In Brief


Measuring risks. Mangrove management. Year of the coral reef. War games. Record foreign investment. Events in 2008.

Measuring risks Establishing a sound debt strategy can help immunize a country against sudden, adverse market changes and financial turmoil. to help analyze the soundness of a country's public debt management, the IMF has developed tools that can be used by IMF teams and country authorities to measure the risks of emerging market public debt. By using these new assessment tools, public debt managers can become more aware of the impact on their debt obligations of changes in financial and economic circumstances and be in a better position to develop policy responses quickly to address such changes. these tools can also help them minimize the difficulties of managing public debt. Measuring the risks of public debt is a critical first step in managing debt. A key benefit from this step is the reduction of vulnerabilities, including to international financial shocks. Smaller and emerging market countries are more vulnerable to such shocks because their economies are less diversified, have a smaller base of domestic financial savings and less developed financial systems, and are more susceptible to financial contagion. The Risk Measures framework-which includes two Excel-based templates-offers estimates of a country's public debt riskiness relative to that of other countries at a similar level of development. It also provides an indication of a country's credit rating, access to international capital markets, and prospects for the placement of its debt with international investors. the templates allow the calculation of a number of measures, both conventional and new. Among these are indicators that capture interest rate and exchange rate risks (duration, convexity, and value at risk, or VAR), credit risk (contingent claims approach), and liquidity risk arising from a possible lack of sufficient tradability in government debt market instruments. For information on how to obtain a copy of the Risk Measures templates, contact Marcos Souto ( or Michael Papaioannou ( Mangrove management The world has lost about 3.6 million hectares of mangroves since 1980, equivalent to an alarming 20 percent loss of the total mangrove area, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) recent mangrove assessment study. Asia has suffered the largest net loss of mangroves since 1980, with more than 1.9 million hectares destroyed, mainly because of changes in land use. the FAO cited high population pressure,...

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