External Financing Risks: How Important is the Composition of the International Investment Position?


Luis M. Cubeddu ; Swarnali A Hannan ; Pau Rabanal

Publication Date:

January 29, 2021

Electronic Access:

Free Download. Use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this PDF file

Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.


Building on the vast literature, this paper focuses on the role of the structure of the international investment position (IIP) in affecting countries’ external vulnerabilities. Using a sample of 73 advanced and emerging economies and new database on the IIP’s currency composition, we find that the size and structure of external liabilities and assets, especially with regards to currency denomination, matter in understanding balance-of-payments pressures. Specifically, and beyond the standard macroeconomic factors highlighted in other studies, higher levels of gross external debt increase the likelihood of an external crisis, while higher levels of foreign-currency-denominated external debt increase the likelihood of sudden stops. Foreign reserve assets play a mitigating role, although with diminishing returns, and the combination of flow and stock imbalances amplifies external risks, especially during periods of heightened global risk aversion. The results are especially strong for emerging economies, where the impact of flow and stock imbalances and foreign currency mismatches are larger and more robust across specifications.


Working Paper No. 2021/020





Publication Date:

January 29, 2021



Stock No:




Please address any questions about this title to publications@imf.org