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Mr. Tanai Khiaonarong and David Humphrey
Cash use in most countries is falling slowly. On the margin, younger adults favor cash substitutes over cash. For older adults it is the reverse. Revealed preference tied to a changing population age structure seems to be the main influence on the demand for cash and why it is falling. Cash use may continue to fall, and card use (the main cash substitute) may fall by more, if CBDC is issued. The extent of this reduction depends on the demand for retail CBDC and the incentives (primarily transaction fees) that can play a determining role in CBDC adoption and use.
Mr. Evan Papageorgiou and Rohit Goel
An interesting disconnect has taken shape between local currency- and hard currency-denominated bonds in emerging markets with respect to their portfolio flows and prices since the start of the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Emerging market assets have recovered sharply from the COVID-19 sell-off in 2020, but the post-pandemic recovery in 2021 has been highly uneven. This note seeks to answer why. Yields of local currency-denominated bonds have risen faster and are approaching their pandemic highs, while hard currency bond yields are still near their post-pandemic lows. Portfolio flows to local currency debt have similarly lagged flows to hard currency bonds. This disconnect is closely linked to the external environment and fiscal and inflationary pressures. Its evolution remains a key consideration for policymakers and investors, since local markets are the main source of funding for emerging markets. This note draws from the methodology developed in earlier Global Financial Stability Reports on fundamentals-based asset valuation models for funding costs and forecasting models for capital flows (using the at-risk framework). The results are consistent across models, indicating that local currency assets are significantly more sensitive to domestic fundamentals while hard currency assets are dependent on the external risk sentiment to a greater extent. This suggests that the post-pandemic, stressed domestic fundamentals have weighed on local currency bonds, partially offsetting the boost from supportive global risk sentiment. The analysis also highlights the risks emerging markets face from an asynchronous recovery and weak domestic fundamentals.
International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept.
This report summarizes the AML/CFT measures in place in the Republic of South Africa (South Africa) as at the date of the onsite visit (October 22 to November 12, 2019). It analyses the level of compliance with the FATF 40 Recommendations and the level of effectiveness of South Africa’s AML/CFT system and provides recommendations on how the system could be strengthened.
Mr. Thierry Tressel and Xiaodan Ding
Corporate sector vulnerabilities have been a central policy topic since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this paper, we analyze some 17,000 publicly listed firms in a sample of 24 countries, and assess their ability to withstand shocks induced by the pandemic to their liquidity, viability and solvency. For this purpose, we develop novel multi-factor sensitivity analysis and dynamic scenario-based stress test techniques to assess the impact of shocks on firm’s ability to service their debt, and on their liquidity and solvency positions. Applying the October 2020 WEO baseline and adverse scenarios, we find that a large share of publicly-listed firms become vulnerable as a result of the pandemic shock and additional borrowing needs to overcome cash shortfalls are large, while firm behavioral responses and policies substantially help overcome the impact of the shock in the near term. Looking forward, while interest coverage ratios tend to improve over time after the initial shock as earnings recover in line with projected macroeconomic conditions, liquidity needs remain substantial in many firms across countries and across industries, while insolvencies rise over time in specific industries. To inform policy debates, we offer an approach to a triage between viable and unviable firms, and find that the needs for liquidity support of viable firms remain important beyond 2020, and that medium-term debt restructuring needs and liquidations of firms may be substantial in the medium-term.
Israel Fainboim Yaker, Mr. Sandeep Saxena, and Michael J. Williams
Well-developed cash management aims to improve government operational efficiency and facilitates better service delivery by ensuring liquidity to meet payment obligations as they fall due. Liquidity, however, comes at a cost. Governments can reduce the cost of maintaining liquidity by proactively managing their cash balance at an appropriate level and prudently investing any excess liquidity. This note discusses the policy framework and processes that governments should put in place to identify, guide, and govern the investment of their surplus cash resources.