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4th Global Conference on Housing Finance in Emerging Markets
May 26-27, 2010Washington, D.C.

The 4th Global Conference on Housing Finance for Emerging Markets was held from May 26-27, 2010, with the theme, "Global Housing Finance After the Crisis: Drawing the lessons, taking stock and building the future."

Drawing the lessons, taking stock and building the future

Location: World Bank Headquarters, Preston Auditorium
Organized by: Global Capital Markets Development Department Non-Bank Financial Institutions,World Bank and IFC Global Financial Markets Department

Overview: As the world begins to recover from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, housing finance markets are once again looking to the future. Since the crisis was originally triggered by the subprime segment of the mortgage market, this has led to the questioning of some well established premises of housing finance and a revision of the way to approach it, both at the policy and at the market levels. However, mobilizing finance for housing remains crucial and encounters the same challenges as before – rapid urbanization, growing populations, limited land availability, access for lower income groups and sources of long term funds.

What impact had the crisis on how these challenges should be met? What should be the role of governments as policy makers and regulators? How can private markets develop in a sustainable way and channel capital to housing while following responsible and prudent lending practices?

The 4th Global Conference on Housing Finance for Emerging Markets, organized jointly by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), addressed the above questions and provided participants with a full picture of the post-crisis housing finance landscape across countries through a series of presentations focusing on the following six themes:

  1. Impact and Responses to the Crisis around the World
  2. The Changing Face of the Regulatory Framework for Mortgage Lending
  3. (a) Residential Rental Markets OR 3 (b) Prospects for the Mono-line Lending Business Model
  4. Responsible Lending to Lower Income Groups
  5. Mobilizing Savings for Housing
  6. Capital Markets for Housing – Post-Crisis Outlook.

The conference had in attendance over 140 policymakers in the area of financial policy, housing and urban policy, as well as private market stakeholders active in the area of housing finance (such as banks, finance companies, real estate developers, investors, and insurance companies).

Participants came from the mortgage regulation departments of central banks; ministries of housing and development, ministries of finance; mortgage market facilities and securities and exchange commissions; securitization companies and housing funds; mortgage companies; and from donor institutions.

(Note: Video links require Windows Media Player)

Wednesday, May 26

9:00-9:15am         Welcoming Remarks, Janamitra Devan, Vice President and Head of Network, Financial and Private Sector Development, World Bank Group (Video: mms://wbmswebcast1.worldbank.org/IFC/2010-06-29/Keynote_speech.wmv)

9:15-11:00am      Session 1: Crisis around the World: Impact, Responses, and Structural Challenges (Video: mms://wbmswebcast1.worldbank.org/IFC/2010-06-29/Remarks_Session1.wmv)

Speakers from different markets and countries will discuss how the crisis affected their housing finance sector and what the prospects are for recovery. The session will provide an opportunity to assess why some markets were less affected than others, what the different policy responses were and the effectiveness of different regulatory approaches.

Session Chair: Loic Chiquier, Manager, Non-Bank Financial Institutions Group, Global
Capital Markets Development Department (GCMNB), World Bank

  • India, Renu Karnad, Managing Director, Housing Development Finance Corporation
  • Nigeria, Suleiman Barau, Deputy Governor - Corporate Services, Central Bank of Nigeria
  • Mexico, Daniella Gurrea, Chief Operating Officer, Sociedad Hipotecaria Federal
  • Canada, André Asselin, Executive Director, CMHC International, Canada

11:00-11:30am    Coffee and Tea Break 

11:30 am-1:00 pm              Session 2: The Changing Face of the Regulatory Framework for Mortgage Lending (Video: mms://wbmswebcast1.worldbank.org/IFC/2010-06-29/Session2_part1.wmv )

Speakers will identify the key steps which regulators in emerging and developing economies can take to protect their housing finance markets going forward. The debate is still ongoing on different approaches and tools which could be adopted, ranging from stronger underwriting limits on loan to values, or loan to incomes, responsible lending standards, dynamic provisioning, outright bans for some toxic products, or protecting the consumer from the risk posed by foreign currency loans.

