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Monetary Issues in the Middle East and North Africa Region

Monetary Issues in the Middle East and North Africa Region Author Simon Gray
ISBN-10 9781484337608
Release 2013-05-15
Pages 176
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This paper documents the main themes covered in two seminars (December 2011 and September 2012) on monetary policy and implementation at the IMF—Middle East Center for Economics and Finance, and includes country case studies. Against the backdrop of the global financial crisis and swings in cross-border capital flows, operational frameworks have become more flexible, and liquidity management has impacted the relationship between the policy rate corridor and market rates. The balance sheet structure of central banks in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) shows differences between oil exporters and others, while a few countries have exhibited notable changes since early 2011. Collateral now has a significant financial stability function. Although only one MENA country is part of the G20, implementation of the Basel III bank capital adequacy and liquidity rules will most likely impact banks’ way of doing business in MENA countries, even if indirectly.

Are Banks Really Lazy Evidence from Middle East and North Africa

Are Banks Really Lazy  Evidence from Middle East and North Africa Author Simon Gray
ISBN-10 9781484387009
Release 2014-05-13
Pages 40
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We investigate whether low loan-to-deposit (LTD) ratios and high levels of reserve balances at the central bank (or holdings of government securities) are a reflection of policy-driven factors compared to commonly cited reasons of reluctance to lend or sometimes weak investment demand in uncertain environments. We examine changes to central bank (CB) balance sheet structures as well as commercial banks’ flow of funds over the period 2007–2012. First, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) CBs play an active role in view of their size that is very large with respect to their economies compared to CBs in advanced economies. Second, under exchange rate targeting, most MENA CB balance sheets are asset-driven, holding foreign exchange (FX) reserves to support the exchange rate policy and resulting in lower loan-to-deposit (LTD) ratios in the case of unsterilized increases in FX. Third, CB policy decisions seem to be accompanied by an increase in commercial bank reserve money balances, with ensuing reduction in the LTD. Finally, if governments meet their financing needs from the banking system—whether from commercial banks or by monetary financing—commercial bank balance sheets will tend to expand, resulting in lower LTD ratios. Our analysis suggests that government and CB actions may also drive the demand for and supply of credit, which are traditionally attributed to the behavior of banks and non-financial corporates and households only. The findings offer a different interpretation of changes in CB and banks’ balance sheets, with direct implications for LTD, calling to exercise caution in recommending policy action which aim at propping up LTD to ‘appropriate’ levels in an effort to reinvigorate credit following a downturn.

Challenges of Growth and Globalization in the Middle East and North Africa

Challenges of Growth and Globalization in the Middle East and North Africa Author George T. Abed
ISBN-10 9781463914097
Release 2003-09-05
Pages 24
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The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is an economically diverse region. Despite undertaking economic reforms in many countries, and having considerable success in avoiding crises and achieving macroeconomic stability, the region's economic performance in the past 30 years has been below potential. This paper takes stock of the region's relatively weak performance, explores the reasons for this out come, and proposes an agenda for urgent reforms.

Monetary Policy and Central Banking in the Middle East and North Africa

Monetary Policy and Central Banking in the Middle East and North Africa Author David Cobham
ISBN-10 9781134023769
Release 2009-01-13
Pages 272
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This book examines monetary policy, central banking and exchange rate regimes in the Middle East and North Africa. Part I covers central banking and monetary policy, while Part II covers monetary policy and exchange rate regimes. Some chapters focus on the monetary frameworks of particular countries, including Lebanon, Algeria, Syria, Tunisia, Morocco, and Turkey, outlining the different systems operated in each case, considering their successes and failures, and discussing important issues such as government policy, macroeconomic performance, inflation and inflation targeting, central bank independence and the impact of broader political economic developments on the conduct of monetary policy. Other chapters cover thematic issues across the whole region, including: central bank independence, operations of debtor central banks, the effect of exchange rates on inflation, and the effect on countries’ trade of alternative exchange rate regimes. Drawing on the insights of scholars and policy-makers, this book is a vital resource for anyone wanting to understand the economies of the Middle East and North Africa.

Financial Access and Stability

Financial Access and Stability Author The World Bank
ISBN-10 9780821388563
Release 2011-09-21
Pages 364
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The countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have been recovering from the global financial crisis, but the recent political turmoil has interrupted the pace of credit and output recovery in many countries. The political turmoil in the MENA region reveals deep-seated frustrations and a sense of political, social, and economic exclusion, especially among the youth. The relatively weak growth performance reflects a combination of insufficient reforms and weak reform implementation, including financial sector reforms. The structural weaknesses of financial sectors imply that access to finance may remain restricted even with a full recovery of credit activity. Therefore, the region s countries face an ambitious reform agenda to revert two decades of relatively poor performance of output and employment growth. Financial development should be a central component of the region s growth agenda. This study reviews the region s financial systems, the severity of the limitations on access to finance, and the main factors behind such limitations. It goes on to provide a road map for expanding access and preserving financial stability.

