For the 28 jurisdictions that are members of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, adopting Basel banking standards is a given. But why are some non-member developing countries embracing the reforms when they don’t have to? The answers vary by country, but the final lesson is that regulators should carefully evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of adopting Basel regulations in whole or in part for their nation’s unique situation.
In any economy, banks play the critical role of re-allocating capital, from surplus areas into deficit areas. It is a role that sees them take deposits from the public and use the same to issue loans to businesses, both large and small. But that process hasn’t been happening much in Sub-Saharan Africa. Instead, banks, motivated by risk-aversion, have been funneling liquidity into the coffers of governments through government-issued debt securities. SSA banks must get back to the business of lending to the private sector if they are to escalate shareholder returns.
Emerging markets are already looking forward to 2019, glad to see 2018 nearly behind them. It turned out not to be a good year for emerging markets as a whole, after being on top of the world in 2017. Factors beyond their control—such as the monetary-tightening regime in the United States and high-flying dollar, trade wars and market corrections in developed economies—are largely to blame, but recognizing this will not erase the pain.
At the end of August, leading ratings agency Moody’s downgraded 18 banks and two finance companies in Turkey. According to the agency, the downgrades “primarily reflect a substantial increase in the risk of a downside scenario, where a further negative shift in investor sentiment could lead to a curtailing of wholesale funding”.
It is true that one person can make a difference, for good or ill, for an entire nation; such was the case in Zimbabwe, once touted as the “breadbasket of Africa”, but after 30 plus years under the iron grip of President Robert Mugabe more aptly known as its economic basket case. There is renewed hope with President Emmerson Mnangagwa installed—but how much can one man do?
Global growth is strong, but policymakers need to navigate uncharted waters and enact complex policy changes to keep the world economy on an even keel. The main risk lies not in economic conditions, but in economic policy debates too often distorted by partisanship. We have a chance to leverage new technologies to lift living standards on a sustainable basis—but we need a more level-headed discussion to chart the path forward.
The banking industry in Ukraine has been beset by conditions so dire—from rampant fraud in its main banks, threats of war to foreign capital flight—that some thought it would never fully recover. Yet with help from international partners, the government, under the leadership of the National Bank of Ukraine, is making impressive strides toward putting its banking sector back on solid, fruitful ground.
As April turned to May, the ongoing economic expansion being experienced by the United States officially became the country’s second longest on record. The period, which began in June 2009 when the world’s biggest economy began to emerge from the Great Recession
“The 21st century has arrived.” This was the assessment from Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in early December, as he officially announced his campaign to launch a national cryptocurrency.
Russia’s economy suffered some major setbacks in recent years, especially as a result of low oil prices, slow growth and sanctions. The country’s equity-market performance slumped in response to the unfavourable macroeconomic and political conditions, but in 2017 it turned upbeat as investors flocked back to take advantage of emerging opportunities, creating an environment conducive to further business growth and prosperity for 2018.