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Last updated January 31, 2023
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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, 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, 2007-07) Sirtaine, Sophie ; Skamnelos, IliasHigh credit growth in Emerging Europe, generally considered a sign of catching-up with the "old" Europe, has begun receiving considerable attention among investors and policymakers alike. Given heightened global risks and the demands under the European Union accession process, the need to better understand this high credit growth's drivers, riskiness, and the possible macroeconomic and financial stability consequences is strong. The authors adopt a holistic approach in reviewing the rapid credit growth experienced in the region, examining macroeconomic, financial sector, corporate sector, and asset market consequences and possible vulnerabilities. They consider three possible scenarios-a catching-up with older European countries, a soft landing as experienced by Portugal in the early 2000s, and a hard landing as experienced by Asia in 1997.
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).