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Sebastian Horn and Mr. Futoshi Narita
Over the past two decades, many low-income developing countries have substantially increased openness towards external financing and have received large capital inflows. Using bank-level micro data, this paper finds that capital inflows have been associated with financial deepening through increases in bank loans, deposits, and wholesale funding. Domestic banks increase loans more than foreign banks. There are only modest signs of a build-up in financial vulnerabilities. Causality is examined through an instrumental variable approach and an augmented inverse-probability weighting estimator. These approaches indicate only limited evidence for global push effects, pointing towards the importance of domestic pull factors.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Successful containment of COVID-19 and strong policy support have helped contain the health and economic fallout, and a strong recovery is underway. Growth in 2020 reached 2.9 percent, among the highest in the world. However, labor market conditions remain weak. Corporate balance sheets have worsened, potentially hampering private investment and job prospects. Banks entered the crisis in a stronger position than in previous years, but weaknesses remain. Vietnam’s economy remains heavily reliant on external trade and is vulnerable to trade tensions.
Anh Thi Ngoc Nguyen and Ms. Yuanyan S Zhang
The paper uses firm-level data to assess the financial health of the Vietnamese non-financial corporate sector on the eve of pandemic. Our analysis finds that smaller domestic firms were particularly vulnerable even by regional comparison. A sensitivity analysis suggests that the COVID-19 shock will have a substantial impact on firms’ profitability, liquidity and even solvency, particularly in the hardest hit sectors that are dominated by SMEs and account for a sizeable employment share, but large firms are not immune to the crisis. Risks of default can propagate more broadly through upstream and downstream linkages to industries not directly impacted, with stresses potentially translating into an increase in corporate bankruptcies and bank fragility. Policy measures taken in the immediate aftermath of the crisis have helped alleviate liquidity pressures, but the nature of policy support may have to pivot to support the recovery.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Abstract

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is still unfolding around the globe. In Asia, as elsewhere, the virus has ebbed in some countries but surged in others. The global economy is beginning to recover after a sharp contraction in the second quarter of 2020, as nationwide lockdowns are lifted and replaced with more targeted containment measures.