1998 IMF Survey Supplement on the Fund / September 1998

SDR 146 Billion

Quotas Determine Members’ Voting Power, Financial Access, Share in SDR Allocations

Each member of the IMF is assigned a quota, which is expressed in SDRs and is equal to its subscription of capital to the IMF. Members’ quotas, apart from providing the IMF with its financial resources, serve several other functions with respect to their financial and organizational relations with the IMF. A member’s quota determines its voting power in the IMF; each member has 250 basic votes plus one additional vote for each SDR 100,000 of quota. The quota also determines the maximum amount of balance of payments assistance that a member can normally obtain from the IMF. Finally, the quota determines a member’s share in allocations of SDRs. When quotas are increased, 25 percent of the increase is normally payable in SDRs, although the IMF may prescribe payment in whole, or in part, in other members’ currencies, with their concurrence, or in the member’s own currency; the balance of the quota increase is payable in the member’s currency.

Determination of Initial Quotas

The initial quotas of the original members of the IMF were determined at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944 (Schedule A of the IMF Articles of Agreement), and those of subsequent members are determined by the IMF’s Board of Governors, based on principles consistent with those applied to existing members. In other words, the determination of an applicant’s quota should not be discriminatory, and an applicant’s quota should be in the same range as the quotas of existing members considered by the IMF to be in a comparable situation. When a country applies for membership, data on its economy (GDP, current account transactions in its balance of payments, and official reserves) are collected, and the staff recommends a quota for the new member that is within the range of the quotas of existing members of comparable economic size and characteristics. The staff’s recommendations regarding the quota and other terms and conditions of membership are considered by a membership committee of the Executive Board. This committee prepares a report for adoption by the Executive Board, which forwards a membership resolution for approval by the Board of Governors. The country becomes a member of the IMF when it signs the Articles of Agreement following the enactment of the requisite enabling domestic legislation. It becomes eligible to use the IMF’s resources when it has paid its quota subscription and has met all other requirements of the membership resolution. As of September 1, 1998, IMF membership comprised 182 countries, adding most recently Brunei Darussalam (October 1995) and the Republic of Palau (December 1997). Total quotas were SDR 146 billion (about $199 billion).

Review and Adjustment of Quotas

IMF Quota Reviews
Quota Review Date Resolution
Adopted
Overall Quota
Increase (%)
First Quinquennial No increase proposed --
Second Quinquennial No increase proposed --
1958/59 February/April 1959 60.7
Third Quinquennial No increase proposed --
Fourth Quinquennial March 1965 30.7
Fifth General February 1970 35.4
Sixth General March 1975
March 1976
33.6
Seventh General December 1978 50.9
Eighth General March 1983 47.5
Ninth General June 1990;
effective November 1992
50.0
Tenth General January 1995 no increase
Eleventh General January 1998 45.0
A general review of quotas is required under the Articles of Agreement at intervals of not more than five years. The review provides an opportunity to assess the adequacy of quotas in terms of both members’ needs for conditional liquidity and the ability of the IMF to finance those needs. A general review also allows for adjustments of members’ quotas to better reflect changes in their relative positions in the world economy. A member may also request at any other time that the Board of Governors consider an adjustment of its quota.

The main issues that have been dealt with in general quota reviews generally include the size of an overall increase in quotas and the combination of equiproportional and selective adjustments within the overall increase. Of the 12 general reviews of quotas since 1950, the date of the first quinquennial review, 4 reviews, including the Tenth Review of 1994–95, concluded that no increase in quotas was needed. The bulk of quota increases have taken the form of equiproportional increases in quotas, whose main impact is to stabilize the quota shares of individual members. However, the IMF has also permitted selective and/or ad hoc increases in quotas with the goal of bringing the quotas of members better into line with their relative economic size and, on some occasions, to strengthen specifically the liquidity position of the IMF (if the increase in quota represents an inflow of usable assets).

Eleventh General Review

The most recent general review of quotas—the Eleventh—was completed in January 1998 when the Board of Governors adopted a resolution proposing an increase in the total of IMF quotas by 45 percent (from SDR 146 billion to SDR 212 billion). In assessing the IMF’s need for resources over the medium term, the Executive Board stressed in its report to the Board of Governors that the IMF must have adequate financial resources to deal with members’ payments difficulties.

The main considerations underlying the size of the agreed increase in quotas took into account a range of factors, including the growth of world trade and payments; the scale of potential payments imbalances, including those that may stem from sharp changes in private capital flows; the prospective demand for IMF resources in support of members’ adjustment programs; the rapid globalization and the associated liberalization of trade and payments, including on capital account, that characterized the development of the world economy since the last increase of quotas was agreed in 1990; and the weakening of the IMF’s liquidity position, especially in light of the crisis in Asia.

