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Last updated January 31, 2023
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Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2006-02) Sirtaine, SophieThe author assesses the extent to which Chilean firms have access to sufficient and adequate sources of funds. Access to finance has become an important issue for policymakers in Latin America. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs), in particular, complain that their lack of access to adequate sources of financing is an obstacle to their growth. Chile represents an interesting case study since it has one of the most developed financial markets in the continent, and thus great potential for using products suited to the needs and risk characteristics of SMEs. The author concludes that the largest firms have access to the whole range of financial instruments available in Chile. All smaller firms face financing constraints. She then analyzes the obstacles to downsizing access to the capital market and further increasing the penetration of banks in smaller segments.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2005-12) de la Plaza, Luis ; Sirtaine, SophieThe authors review the series of events that led to the 2002 Uruguayan banking crisis, assess the current status of the Uruguayan banking sector, and analyze the policy responses undertaken by the Uruguayan authorities to counteract the crisis. The main conclusion from their analysis is that although the immediate trigger for the crisis was caused by contagion resulting from Argentina's financial crisis, the spread and magnification of the crisis that engulfed the Uruguayan economy was amplified by certain weaknesses of the Uruguayan economy in general, and the domestic banking sector in particular. The authors also believe that the policy responses adopted by the Uruguayan authorities were mostly adequate, allowing Uruguay to successfully counteract simultaneous banking and public debt crises. Most important, the Uruguayan authorities were able to overcome a severe crisis while preserving the necessary trust in banking contracts, achieving a high level of social stability and political cohesion, and maintaining a fluid dialogue with multilateral financial institutions and all affected parties. The cooperative and consensual approach taken by the authorities created the necessary conditions to overcome some of the important obstacles to the recovery of the domestic banking sector.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2002-08) Sanchez, Susana M. ; Sirtaine, Sophie ; Valente, RitaAmong policymakers and economists, there is a widely held perception that microenterprises1 face severe financing shortages that limit their growth opportunities. Resolving the problems of access to finance as well as the high cost of financing has become the main objective of many government programs. With a view to increasing access to credit for microenterprises in the Northeast Region of Brazil, the World Bank has supported Banco do Nordeste's CrediAmigo microfinance program since 1997. This note describes how Banco do Nordeste initiated CrediAmigo as part of its restructuring strategy and how the program has expanded to become the largest microfinance provider in Brazil. To date, many lessons have emerged, both from CrediAmigo and the World Bank project that supports the program. Brazilian private banks and non-bank financial institutions offer a variety of credit products targeted to micro and small enterprises. These products typically carry very high interest rates and require collateral. Banking networks also leave many areas, particularly poor and remote regions in the Northeast and North of Brazil, underserved. About 57 percent of all municipalities in these regions have no access to a bank branch, compared to a national average of around 30 percent. Although in many other Latin American countries, microfinance institutions have been able to partially fill the gap left by larger institutions, in Brazil, only a small fraction of the potential demand for microfinance appears to be satisfied by the current supply.
Publication(Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2017-05-23) Carneiro, Francisco Galrao ; Sirtaine, Sophie ; Galrao Carneiro, Francisco ; Sirtaine, Sophie ; Aristy-Escuder, Jaime ; Hakobyan, Shushanik ; Lederman, Daniel ; Baez, Javier E. ; García-Suaza, Andrés ; Sousa, Liliana D. ; Sanchez, Diana ; Kone, Zovanga L. ; Ozden, CaglarThe Dominican Republic stands out as a fast growing economy that has not been able to generate a commensurate reduction in poverty. Three reasons have been raised before to explain this conundrum: (i) a labor market that does not translate productivity gains into salary increases; (ii) a domestic economy with weak inter-sectoral linkages; (iii) and a public sector that does not spend enough nor particularly well to reduce poverty. In addition, the country remains largely exposed to natural disasters and exogenous shocks that, if not mitigated properly, may affect the sustainability of growth in the medium and longer terms. This book assembles a collection of empirical analyses that explore three complementary hypotheses that could help understand why the Dominican Republic continues, to this date, experiencing high economic growth rates with limited poverty reduction. The first hypothesis is concerned with testing whether the observed pattern of fast economic growth cum persistent poverty in the DR is partly driven by a poverty methodology that does not account for price variation that affects distinctly the consumption patterns of low-income and better-off households. If that hypothesis holds, the DR may face a situation in which household income for households at the bottom of the distribution is underestimated. The second hypothesis tests whether the pattern of specialization in the DR might be such that it does not favor unskilled labor. If that hypothesis holds, then returns to capital are probably much higher than returns to labor which would be an indication that the DR has had a comparative advantage in products that are capital intensive instead of labor-intensive. The third hypothesis investigates whether poverty and wage inequality in the DR are affected not only by immigration but also by emigration. The contribution of the volume, therefore, lies in precisely offering a more careful exploration of specific issues around common explanations for the shortcomings of the DR in reducing poverty on a faster basis.
Structured Finance in Latin America : Channeling Pension Funds to Housing, Infrastructure, and Small Businesses(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2007) Cheikhrouhou, Hela ; Gwinner, W. Britt ; Pollner, John ; Salinas, Emanuel ; Sirtaine, Sophie ; Vittas, DimitriThe report covers several types of structured finance with such capital market instruments as mortgage-backed securities, structured bond issues for infrastructure financing, securitization of small and medium enterprises (SME)-related assets, and securitization of loans to SMEs. The report also covers factoring and leasing, which can be important sources of finance for SMEs and can be pooled and packaged into marketable securities and sold to pension funds. The report does not cover other types of structured finance, such as exchange trade funds, structured notes with capital protection, or structured financing outside capital markets, such as bank syndications. Chapter 1 focuses on private pension fund investment management and the role of structured bonds. Chapter 2 focuses on the increasing use of structured finance for housing in Latin American countries. Chapter 3 deals with the less developed yet promising area of structured bonds for infrastructure financing. Chapter 4 focuses on the use of structured bonds for SME finance, still in the experimental stage. The report discusses the role of the government in supporting small and medium loan securitizations through partial guarantees (as in Spain) to share the risk of borrower default and through the development of an SME securitization conduit (as in Germany).