KEY FI­NANCE UP­DATES

Financial Nigeria Magazine - - Finance - Com­piled by Daniel Iyanda

IMF ap­points Har­vard Pro­fes­sor Gita Gopinath as Chief Econ­o­mist

The In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund (IMF) has ap­pointed Gita Gopinath as the Eco­nomic Coun­sel­lor and Di­rec­tor of the IMF’s Re­search Depart­ment. She will suc­ceed Mau­rice Ob­st­feld, who would be re­tir­ing at the end of the year. Gopinath cur­rently serves as the John Zwaaanstra Pro­fes­sor of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies and Eco­nomics at Har­vard Uni­ver­sity.

In an­nounc­ing the ap­point­ment, IMF Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Chris­tine La­garde, said: “Gita is one of the world’s out­stand­ing econ­o­mists, with im­pec­ca­ble aca­demic cre­den­tials, a proven track record of in­tel­lec­tual lead­er­ship, and ex­clu­sive in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Ac­cord­ing to the state­ment by the IMF, Gopinath is the co-ed­i­tor of the Amer­i­can Eco­nomic Re­view and co-di­rec­tor of the In­ter­na­tional Fi­nance and Macro­eco­nomics Pro­gram at the Na­tional Bu­reau of Eco­nomic Re­search. She, also, co-edited the cur­rent Hand­book of In­ter­na­tional Eco­nomics with the former IMF Eco­nomic Coun­sel­lor, Ken­neth Ro­goff. She has au­thored about 40 re­search ar­ti­cles on ex­change rates, trade and in­vest­ment, in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial crises, mone­tary pol­icy, debt, and emerg­ing mar­ket crises.

With her ap­point­ment, the IMF joins the Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment (OECD) and World Bank in hav­ing a woman in the top eco­nomic role.

New part­ner­ship to drive fi­nance for small­holder farm­ers in Africa

The In­ter­na­tional Fund for Agri­cul­ture De­vel­op­ment (IFAD) and the Global In­no­va­tion Lab for Cli­mate Fi­nance (the Lab) has an­nounced a new part­ner­ship that will help build cli­mate re­silience for small­holder farm­ers in Cen­tral and West Africa by de­vel­op­ing and scal­ing up in­no­va­tive fi­nan­cial in­stru­ments.

The new part­ner­ship was an­nounced on the side­lines of the 73rd ses­sion of the United Na­tions Gen­eral Assem­bly on Septem­ber 28. Un­der the new part­ner­ship, IFAD will bring its ex­per­tise on agri­cul­ture fi­nanc­ing to com­ple­ment the Lab’s mem­ber­ship of pri­vate in­vestors, gov­ern­ments, de­vel­op­ment fi­nance in­sti­tu­tions, phi­lan­thropies, and fi­nan­cial ex­perts.

Through its Adap­ta­tion for Small­holder Agri­cul­ture Pro­gramme (ASAP), IFAD will be spon­sor­ing the de­vel­op­ment of two in­stru­ments within a new the­matic stream for small­holder agri­cul­ture fi­nanc­ing in the Lab’s 2018-2019 cy­cle, start­ing in Oc­to­ber.

Cli­mate change, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment, has in­creased the fre­quency and mag­ni­tude of nat­u­ral haz­ards, lead­ing to $1.5 tril­lion in eco­nomic da­m­ages from 2003 to 2013, ir­re­versible neg­a­tive im­pacts on hu­man and ecosys­tem health, and threats to lo­cal and global food se­cu­rity.

Since its launch in 2014, the Lab – a net­work of pub­lic and pri­vate in­vestors that iden­ti­fies, de­vel­ops, and launches trans­for­ma­tive cli­mate fi­nance in­stru­ments – has mo­bi­lized over $1.5 bil­lion for re­new­able en­ergy, en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, adap­ta­tion, and cli­mate-smart agri­cul­ture projects in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

World Bank to fi­nance 17.5 GWh of bat­tery stor­age in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries by 2025

The World Bank has launched a new pro­gram, called Ac­cel­er­at­ing Bat­tery Stor­age for De­vel­op­ment, with a com­mit­ment of $1 bil­lion to ac­cel­er­ate in­vest­ments in bat­tery stor­age for en­ergy sys­tems in de­vel­op­ing and mid­dle-in­come coun­tries. The World Bank made the an­nounce­ment at the One Planet Sum­mit in New York on Septem­ber 26.

The pro­gram aims to fi­nance 17.5 gi­gawatt hours (GWh) of bat­tery stor­age by 2025 – more than triple the 4-5 GWh cur­rently in­stalled in all de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

In ad­di­tion to the $1 bil­lion com­mit­ment, the World Bank will fundraise an­other $1 bil­lion in con­ces­sional cli­mate funds through the Cli­mate In­vest­ment Funds’ Clean Tech­nol­ogy Fund. It will also raise an ad­di­tional $3 bil­lion from pub­lic and pri­vate funds and in­vestors.

Bat­ter­ies used in en­ergy sys­tems are ex­pen­sive, and most projects are con­cen­trated in de­vel­oped coun­tries. Hence, the pro­gram will sup­port largescale demon­stra­tion projects for new stor­age tech­nolo­gies suit­able for de­vel­op­ing coun­tries’ needs – such as bat­ter­ies that are long-last­ing, re­silient to harsh con­di­tions and high tem­per­a­tures, and that present min­i­mal en­vi­ron­men­tal risks.

The World Bank Group has been work­ing with coun­tries to sup­port the de­ploy­ment of bat­ter­ies to­gether with so­lar and wind power for sev­eral years, with projects cur­rently un­der­way in Africa, South Asia, and the Pa­cific.

Bri­tish Vir­gin Is­land post­pones trade mis­sion to Africa

The Bri­tish Vir­gin Is­land Fi­nance, a com­pany set up to mar­ket and pro­mote the Bri­tish Vir­gin Is­land (BVI) as a premier off­shore fi­nan­cial cen­tre, has post­poned its pro­posed trade mis­sion to Africa un­til next year.

Ear­lier in Septem­ber, BVI Fi­nance had an­nounced a two-week trade mis­sion to three African coun­tries, namely: Nige­ria, South Africa and Kenya. The trade mis­sion was set to hold from Novem­ber 5-16, 2018.

How­ever, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment by BVI Fi­nance, the trade mis­sion is post­poned af­ter a fur­ther a re­view of the time­line re­lat­ing to the Eu­ro­pean Union’s as­sess­ment of in­ter­na­tional fi­nance cen­tres.

Ear­lier this year, the BVI – a Bri­tish over­seas ter­ri­tory in the east­ern part of the Caribbean Sea – had em­barked on Asia Trade Mis­sion, which cov­ered Hong Kong, Sin­ga­pore, Bei­jing, Hangzhou and Shang­hai. The mis­sion held from June 4-15.

IMF Chief Econ­o­mist-des­ig­nate Gita Gopinath

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