Currency Composition of Official Foreign Exchange Reserves (COFER)

Last updated: June 28, 2013

Foreign exchange reserves reported under COFER consist of the monetary authorities’ claims on nonresidents in the form of:

  • foreign banknotes
  • bank deposits
  • treasury bills
  • short- and long-term government securities, and
  • other claims usable in the event of balance of payments needs

Foreign exchange reserves in COFER do not include holdings of currency by the issuing country. For instance, the U.S. dollar assets of the Federal Reserve and the euro assets of the European Central Bank and member countries of the European Economic and Monetary Union are not foreign exchange reserves. The definition of foreign exchange reserves in COFER is the same as that in the IMF’s International Financial Statistics (IFS).

Allocated Reserves refer to data on foreign exchange reserves reported under COFER.
Unallocated Reserves is the difference between the total foreign exchange reserves  in the IFS ( world table on Foreign Exchange) and  the total allocated reserves in COFER. Unallocated Reserves includes foreign exchange holdings of those countries/territories that currently report to IFS but do not report to COFER

Following European currencies were separately identified in COFER prior to 1999:

  • European Currency Unit (ECU)
  • Deutsche mark
  • French franc, and
  • Netherlands guilder

The Classification of countries in COFER as advanced economies or emerging and developing economies follows that currently used in IFS world tables and consistent with World Economic Outlook (WEO).