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The Determinants of Banks' Liquidity Buffers in Central America

  • Corinne Delechat
  • Camila Henao Arbelaez
  • Priscilla S. Muthoora
  • Svetlana Vtyurina
Registered author(s):

    Banks’ liquidity holdings are comfortably above legal or prudential requirements in most Central American countries. While good for financial stability, high systemic liquidity may nonetheless hinder monetary policy transmission and financial markets development. Using a panel of about 100 commercial banks from the region, we find that the demand for precautionary liquidity buffers is associated with measures of bank size, profitability, capitalization, and financial development. Deposit dollarization is also associated with higher liquidity, reinforcing the monetary policy and market development challenges in highly dollarized economies. Improvements in supervision and measures to promote dedollarization, including developing local currency capital markets, would help enhance financial systems’ efficiency and promote intermediation in the region.

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 12/301.

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    Length: 43
    Date of creation: 21 Dec 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/301
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    1. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1998. "Private and Public Supply of Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 1-40, February.
    2. Enrica Detragiache & Thierry Tressel & Poonam Gupta, 2008. "Foreign Banks in Poor Countries: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(5), pages 2123-2160, October.
    3. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Vives, Xavier, 2002. "Coordination failures and the lender of last resort : was Bagehot right after all?," HWWA Discussion Papers 184, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
    4. Agenor, Pierre-Richard & Aizenman, Joshua & Hoffmaister, Alexander W., 2004. "The credit crunch in East Asia: what can bank excess liquid assets tell us?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 27-49, February.
    5. Douglas W. Diamond & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2001. "Liquidity Risk, Liquidity Creation, and Financial Fragility: A Theory of Banking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 287-327, April.
    6. Ralph Chami & Raphael A. Espinoza & Adolfo Barajas & Heiko Hesse, 2010. "Recent Credit Stagnation in the Mena Region; What to Expect? What Can Be Done?," IMF Working Papers 10/219, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
    8. Andreas Jobst & Laura Valderrama & Ivan Guerra & Hemant Shah, 2007. "Public Debt Markets in Central America, Panama, and the Dominican Republic," IMF Working Papers 07/147, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff & Miguel A. Savastano, 2003. "Addicted to Dollars," CEMA Working Papers 594, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
    10. Diamond, Douglas W & Dybvig, Philip H, 1983. "Bank Runs, Deposit Insurance, and Liquidity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 401-19, June.
    11. Heitor Almeida & Murillo Campello & Michael S. Weisbach, 2004. "The Cash Flow Sensitivity of Cash," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1777-1804, 08.
    12. Baltensperger, Ernst, 1980. "Alternative approaches to the theory of the banking firm," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 1-37, January.
    13. Dinger, Valeriya, 2009. "Do foreign-owned banks affect banking system liquidity risk?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 647-657, December.
    14. Santomero, Anthony M, 1984. "Modeling the Banking Firm: A Survey," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 16(4), pages 576-602, November.
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