Middle East and Central Asia > Saudi Arabia

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Mr. Olumuyiwa S Adedeji, Mr. Sohaib Shahid, and Ling Zhu
This paper examines real and financial linkages between Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries. Growth spillovers from Saudi Arabia to Bahrain are found to be sizeable and statistically significant, but those to other GCC countries are not found to be significant. Equity market movements in Saudi Arabia are found to have significant implications for other GCC countries, while there is no evidence of co-movements in bonds markets. These findings suggest some degree of interdependence among GCC countries.
Gustavo Adler, Mr. Ruy Lama, and Juan Pablo Medina
We study exchange rate dynamics under cooperative and self-oriented policies in a two-country DSGE model with unconventional monetary and exchange rate policies. The cooperative solution features a large exchange rate adjustment that cushions the impact of negative shocks and a moderate use of unconventional policy instruments. Self-oriented policies (Nash equilibrium), however, entail limited exchange rate movements and an aggressive use of unconventional policies in both countries. Our results highlight the role of international policy cooperation in allowing the exchange rate to play the traditional role of shock absorber.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Saudi Arabia: Selected Issues
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper discusses the options for financing the government fiscal deficit in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government is working to develop a comprehensive strategy to meet its budget financing needs. Although external borrowing could alleviate pressure on the domestic market, it will also create new risks. Reliance on foreign investors may help further enhance transparency. Foreign investors’ demand for diversification could also allow the Saudi government to enjoy attractive yields. Broadening the investor base and ensuring that the government’s debt issuance supports the development of the private debt market could help alleviate some of the negative economic and financial effects of higher government debt.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper discusses performance and risks posed by government-related entities (GREs) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). GREs continue to be a major source of growth and development for the UAE, but they also pose significant fiscal and financial risks. GREs’ debt remains high in the UAE, although it is declining and remains actively managed. To mitigate GREs’ risks, the authorities should build on recent progress and develop an integrated approach, including implementing prudent fiscal policies, enhancing macro- and microprudential frameworks, controlling GREs’ borrowing and integrating them into the public debt management framework, and further strengthening corporate governance and transparency.
Mr. Julio Escolano, Ms. Christina Kolerus, and Mr. Constant A Lonkeng Ngouana
This paper finds that tightening global financial conditions can worsen emerging economies’ public debt dynamics through an increasing interest rate-growth differential, particularly if coupled with high global risk aversion. Latin America and emerging Europe are the regions most likely to be adversely affected. In addition, historical evidence—analyzed by means of a Poisson count model—suggests that the frequency of sovereign debt crises increases in emerging economies at the early stage of U.S. monetary tightening cycles, at times in which the term spread also rises. The timing may be related to abrupt switches of expectations about the future course of policy in the early stages of tightening cycles.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.

Abstract

Despite progress in addressing key fiscal weaknesses in many countries, significant policy challenges remain in advanced, emerging, and low-income economies, and must be faced in an environment where downside risks to growth have increased. Many advanced economies face very large adjustment needs to reduce risks related to high debt ratios. The appropriate pace of adjustment in the short run will depend, for each country, on the intensity of the market pressure it confronts, the magnitude of the risks to growth it faces, and the credibility of its medium-term program. The euro area needs to sustain fiscal consolidation, minimize its growth fallout, and address concerns about the adequacy of crisis resolution mechanisms. In Japan and the United States, sufficiently detailed and ambitious plans to reduce deficits and debts are needed to prevent credibility from weakening. Meanwhile, many emerging economies need to make faster progress in strengthening fiscal fundamentals before cyclical factors or spillovers from advanced economies turn against them. Low-income countries also need to rebuild fiscal buffers, while addressing spending needs.

Mr. Philip R. Gerson and Mr. Manmohan S. Kumar

Abstract

With increasing fiscal challenges in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, multilateral surveillance of fiscal developments, a key part of the IMF's surveillance responsibilities, has gained further importance. In response, the Fiscal Monitor was launched in 2009 to survey and analyze the latest public finance developments, update fiscal implications of the crisis and medium-term fiscal projections, and assess policies to put public finances on a sustainable footing. The Fiscal Monitor is prepared twice a year by the IMF's Fiscal Affairs Department. The Monitor's projections are based on the same database used for the October 2010 World Economic Outlook (WEO) and Global Financial Stability Report.