Session Chair: W. Britt Gwinner, Principal Financial Specialist, Latin America and Caribbean, IFC

  • Managing the real estate bubble: The case of the Spanish financial sector, Alfonso García Mora, Partner and Managing Director, Analistas Financieros Internacionales
  • Integrating price dynamics in the prudential norms: the Korean example, Chae-Sun Chung, General Manager, Research Department, Korea Housing Finance Corporation
  • An example of a Real Estate Market Observatory: Thailand, Ballobh Kritayanavaj, Senior Vice President, Government Housing Bank, Thailand

1:00-2:30pm         Lunch

2:30-3:45pm         Continued Session 2

  • The review of international financial regulation: implications for housing finance in emerging market economies, Santiago Fernández de Lis, Director, International Department, Analistas Financieros Internacionales
  • Foreign currency mortgages in Eastern Europe and responsible lending,
    Hans-Joachim Dübel, Housing Finance Expert, Finpolconsult, German
    Simon Walley, Housing Finance Specialist, GCMNB, Financial and Private Sector Development, World Bank
  • The evolution of the regulatory framework in Pakistan, Zaigham Mahmood Rizvi, Adviser on Housing Finance and Infrastructure, State Bank of Pakistan

3:45-5:30pm         Breakout Session 3A: Residential Rental Markets (Video: mms://wbmswebcast1.worldbank.org/IFC/2010-06-29/Session3A.wmv)

Speakers will address questions such as: Should the systematic promotion of home ownership be reassessed, with a greater role for the rental sector to fill housing gaps? What is the right level of homeownership and does it vary across countries? How can the rental sector be developed and investors encouraged to shift capital into housing for rental? What is the role of government in promoting rental housing?

Session Chair: Steve Malpezzi, Professor, Real Estate and Urban Land Economics, Wisconsin School of Business

  • Can rental housing be profitable? Does the crisis offer a new perspective? Simon Fairchild, Managing Director, IPD North America
  • Lifting regulatory barriers in Morocco: Mounia Diaà Lahlou, Director of Real Estate Development, Ministry of Housing, Urban Planning and Spatial Development, Morocco
  • The TBS experience in Poland, Bolesław Meluch, Director, Housing Funds Department, Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK), Poland
  • New Low Income Housing Programs in Albania, Doris Andoni, Director, Housing Policy Department, Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Telecommunication, Albania

3:45-5:30pm         Breakout Session 3B: Prospects for the Mono-line Lending Business Model

What is the future of specialized mortgage lenders after the demise of many of them during the crisis, both in developed or emerging markets? Is the business model of non--deposit taking entities which are dependent on the capital markets viable in the long run? Can the credit worthiness of borrowers be properly measured without monitoring their financial behavior through bank accounts? This will be the theme of a debate in a panel with representatives from different countries where specialized lenders have played an active role.

Session Chair: R.V. Verma, Executive Director, National Housing Bank of India

  • Simon Stockley, Director, Catalis Holdings (Pty) Ltd, South Africa
  • Ignacio J. Farías, Chief Executive Officer, Patrimonio Hipotecaria, Mexico
  • Anil Sachidanand, Chief Executive Officer, Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL), India

Thursday, May 27

8:45 -9:00am       Impact of the Sub-prime Crisis on the Perception of Low Income Housing Finance and on Capital Markets: An Overview
Olivier Hassler, Housing Finance Program Coordinator, GCMNB, Financial and Private Sector Development, World Bank (Video: mms://wbmswebcast1.worldbank.org/IFC/2010-06-29/Remarks_Session4.wmv)

9:00-10:30am     Session 4: Responsible Lending to Lower Income Groups (Video: mms://wbmswebcast1.worldbank.org/IFC/2010-06-29/Session4_part1.wmv)

This session will explore the post ‘sub-prime’ landscape, and, in particular, seek to look at how lending to lower income groups can be done in a prudent and responsible way. Several case studies will be presented showing how to prudently address the needs of underserved categories. Examples from several countries will include techniques such as lending standards, risk mitigation mechanisms, particularly for the informal sector, appropriate subsidy policy, as well as micro-finance techniques.

