Monetary Issues in the Middle East and North Africa Region

Author: Simon Gray
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1484337603
Format: PDF, ePub
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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

Author: Simon Gray
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1484387007
Format: PDF, Mobi
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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.

Issuance of Central Bank Securities International Experiences and Guidelines

Author: Simon Gray
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1513513109
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The paper discusses the reasons for central bank (CB) issuance of securities, and reasons for choosing different approaches e.g. in maturities and target market. It provides evidence on the range of different approaches taken by those CBs which do issue, as well as suggesting reasons why some CBs do not; and provides operational guidelines on the major building blocks of the issuance of CB securities.

Money in the Middle East and North Africa

Author: David Cobham
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136864156
Format: PDF, ePub
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Monetary policy in the Middle East and North African (MENA) countries remains an understudied area; this book fills an important gap by examining monetary policy frameworks and monetary policy strategies in the region. Building on the editors’ earlier book, Monetary Policy and Central Banking in the Middle East and North Africa, which focused on central bank independence issues and on exchange rate regimes, this book emphasises monetary policy strategies. Part I contains an overview of the financial markets and institutions which condition the choice of monetary policy strategy in the countries of the region, followed by single-country studies on aspects of the monetary policy frameworks of Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian Territory and Turkey. Part II includes analyses of the prospects for inflation targeting in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, of the monetary transmission mechanism in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, of the relative advantages of inflation targeting and exchange rate fixity with reference to Egypt, of the problem of fiscal dominance in Egypt, and of the inflationary implications of exchange rate fixity for Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The contributors are experts from universities inside and outside the MENA region, from central banks in the region and from outside institutions such as the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

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

Author: George T. Abed
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1463914091
Format: PDF, ePub
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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.

Pensions in the Middle East and North Africa

Author: Edward Whitehouse
Publisher: World Bank Publications
ISBN: 9780821361856
Format: PDF, ePub
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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.

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

Author: David Cobham
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134023766
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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

Author: The World Bank
Publisher: World Bank Publications
ISBN: 0821388568
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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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.

Trust Voice and Incentives

Author: Hana Brixi
Publisher: World Bank Publications
ISBN: 1464804575
Format: PDF, ePub
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This report examines the role of incentives, trust, and engagement as critical determinants of service delivery performance in MENA countries. Focusing on education and health, the report illustrates how the weak external and internal accountability undermines policy implementation and service delivery performance and how such a cycle of poor performance can be counteracted. Case studies of local success reveal the importance of both formal and informal accountability relationships and the role of local leadership in inspiring and institutionalizing incentives toward better service delivery performance. Enhancing services for MENA citizens requires forging a stronger social contract among public servants, citizens, and service providers while empowering communities and local leaders to find 'best fit' solutions. Learning from the variations within countries, especially the outstanding local successes, can serve as a solid basis for new ideas and inspiration for improving service delivery. Such learning may help the World Bank Group and other donors as well as national and local leaders and civil society, in developing ways to enhance the trust, voice, and incentives for service delivery to meet citizens’ needs and expectations.