Foreign bank lending has stopped growing since the global financial crisis. Changes in banks’ business models, balance-sheet adjustments, as well as the tightening of banking regulations are potential drivers of this prolonged slowdown. The existing literature however suggests an opposite effect related to regulation, with tighter regulations encouraging foreign lending through regulatory arbitrage. We investigate this question using new survey data on regulations specific to banks’ international operations. Our results show that regulatory tightening can explain about half of the decline in the foreign lending-to-GDP ratio between 2007 and 2013. Regulatory changes in home countries have had a larger effect than those in host countries.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
Recent events have shown that sovereigns, just like banks, can be subject to runs, highlighting the importance of the investor base for their liabilities. This paper proposes a methodology for compiling internationally comparable estimates of investor holdings of sovereign debt. Based on this methodology, it introduces a dataset for 24 major advanced economies that can be used to track US$42 trillion of sovereign debt holdings on a quarterly basis over 2004-11. While recent outflows from euro periphery countries have received wide attention, most sovereign borrowers have continued to increase reliance on foreign investors. This may have helped reduce borrowing costs, but it can imply higher refinancing risks going forward. Meanwhile, advanced economy banks’ exposure to their own government debt has begun to increase across the board after the global financial crisis, strengthening sovereign-bank linkages. In light of these risks, the paper proposes a framework—sovereign funding shock scenarios (FSS)—to conduct forward-looking analysis to assess sovereigns’ vulnerability to sudden investor outflows, which can be used along with standard debt sustainability analyses (DSA). It also introduces two risk indices—investor base risk index (IRI) and foreign investor position index (FIPI)—to assess sovereigns’ vulnerability to shifts in investor behavior.
Mr. Stijn Claessens, Mr. Hui Tong, and Mr. Igor Esteban Zuccardi Huertas
This paper analyzes through what channels the euro crisis has affected firm valuations globally. It examines stock price responses over the past year for 3045 non-financial firms in 16 countries to three key crisis events. Using pre-crisis benchmarks, it separates effects arising from changes in external financing and trade conditions and examines how bank and trade linkages propagated effects across borders. It finds that policy measures announced impacted financially-constrained firms more, particularly in creditor countries with greater bank exposure to peripheral euro countries. Trade linkages with peripheral countries also played a role, with euro exchange rate movements causing differential effects.
The euro area (EA) plays a major role in the global economy. Market perceptions of events in the EA program countries illustrate the possibility of large spillovers from the area in times of stress. The prospect of large spillovers underscores the urgent need for actions to contain, and eventually overcome, the ongoing crisis. The planned fiscal consolidation in the EA could benefit the rest of the world. Spillovers from gradual monetary policy normalization appear manageable. Execution of the structural reform agenda will carry positive spillovers.
While large inflows of capital into Southeastern Europe (SEE) have raised incomes, this has increased vulnerability to financial risks, which, if realized, can lead to costly adjustments. Traditional vulnerability indicators in SEE have reached levels that in other countries have not been sustainable, and sectoral analysis shows rising imbalances and raises questions about efficient use of the inflows. While factors related to EU integration mitigate these vulnerabilities, weaker institutions reduce these benefits in SEE compared to more advanced European emerging markets. To insure against setbacks to income convergence, SEE policymakers should take measures to reverse the buildup of vulnerabilities.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper highlights that on September 29, 1982, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) began to offer discount notes under a short-term borrowing program approved by its Board last July. The Bank anticipates that in fiscal year 1983, it will have outstanding up to US$1.5 billion in short-term discount notes and that it will borrow about US$8 billion in the fixed-rate medium to long-term markets. The initial offering of notes is being made in the U.S. domestic markets.