Session Chair: Douglas Grayson, Global Sector Lead - Housing Finance, Global Financial Markets, IFC

  • Cracking the challenge of lending across the formal-informal divide, David A. Smith, Founder, Affordable Housing Institute (AHI)
  • Developments in micro-finance for housing, James Hokans, Director, Bankable Frontier Associates
  • The new IFC toolkit on housing microfinance, Lauren Moser Counts, Vice President, Shorebank International Limited
  • Addressing the needs of informal sector households, Hernando Carvalho, President, Fondo Nacional de Ahorro, Colombia

10:30-10:45 am  Coffee and Tea Break               

10:45 -11:45 am Continued Session 4 (Video: mms://wbmswebcast1.worldbank.org/IFC/2010-06-29/Session4_part2.wmv)

  • Transparency and Trade-offs in Subsidy Design: The example of Egypt, Marja Hoek-Smit, Director, International Housing Program, Wharton School Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania
  • Improving access of low-income groups to housing, Rainer Hartel, Principal Financial Sector Specialist, KfW Development Bank, Financial Competency Center

11:45 am-12:30 pm            Session 5: Mobilizing Savings for Housing (Video: mms://wbmswebcast1.worldbank.org/IFC/2010-06-29/Session5_part1.wmv)

Savings are a critical part of any well-functioning housing finance system. Regular savings provides banks with the means to fund loans. It demonstrates ability to save and creditworthiness, thereby reducing credit risk. It is also the means to building up funds for a deposit and the initial equity in a property. Particularly in Emerging markets where credit bureaus do not always operate or have full coverage, regular savings can be an important part of the housing finance system. This session will explore different case studies, showcasing examples of how savings mechanisms can turn into a critical risk management tool for developing housing finance.

Session Chair: Friedemann Roy, Senior Housing Finance Specialist, GCMNB, Financial and Private Sector Development, World Bank

  • Private savings as a potential funding source for mortgage lending in developing countries (Sample of Central Asia), Victor Mints, Project Manager, Central Asia Primary Mortgage Market Development Project, IFC
  • The German-Style Savings-for-Housing Scheme in Eastern Europe, Hans Christian Vallant, President of the Management Board, Raiffeisen Stambena Štedonica, and Member of the Supervisory Board, Raiffeisen Stavebni Sporitelna

12:30-1:45pm     Luncheon and Keynote Address, David H. Stevens, Assistant Secretary for Housing, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Commissioner, Federal Housing Administration (FHA)                     

1:45 – 3:00pm     Continued Session 5 (Video: mms://wbmswebcast1.worldbank.org/IFC/2010-06-29/Session5_part2.wmv)

  • Case Study: Brazil, Fernando Brasileiro, President, Companhia Brasileira de Securitizao (CIBRASEC) and Vice President, Associação Brasileira das Entidades de Crédito Imobiliário e Poupança (ABECIP)
  • Lessons from Singapore Central Provident Fund Scheme, Sock-Yong Phang, School of Economics, Singapore Management University
  • The Potential of Grassroots’ Savings Networks: Examples from Sub-Saharan Africa, Pierre Giguère, Housing Finance Director, Développement International Desjardins

3:00-3:30pm        Coffee and Tea Break               

3:30-5:30pm        Session 6: Capital Markets for Housing – Post-Crisis Outlook (Video: mms://wbmswebcast1.worldbank.org/IFC/2010-06-29/Session6.wmv)

Nowhere has the impact of the crisis been felt more strongly than in the secondary mortgage markets. Securitization ground to a halt in many markets, whilst Mortgage Covered Bonds were also impacted. The way mortgages are funded and the regulations associated with funding instruments will be a key area of change in post-crisis financial markets. Speakers will discuss the role that securitization and covered bonds can still play in helping lenders tap long term financing from capital markets. Simpler mechanisms such as mortgage liquidity facilities have shown resilience in the face of market turmoil. What role can they play in the future and in particular in emerging markets?


Session Chair: Lee Aron Meddin, Director, Structured and Securitized Products, IFC

  • Regulatory Reforms and Mortgage Securitization, Imene Rahmouni-Rousseau, Member of Secretariat, Financial Stability Board
  • The Securitization Market in Colombia, Alberto Gutiérrez, President, Titularizadora Colombiana
  • The Mortgage Securitization Market in Korea, Chae-Sun Chung, General Manager, Research Department, Korea Housing Finance Corporation
  • Covered Bonds: Market Growth and Framework, Sabine Winkler, Covered Bond Analyst, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Mortgage Refinance Facilities: Recent Experiences, Kokularupan Narayanasamy, Consultant, Housing Finance, IFC

5:30pm                 Concluding Remarks, James Scriven, Director, Global Financial Markets, IFC