The agreed distribution of the overall increase in quotas was guided by the views expressed by the Interim Committee in April 1997, in support of a distribution that would be predominantly equiproportional while contributing to a correction of the most important anomalies in the quota distribution. In September 1997, the Interim Committee agreed that 75 percent of the overall increase would be distributed in proportion to present quotas; 15 percent would be distributed in proportion to members’ shares in calculated quotas (based on 1994 data), so as to better reflect the relative economic positions of members; and the remaining 10 percent would be distributed among members whose present quotas are out of line with their positions in the world economy (as measured by the excess of their share in actual quotas), of which 1 percent of the overall increase would be distributed among five members whose current quotas are far out of line with their relative economic positions and that are in a position to contribute to the IMF’s liquidity over the medium term.

The quota increases will become effective once members representing 85 percent or more of the total of quotas on December 23, 1997, have consented to their proposed increases in quotas. A member with overdue repurchases, charges, or assessments to the IMF’s General Resources Account may neither consent to nor pay for the increase in its quota under the Eleventh Review until it becomes current in respect of these obligations. The resolution approved by the Board of Governors asks members to consent to the quota increase before January 29, 1999.

IMF Quotas
(million SDRs)
Member Ninth
Review
Quota
  
Proposed
Eleventh
Quota
  
Afghanistan, Islamic State of 120.4  
161.9  
Albania 35.3  
48.7  
Algeria 914.4  
1,254.7  
Angola 207.3  
286.3  
Antigua and Barbuda 8.5  
13.5  
     
   
Argentina 1,537.1  
2,117.1  
Armenia 67.5  
92.0  
Australia 2,333.2  
3,236.4  
Austria 1,188.3  
1,872.3  
Azerbaijan 117.0  
160.9  
     
   
Bahamas, The 94.9  
130.3  
Bahrain 82.8  
135.0  
Bangladesh 392.5  
533.3  
Barbados 48.9  
67.5  
Belarus 280.4  
386.4  
     
   
Belgium 3,102.3  
4,605.2  
Belize 13.5  
18.8  
Benin 45.3  
61.9  
Bhutan 4.5  
6.3  
Bolivia 126.2  
171.5  
     
   
Bosnia and Herzegovina 121.2  
169.1  
Botswana 36.6  
63.0  
Brazil 2,170.8  
3,036.1  
Brunei Darussalam 150.0  
215.2  
Bulgaria 464.9  
640.2  
     
   
Burkina Faso 44.2  
60.2  
Burundi 57.2  
77.0  
Cambodia 65.0  
87.5  
Cameroon 135.1  
185.7  
Canada 4,320.3  
6,369.2  
     
   
Cape Verde 7.0  
9.6  
Central African Republic 41.2  
55.7  
Chad 41.3  
56.0  
Chile 621.7  
856.1  
China 3,385.2  
4,687.2  
     
   
Colombia 561.3  
774.0  
Comoros 6.5  
8.9  
Congo Dem. Rep. of the 394.81
533.0  
Congo, Republic of 57.9  
84.6  
Costa Rica 119.0  
164.1  
     
   
Côte d’Ivoire 238.2  
325.2  
Croatia 261.6  
365.1  
Cyprus 100.0  
139.6  
Czech Republic 589.6  
819.3  
Denmark 1,069.9  
1,642.8  
     
   
Djibouti 11.5  
15.9  
Dominica 6.0  
8.2  
Dominican Republic 158.8  
218.9  
Ecuador 219.2  
302.3  
Egypt 678.4  
943.7  
     
   
El Salvador 125.6  
171.3  
Equatorial Guinea 24.3  
32.6  
Eritrea 11.5  
15.9  
Estonia 46.5  
65.2  
Ethiopia 98.3  
133.7  
     
   
Fiji 51.1  
70.3  
Finland 861.8  
1,263.8  
France 7,414.6  
10,738.5  
Gabon 110.3  
154.3  
Gambia, The 22.9  
31.1  
     
   
Georgia 111.0  
150.3  
Germany 8,241.5  
13,008.2  
Ghana 274.0  
369.0  
Greece 587.6  
823.0  
Grenada 8.5  
11.7  
     
   
Guatemala 153.8  
210.2  
Guinea 78.7  
107.1  
Guinea Bissau 10.5  
14.2  
Guyana 67.2  
90.9  
Haiti 60.7  
81.9  
     
   
Honduras 95.0  
129.5  
Hungary 754.8  
1,038.4  
Iceland 85.3  
117.6  
India 3,055.5  
4,158.2  
Indonesia 1,497.6  
2,079.3  
     
   
Iran, Islamic Republic of 1,078.5  
1,497.2  
Iraq 864.81
1,188.4  
Ireland 525.0  
838.4  
Israel 666.2  
928.2  
Italy 4,590.7  
7,055.5  
     
   
Jamaica 200.9  
273.5  
Japan 8,241.5  
13,312.8  
Jordan 121.7  
170.5  
Kazakhstan 247.5  
365.7  
Kenya 199.4  
271.4  
     
   
Kiribati 4.0  
5.6  
Korea 799.6  
1,633.6  
Kuwait 995.2  
1,381.1  
Kyrgyz Republic 64.5  
88.8  
Lao, People’s Dem. Rep. 39.1  
52.9  
     
