International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Assistance Report discusses the findings and recommendations made by the IMF mission regarding monetary and foreign exchange operations in Uganda, Bank of Uganda (BOU) recapitalization, and Bank of Uganda Act revision. The presence of sizable precautionary and involuntary reserves and excessive short-end volatility has weakened the transmission mechanism in Uganda. The key challenge remains to enhance monetary and fiscal policy coordination and to ensure that institutional and operational arrangements are robust and conducive to efficient monetary operations framework. The BOU should raise the effectiveness of the monetary and foreign exchange operations framework. To foster further market development there is need to anchor short-term interest rates by using various fine-tuning instruments to ensure improved operational efficiency and strengthen transmission of policy signals across the curve.
Mr. Emre Alper, Mr. R. Armando Morales, and Mr. Fan Yang
This paper analyzes the degree to which volatility in interbank interest rates leads to volatility in financial instruments with longer maturities (e.g., T-bills) in Kenya since 2012, year in which the monetary policy framework switched to a forward-looking approach, relative to seven other inflation targeting (IT) countries (Ghana, Hungary, Poland, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, and Uganda). Kenya shows strong volatility transmission and high persistence similar to other countries in transition to a more forward-looking monetary policy framework. These results emphasize the importance of a strong commitment to an interbank rate as an operational target and suggest that the central bank could reduce uncertainty in short-term yields significantly by smoothing out the overnight interest rates around the policy rate.
We develop a tractable small open-economy model to study the first-round effects of international food price shocks in developing countries. We define first-round effects as changes in headline inflation that, holding core inflation constant, help implement relative price adjustments. The model features three goods (food, a generic traded good and a non-traded good), varying degrees of tradability of the food basket, and alternative international asset market structures (complete and incomplete markets, and financial autarky). First-round effects depend crucially on the asset market structure and the different transmission mechanisms they trigger. Under complete markets, inter-temporal substitution prevails, making the inflationary impact of international food prices proportional to the food share in consumption, which in developing economies is typically large. Under financial autarky, the income channel is dominant, and first-round effects are instead proportional to the country's food balance—the difference between the country's food endowment and its consumption—which in developing countries is typically small. The latter result holds regardless of the degree of food tradability. Incomplete markets yield a combination of the two extremes. Our results cast some doubt on the view that international food price shocks are inherently inflationary in developing countries.
Mr. Paulo Drummond, Mr. S. K Wajid, and Mr. Oral Williams
The countries in the East African Community (EAC) are among the fastest growing economies in sub-Saharan Africa. The EAC countries are making significant progress toward financial integration, including harmonization of supervisory arrangements and practices and the modernization of monetary policy frameworks. This book focuses on regional integration in the EAC and argues that the establishment of a time table for the eliminating the sensitive-products list and establishing a supranational legal framework for resolving trade disputes are important reforms that should foster regional integration.
This paper surveys the evidence on the effectiveness of monetary transmission in low-income countries. It is hard to come away from this review with much confidence in the strength of monetary transmission in such countries. We distinguish between the "facts on the ground" and "methodological deficiencies" interpretations of the absence of evidence for strong monetary transmission. We suspect that "facts on the ground" are an important part of the story. If this conjecture is correct, the stabilization challenge in developing countries is acute indeed, and identifying the means of enhancing the effectiveness of monetary policy in such countries is an important challenge.
We analyze factors driving persistently higher financial intermediation costs in low-income countries (LICs) relative to emerging market (EMs) country comparators. Using the net interest margin as a proxy for financial intermediation costs at the bank level, we find that within LICs a substantial part of the variation in interest margins can be explained by bank-specific factors: margins tend to increase with higher riskiness of credit portfolio, lower bank capitalization, and smaller bank size. Overall, we find that concentrated market structures and lack of competition in LICs banking systems and institutional weaknesses constitute the key impediments preventing financial intermediation costs from declining. Our results provide strong evidence that policies aimed at fostering banking competition and strengthening institutional frameworks can reduce intermediation costs in LICs.
This supplement presents ten case studies, which highlight the roles of targeted policies to facilitate sustainable financial deepening in a variety of country circumstances, reflecting historical experiences that parallel a range of markets in LICs. The case studies were selected to broadly capture efforts by countries to increase reach (e.g., financial inclusion), depth (e.g., financial intermediation), and breadth of financial systems (e.g., capital market, cross-border development). The analysis in the case studies highlights the importance of a balanced approach to financial deepening. A stable macroeconomic environment is vital to instill consumer, institutional, and investor confidence necessary to encourage financial market activity. Targeted public policy initiatives (e.g., collateral, payment systems development) can be helpful in removing impediments and creating infrastructure for improved market operations, while ensuring appropriate oversight and regulation of financial markets, to address potential sources of instability and market failures.
This paper aims to widen the lens through which surveillance is conducted in LICs, to better account for the interplay between financial deepening and macro-financial stability as called for in the 2011 Triennial Surveillance Review. Reflecting the inherent risk-return tradeoffs associated with financial deepening, the paper seeks to shed light on the policy and institutional impediments in LICs that have a bearing on the effectiveness of macroeconomic policies, macro-financial stability, and growth. The paper focuses attention on the role of enabling policies in facilitating sustainable financial deepening. In framing the discussion, the paper draws on a range of conceptual and analytical tools, empirical analyses, and case studies.