News Brief: IMF Establishing International Capital Markets Department

March 1, 2001

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will establish an International Capital Markets Department to enhance its surveillance, crisis prevention and crisis management activities, Managing Director Horst Köhler announced today.

The new Department will consolidate activities and operations that are currently spread among three Departments, and it is envisioned that the new unit will have some enhanced responsibilities, including the systematic liaison with the institutions which supply the bulk of private capital worldwide. The Department will also play a central role in the Fund's conceptual work related to the international financial system and to capital market access by member countries, Mr. Köhler noted.

"I see this Department as a vital part of the ongoing efforts to strengthen the international financial architecture, and in particular to strengthen the Fund's role in crisis prevention.

"With this move, the Fund is sending a clear signal that it is serious about its commitment to being a center of excellence for work on financial markets issues. It will:

  • deepen the Fund's understanding of capital market operations, and of the forces driving the supply of capital;

  • strengthen the Fund's capacity for addressing systemic issues related to capital market developments;

  • enable the Fund to conduct more effective surveillance at both the national and international levels;

  • enhance the IMF's capabilities in providing early warning of potential stress in the financial markets; and

  • strengthen the Fund's ability to help member countries gain access to international capital markets, and to deal with and benefit from interactions with the international capital markets."

Mr. Köhler said he hopes to appoint a Department Director with the appropriate professional background and experience as soon as possible.


The decision to create a capital markets department follows the recommendation to do so by the Financial Sector Review Group, a panel formed by the IMF in October 2000 to provide the Fund with an independent perspective on how it should organize its financial sector and capital markets work (see News Brief No. 00/93).

The need for the Fund to further develop its expertise in these areas was emphasized by Mr. Köhler when he outlined his vision of the future role of the Fund on September 26, 2000 at the Joint Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank (see He referred to the IMF as a center of competence for the stability of the international financial system.


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