   
Latvia 91.5  
126.8  
Lebanon 146.0  
203.0  
Member Ninth
Review
Quota
  
Proposed
Eleventh
Quota
  
Lesotho 23.9  
34.9  
Liberia 96.21
129.2  
Libya 817.6  
1,123.7  
Lithuania 103.5  
144.2  
Luxembourg 135.5  
279.1  
     
   
Macedonia, FYR of 49.6  
68.9  
Madagascar 90.4  
122.2  
Malawi 50.9  
69.4  
Malaysia 832.7  
1,486.6  
Maldives 5.5  
8.2  
     
   
Mali 68.9  
93.3  
Malta 67.5  
102.0  
Marshall Islands 2.5  
3.5  
Mauritania 47.5  
64.4  
Mauritius 73.3  
101.6  
     
   
Mexico 1,753.3  
2,585.8  
Micronesia, Federated States of 3.5  
5.1  
Moldova 90.0  
123.2  
Mongolia 37.1  
51.1  
Morocco 427.7  
588.2  
     
   
Mozambique 84.0  
113.6  
Myanmar 184.9  
258.4  
Namibia 99.6  
136.5  
Nepal 52.0  
71.3  
Netherlands, The 3,444.2  
5,162.4  
     
   
New Zealand 650.1  
894.6  
Nicaragua 96.1  
130.0  
Niger 48.3  
65.8  
Nigeria 1,281.6  
1,753.2  
Norway 1,104.6  
1,671.7  
     
   
Oman 119.4  
194.0  
Pakistan 758.2  
1,033.7  
Palau, Republic of 2 ...  
3.1  
Panama 149.6  
206.6  
Papua New Guinea 95.3  
131.6  
     
   
Paraguay 72.1  
99.9  
Peru 466.1  
638.4  
Philippines 633.4  
879.9  
Poland 988.5  
1,369.0  
Portugal 557.6  
867.4  
     
   
Qatar 190.5  
263.8  
Romania 754.1  
1,030.2  
Russia 4,313.1  
5,945.4  
Rwanda 59.5  
80.1  
St. Kitts and Nevis 6.5  
8.9  
     
   
St. Lucia 11.0  
15.3  
St. Vincent and the Grenadines 6.0  
8.3  
Samoa 8.5  
11.6  
San Marino 10.0  
17.0  
São Tomé and Príncipe 5.5  
7.4  
     
   
Saudi Arabia 5,130.6  
6,985.5  
Senegal 118.9  
161.8  
Seychelles 6.0  
8.8  
Sierra Leone 77.2  
103.7  
Singapore 357.6  
862.5  
     
   
Slovak Republic 257.4  
357.5  
Slovenia 150.5  
231.0  
Solomon Islands 7.5  
10.4  
Somalia 60.91
81.7  
South Africa 1,365.4  
1,868.5  
     
   
Spain 1,935.4  
3,048.9  
Sri Lanka 303.6  
413.4  
Sudan 233.11
315.1  
Suriname 67.6  
92.1  
Swaziland 36.5  
50.7  
     
   
Sweden 1,614.0  
2,395.5  
Switzerland 2,470.4  
3,458.5  
Syrian Arab Republic 209.9  
293.6  
Tajikistan 60.0  
87.0  
Tanzania 146.9  
198.9  
     
   
Thailand 573.9  
1,081.9  
Togo 54.3  
73.4  
Tonga 5.0  
6.9  
Trinidad and Tobago 246.8  
335.6  
Tunisia 206.0  
286.5  
     
   
Turkey 642.0  
964.0  
Turkmenistan 48.0  
75.2  
Uganda 133.9  
180.5  
Ukraine 997.3  
1,372.0  
United Arab Emirates 392.1  
611.7  
     
   
United Kingdom 7,414.6  
10,738.5  
United States 26,526.8  
37,149.3  
Uruguay 225.3  
306.5  
Uzbekistan 199.5  
275.6  
Vanuatu 12.5  
17.0  
     
   
Venezuela 1,951.3  
2,659.1  
Vietnam 241.6  
329.1  
Yemen, Republic of 176.5  
243.5  
Yugoslavia, Fed. Rep. of 335.41
467.7  
Zambia 363.5  
489.1  
     
   
Zimbabwe 261.3  
353.4  
     
   



Note: The Board of Governors concluded the Tenth Review without an increase in quotas.
1As of September 1, 1998, five members had not yet paid for their quota increases under the Ninth General Review of Quotas. These members (with their actual Eighth Review quotas, in millions of SDRs, appearing in parentheses) are the Democratic Republic of the Congo (291.0), Iraq (504.0), Liberia (71.3), Somalia (44.2), and Sudan (169.7). The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia/Montenegro) has consented to an increase in its quota under the Ninth Review but has not yet succeeded to membership in the IMF. The Executive Board decided on June 10, 1998, that the country had until December 14, 1998 to complete arrangements for its succession.
2The Republic of Palau became a member of the IMF in December 1997.


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