Monetary Issues in the Middle East and North Africa Region

Author: Simon Gray
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1484337603
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download Now
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, Docs
Download Now
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, Docs
Download Now
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, Docs
Download Now
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, Docs
Download Now
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
Download Now
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, Mobi
Download Now
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.

From Privilege to Competition

Author: World Bank
Publisher: World Bank Publications
ISBN: 9780821378892
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
'From Privilege to Competition: Unlocking Private-Led Growth in the Middle East and North Africa' sheds new light on the difficult quest for stronger and more diversified growth in a region of unquestionable potential. It underlines the need to strengthen reforms in many areas specifically, by reducing policy uncertainty and improving credit and real estate markets. It also highlights other important issues that restrain the credibility and impact of reforms in many parts of the region: conflicts of interest between politicians and businesses, an investment climate that favors a few privileged firms, and a dominant private sector that often opposes reforms. The book recommends that countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) engage in more credible reform agendas by improving the implementation of policies in a manner that will reduce discretion and privileges. This renewed commitment to stronger growth would entail several developments. First, governments will need to reduce opportunities for rent-seeking and foster competition. Second, they will need to work to reform institutions: private sector development policies will need to be systematically anchored in elements of institutional and public sector reforms in order to reduce discretion and opacity and improve the quality of services to firms. Third, they will need to mobilize all stakeholders, including larger representations from the private sector, around dedicated long-term growth strategies. Short of such a fundamental shift in the way private sector policies are formulated and implemented, investor expectations that governments are committed to reform will be limited. It will take political will and time to support sustained reforms that credibly convince investors and the public that changes are real, deep, and set to last. MENA countries are endowed with strong human capital, good infrastructure, immense resources, and a great deal of untapped creativity and entrepreneurship. The economic and social payoff of embarking on a more ambitious private-led growth agenda could thus be immense for all.

Monetary Policy and the Central Bank in Jordan

Author: Samar Maziad
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1451917627
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download Now
The Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) and its operational independence changed over time in line with the evolution of the monetary policy framework and as a result of the currency crisis in the late 1980s. The paper examines the developments of the CBJ, its independence in conducting monetary policy and the various instruments at its disposal, with special focus on the certificates of deposit (CDs) market, the main monetary policy instrument, and the treasury bill market. The paper also examines the issue of the autonomy of monetary policy in Jordan given the influence of world interest rates. Although, Jordan operates an exchange rate peg, which has been fixed to the USD since 1995, there is some room for flexibility in operating monetary policy in the short-run, where the CBJ has some autonomy in determining the spread between domestic and US interest rates. VAR and VECM results suggest that the response of the policy rate in Jordan to innovations in the US Federal Fund''s rate is less than one-for-one. In the short-run, the CBJ appears to conduct monetary policy in response to domestic inflation and a measure of the domestic output gap.