Macroprudential Policy and Financial Stability in the Arab Region

Macroprudential Policy and Financial Stability in the Arab Region Author Ananthakrishnan Prasad
ISBN-10 9781475525953
Release 2016-08-16
Pages 57
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Several characteristics of the structure of the Arab economies, their economic policy framework, and their banking systems make macroprudential policy a particular relevant tool. For most oil exporters, heavy reliance on the extractive sector for generating fiscal revenues and export earnings translates into increased vulnerabilities to oil price shocks. In the case of oil importers, relatively small external and fiscal buffers make them highly vulnerable to shocks. This paper discusses the experience of Arab countries in implementing macroprudential policies and contains recommendations to strengthen their macroprudential framework.

Monetary Policy in the Presence of Islamic Banking

Monetary Policy in the Presence of Islamic Banking Author Mariam El Hamiani Khatat
ISBN-10 9781475515244
Release 2016-03-21
Pages 41
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This paper discusses key issues related to the conduct of monetary policy in countries that have Islamic banks. It describes the macrofinancial background and monetary policy frameworks where Islamic banks typically operate, and discusses the monetary transmission mechanism in economies where Islamic and conventional banking coexist. Most economies with Islamic banks also have conventional banks and this calls for a comprehensive approach to monetary policy. At the same time, a dual approach to monetary policy should be considered whenever the Islamic segment of the financial system is not as developed as the conventional one. The paper tries to shed light on potential spillovers between conventional and Islamic financial systems, and proposes specific recommendations on the design of Islamic monetary policy operations and for facilitating monetary transmission through the Islamic financial system.

The Economic Impact of Conflicts and the Refugee Crisis in the Middle East and North Africa

The Economic Impact of Conflicts and the Refugee Crisis in the Middle East and North Africa Author Mr.Bjoern Rother
ISBN-10 9781475533422
Release 2016-09-16
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In recent decades, the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) has experienced more frequent and severe conflicts than in any other region of the world, exacting a devastating human toll. The region now faces unprecedented challenges, including the emergence of violent non-state actors, significant destruction, and a refugee crisis bigger than any since World War II. This paper raises awareness of the economic costs of conflicts on the countries directly involved and on their neighbors. It argues that appropriate macroeconomic policies can help mitigate the impact of conflicts in the short term, and that fostering higher and more inclusive growth can help address some of the root causes of conflicts over the long term. The paper also highlights the crucial role of external partners, including the IMF, in helping MENA countries tackle these challenges.

Pensions in the Middle East and North Africa

Pensions in the Middle East and North Africa Author Edward Whitehouse
ISBN-10 0821361856
Release 2005-01-01
Pages 253
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This is the first comprehensive assessment of pension systems in the Middle East and North Africa. While other regions—Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America, in particular—have been actively introducing reforms to their pension systems, Middle East and North African countries have lagged behind. This is explained, in part, by the common belief that, because demographics remain favorable—the countries are young and the labor force is expanding rapidly—financial problems are far in the future; as a result, pension reform does not have to be a priority in the broader policy agenda.However, the authors show that aging is not the only factor behind a financial crisis; the problem is the generosity of the current schemes. Moreover, badly designed benefit formulas and eligibility conditions introduce unnecessary economic distortions and make the systems vulnerable to adverse distributional transfers. The book does not present a general model that could solve the problems of all pension systems in Middle East and North Africa countries. Instead the authors focus on outlining a framework for guiding discussions on pension reform and making objective policy choices.This assessment will be useful for policy makers and government officials involved in pension reform in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The Road Not Traveled

The Road Not Traveled Author Ahmed Galal
ISBN-10 0821370626
Release 2008
Pages 359
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"Education is a powerful force that can speed up economic growth, improve income distribution, facilitate social mobility, and reduce poverty. It can also improve the quality of life for citizens by contributing to longer life expectancy, lower fertility and infant mortality rates, and a more cohesive national identity. However, none of these positive outcomes are automatic. All too often, investment in education generates low returns to the individuals involved and society at large. Thus, while investment in education is a necessary condition for faster development and prosperity, it is by no means sufficient. This MENA flagship report explores whether past investments in education in the region have generated their maximum economic returns, and, if not, why they have failed to do so. Ultimately, the answers to these questions are being sought to help policymakers chart more fruitful strategies in the future." -- Overview (p. 1).

