Subnational Capital Markets in Developing Countries: From Theory to Practice

By John Petersen; Mila Freire | Go to book overview

Chapter 21
Middle East and North Africa
Tunisia

Meeting most local government capital needs,
the municipal development fund starts to borrow in
the domestic capital markets.

Samir El Daher


Lessons

A unitary and highly centralized state, Tunisia is making efforts
to decentralize its governance and to develop its domestic fi-
nancial markets. Private financial institutions have had little ex-
perience in lending to subnational governments, which have re-
lied for credit finance almost exclusively on a municipal
development fund. Local governments rely heavily on centrally
collected and administered revenues and have little freedom to
set local rates.

The municipal development fund in Tunisia is the cornerstone
of the system for financing subnational investment, carried out
as part of national planning. Combining loans and grants, the
fund executes the central government’s policy on financing
subnational capital investment. Although the fund has little ex-
perience in raising capital, it recently has issued bonds on the
domestic market.

-365-

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