initiative’s last review in 2005. In particular, it covers the evolution of standards in the 12 policy areas, progress in implementing measures to improve the effectiveness of the Initiative, the role that the Initiative played in the recent global crisis, and perceptions of major stakeholders reflected in survey responses and bilateral consultations conducted by staff.