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IMF Global Financial Stability Report

“The Global Financial Stability Report provides an assessment of the global financial system and markets, and addresses emerging market financing in a global context. It focuses on current market conditions, highlighting systemic issues that could pose a risk to financial stability and sustained market access by emerging market borrowers. The Report draws out the financial ramifications of economic imbalances highlighted by the IMF’s World Economic Outlook. It contains, as special features, analytical chapters or essays on structural or systemic issues relevant to international financial stability. October 2015:  Financial stability has improved in advanced economies since April, but risks continue to rotate toward emerging markets. The global financial outlook is clouded by a triad of policy challenges: emerging market vulnerabilities, legacy issues from the crisis in advanced economies, and weak systemic market liquidity. Although many emerging market economies have enhanced their policy frameworks and resilience to external shocks, several key economies face substantial domestic imbalances and lower growth. Recent market developments such as slumping commodity prices, China’s bursting equity bubble and pressure on exchange rates underscore these challenges. The prospect of the U.S. Federal Reserve gradually raising interest rates points to an unprecedented adjustment in the global financial system as financial conditions and risk premiums “normalize” from historically low levels alongside rising policy rates and a modest cyclical recovery. Chapter 2 examines in detail the factors that influence levels of liquidity in securities markets, as well as the implications of low liquidity. Currently, market liquidity is being supported by benign cyclical conditions. Although it is too early to assess the impact of recent regulatory changes on market liquidity, changes in market structure, such as larger holdings of corporate bonds by mutual funds, appear to have increased the fragility of liquidity. Chapter 3 studies the growing level of corporate debt in emerging markets, which quadrupled between 2003 and 2014. The report finds that global drivers have played an increasing role in leverage growth, issuance, and spreads. Moreover, higher leverage has been associated with, on average, rising foreign currency exposures. It also finds that despite weaker balance sheets, firms have managed to issue bonds at better terms as a result of favorable financial conditions.”

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