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The efficacy of foreign exchange market intervention in Malawi

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  • Simwaka, Kisu
  • Mkandawire, Leslie

Abstract

The Malawi Kwacha was floated in February 1994. Since then, the Reserve Bank of Malawi has periodically intervened in the foreign exchange market. This paper analyses the effectiveness of foreign exchange market interventions carried out by the Reserve Bank of Malawi. We use a GARCH (1, 1) model to simultaneously estimate the effect of intervention on the mean and volatility of the Malawi kwacha. Using monthly exchange rates and official intervention data from January 2002 to February 2006, the empirical results suggest that intervention activities of the Reserve Bank of Malawi affect the kwacha. In line with similar findings elsewhere in the literature, the paper finds that net sales of dollars by the Reserve Bank of Malawi depreciate, rather than appreciate, the kwacha. This effect is very small, however. Moreover, the paper also finds that the Reserve Bank of Malawi intervention reduces the volatility of the kwacha. This shows that the Reserve Bank actually achieves its objective of smoothing out fluctuations of the kwacha. This can be evidenced by the stability of the kwacha during a greater part of 2004. Thus intervention is, to some extent, used as an effective tool for moderating fluctuations of the kwacha. However, its effectiveness is constrained by the amounts of foreign exchange reserves, which are usually low.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 15946.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2008
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Publication status: Published in African Journal of Economic Policy ISSN 1166-4875.AJEP, (2008): pp. 1-38
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15946

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Keywords: Foreign Exchange Market; Official Intervention; GARCH;

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  1. Hali Edison & Paul Cashin & Hong Liang, 2006. "Foreign exchange intervention and the Australian dollar: has it mattered?," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(2), pages 155-171.
  2. Dominguez, Kathryn M., 1998. "Central bank intervention and exchange rate volatility1," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 161-190, February.
  3. Hong Liang & Paul Cashin & Hali J. Edison, 2003. "Foreign Exchange Intervention and the Australian Dollar," IMF Working Papers 03/99, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Robert Andrew & John Broadbent, 1994. "Reserve Bank Operations in the Foreign Exchange Market: Effectiveness and Profitability," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp9406, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  5. Kim, Soyoung, 2003. "Monetary policy, foreign exchange intervention, and the exchange rate in a unifying framework," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 355-386, August.
  6. Jonathan Kearns & Roberto Rigobon, 2002. "Identifying the Efficacy of Central Bank Interventions: The Australian Case," NBER Working Papers 9062, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Kim, Suk-Joong & Sheen, Jeffrey, 2002. "The determinants of foreign exchange intervention by central banks: evidence from Australia," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 619-649, October.
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