Ten Steps to a Results Based Monitoring and Evaluation System

Ten Steps to a Results Based Monitoring and Evaluation System Author Jody Zall Kusek
ISBN-10 9780821389072
Release 2004-06-15
Pages 264
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This Handbook provides a comprehensive ten-step model that will help guide development practitioners through the process of designing and building a results-based monitoring and evaluation system.

The Information Revolution in the Middle East and North Africa

The Information Revolution in the Middle East and North Africa Author Grey E. Burkhart
ISBN-10 STANFORD:36105112968198
Release 2003
Pages 74
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Explores the future of the information revolution in the countries of the Middle East and North America.

Monetary Policy in Sub Saharan Africa

Monetary Policy in Sub Saharan Africa Author Andrew Berg
ISBN-10 9780191088834
Release 2018-03-22
Pages 336
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Low-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa present unique monetary policy challenges, from the high share of volatile food in consumption to underdeveloped financial markets; however most academic and policy work on monetary policy is aimed at much richer countries. Can economic models and methods invented for rich countries even be adapted and applied here? How does and should monetary policy work in sub-Saharan African? Monetary Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa answers these questions and provides practical tools and policy guidance to respond to the complex challenges of this region. Most countries in sub-Saharan Africa have made great progress in stabilizing inflation over the past two decades. As they have achieved a degree of basic macroeconomic stability, policymakers are looking to avoid policy misalignments and respond appropriately to shocks in order to achieve stability and growth. Officially, they often have adopted "money targeting" frameworks, a regime that has long disappeared from almost all advanced and even emerging-market discussions. In practice, though, they are in many cases finding current regimes lacking, with opaque and sometimes inconsistent objectives, inadequate transmission of policy to the economy, and difficulties in responding to supply shocks. Monetary Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa takes a new approach by applying dynamic general equilibrium models suitably adapted to reflect key features of low-income countries for the analysis of monetary policy in sub-Saharan African countries. Using a progressive approach derived from the International Monetary Fund's extensive practice and research, Monetary Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa seeks to address what we know about the empirics of monetary transmission in low-income countries, how monetary policy can work in countries characterized by underdeveloped financial markets and opaque policy regimes, and how we can use empirical and theoretical methods largely derived in advanced countries to answer these questions. It then uses these key topics to guide policymakers as they attempt to adjust food price, terms of trade, aid shocks, and the effects of the global financial crisis.

An Overview of Islamic Finance

An Overview of Islamic Finance Author Mr. Mumtaz Hussain
ISBN-10 9781513561486
Release 2015-06-02
Pages 35
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Islamic finance has started to grow in international finance across the globe, with some concentration in few countries. Nearly 20 percent annual growth of Islamic finance in recent years seems to point to its resilience and broad appeal, partly owing to principles that govern Islamic financial activities, including equity, participation, and ownership. In theory, Islamic finance is resilient to shocks because of its emphasis on risk sharing, limits on excessive risk taking, and strong link to real activities. Empirical evidence on the stability of Islamic banks, however, is so far mixed. While these banks face similar risks as conventional banks do, they are also exposed to idiosyncratic risks, necessitating a tailoring of current risk management practices. The macroeconomic policy implications of the rapid expansion of Islamic finance are far reaching and need careful considerations.

Corporate Governance of State Owned Enterprises A Survey of OECD Countries

Corporate Governance of State Owned Enterprises A Survey of OECD Countries Author OECD
ISBN-10 9789264009431
Release 2005-12-16
Pages 232
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Presents the OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises as well as a comparative overview of main practices and issues related to corporate governance of state-owned enterprises in the OECD area.

The Future Security Environment in the Middle East

The Future Security Environment in the Middle East Author Nora Bensahel
ISBN-10 9780833036193
Release 2004-03-12
Pages 365
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This report identifies several important trends that are shaping regional security. It examines traditional security concerns, such as energy security and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as newer challenges posed by political reform, economic reform, civil-military relations, leadership change, and the information revolution. The report concludes by identifying the implications of these trends for U.S. foreign policy.

Oversight Issues in Mobile Payments

Oversight Issues in Mobile Payments Author Tanai Khiaonarong
ISBN-10 9781484305126
Release 2014-07-15
Pages 35
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This paper examines oversight issues that underlie the potential growth and risks in mobile payments. International experience suggests that financial authorities can develop effective oversight frameworks for new payment methods to safeguard public confidence and financial stability by establishing: (i) a clear legal regime; (ii) proportionate AML/CFT measures to prevent financial integrity risks; (iii) fund safeguarding measures such as insurance, similar guarantee schemes, or “pass through” deposit insurance; (iv) contingency plans for operational disruptions; and (v) risk controls and access criteria in payment systems. Such measures are particularly important for low-income countries where diffusion is becoming more widespread.