Special Drawing Rights

Overview

The SDR is an international reserve asset created by the IMF to supplement the official reserves of its member countries.

The SDR is not a currency. It is a potential claim on the freely usable currencies of IMF members. As such, SDRs can provide a country with liquidity.

A basket of currencies defines the SDR: the US dollar, Euro, Chinese Yuan, Japanese Yen, and the British Pound.

What is the SDR?

Factsheet: Special Drawing Rights (SDR)
The SDR is an international reserve asset, created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement its member countries’ official reserves. To date, a total of SDR 660.7 billion (equivalent to about US$943 billion) have been allocated. This includes the largest-ever allocation of about SDR 456 billion approved on August 2, 2021 (effective on August 23, 2021). This most recent allocation was to address the long-term global need for reserves, and help countries cope with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The value of the SDR is based on a basket of five currencies—the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Chinese renminbi, the Japanese yen, and the British pound sterling.
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SDR Channeling

Since the onset of the pandemic, SDR channeling (and equivalent currency amounts)  has helped many countries in need, especially those eligible for financial support from the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) and the Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST).

Since 2020, channeling of $55 billion is providing the PRGT with the capacity to mobilize $40 billion in interest-free loans to our poorest members through 2024. This financing helps support growth enhancing reforms in these countries. So far, these loans have benefited 56 countries and could benefit more in the years ahead.

Channeling has also supported the operations of the RST, which delivers affordable long-term financing to help vulnerable countries tackle long-term challenges including climate change. To date, 23 RST partners have channeled about $45 billion to the RST, which is expected to contribute toward meeting an estimated $29 billion in affordable financing.

SDR

What's New

Use of SDRs in the Acquisition of Hybrid Capital Instruments of the Prescribed Holders
May 15, 2024

On May 10, 2024, the IMF’s Executive Board approved the use of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) for the acquisition of hybrid capital instruments issued by prescribed holders. This new use of SDRs, which adds to seven already authorized prescribed SDR operations, is subject to a cumulative limit of SDR 15 billion to minimize liquidity risks. The Executive Board also established a strong expectation that contributors channeling SDRs to prescribed holders under such capital contributions have Voluntary Trading Arrangements (VTAs) in place to ensure sufficient liquidity and equitable distribution of potential SDR exchanges into currencies. A review of the proposed use is expected to be conducted when cumulative hybrid capital contributions surpass SDR 10 billion or two years after the authorization, whichever comes first.

Georgia: Technical Assistance Report-Report on Stress Testing the Central Bank Balance Sheet and Developing Hedging Markets
May 10, 2024

This CD engagement covered two distinct areas to help the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) deliver on its price stability mandate, it: 1) provided a forward-looking analysis of the NBG’s balance sheet to assess its policy solvency and to help institutionalize such a process, and 2) outlined a strategy to develop hedging instruments in interest rate and foreign exchange (FX) markets to support monetary policy transmission. With virtually no interest-bearing liabilities, the NBG balance sheet is robust. Under the adverse shock, it improves on account of FX revaluation gains. Higher inflation also helps, since the need for a higher policy rate generates larger domestic interest income. Institutionalizing this analysis allows for early warning of the need to reduce dividend payments (or for re-capitalization) thereby supporting operational independence. Georgia has made good progress on many of the enabling conditions for developing hedging markets, but several structural factors provide challenges. A supportive regulatory environment is in place, market infrastructure is robust, and there is a range of instruments available to serve as the underlying instrument for derivatives. However, there is a lack of heterogeneity of financial risk profile and appetite amongst participants. Recommendations include setting up a standardized FX forward trading platform, pushing for upgrades of banks’ treasury management systems, supporting the targeted education and training efforts of the Georgian Financial Markets Treasuries Association, revising the current FX forward index to be more informative by publishing outright transacted rates; and publishing Overnight Indexed Swap benchmarks.

Principality of Andorra: Technical Assistance Report-Report on External Sector Statistics Mission (March 21–April 1, 2022)
March 13, 2024

A technical assistance (TA) mission on external sector statistics (ESS) was conducted for the Andorran Statistics Department (ASD) in the Principality of Andorra in March and April 2022. The mission focused on initiating the compilation of international investment position (IIP) and in producing balance of payments statistics regularly with an improved coverage and quality. The mission also assisted the ASD in developing the new direct reporting system, which will be used as one of the main source data for compiling balance of payments statistics and IIP annually.

Principality of Andorra: 2023 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Principality of Andorra
March 6, 2024

After a remarkable recovery, the Andorra economy continues to grow slightly above potential despite significant external headwinds. Headline inflation is elevated amidst persistent core inflation and a tight labor market. The banking sector remains profitable, well-capitalized, and liquid.

Kyrgyz Republic: 2023 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Kyrgyz Republic
March 4, 2024

The new trade and labor migration patterns that emerged since the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine have provided an unexpected boost to growth. Tax revenue increased considerably since 2021, public debt declined below 50 percent of GDP by end-2022, and inflation while still elevated has decelerated into the single digits in 2023. The authorities should take advantage of these generally favorable macroeconomic conditions to strengthen their policy framework and advance structural reforms on multiple fronts to build resilience, support higher and more inclusive growth, and mitigate the risks from heightened global uncertainty.

Republic of Kazakhstan: 2023 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Republic of Kazakhstan
February 7, 2024

Growth is estimated to have reached 4.8 percent in 2023 and is projected to slow to 3.1 percent in 2024. Inflation declined to 9.8 percent in 2023, still well above the National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK)’s target of 5 percent. Risks to the outlook are tilted to the downside. The state’s footprint in the economy remains large and structural reform implementation has been slow in recent years. Despite strong buffers, the economy needs to be better prepared for future shocks in both the short term (e.g., from war spillovers, inflation, and global economic and financial conditions) and the medium term (e.g., from geo-economic fragmentation, climate events, and global decarbonization).

Use of SDRs in the Acquisition of Hybrid Capital Instruments of the Prescribed Holders
May 15, 2024

On May 10, 2024, the IMF’s Executive Board approved the use of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) for the acquisition of hybrid capital instruments issued by prescribed holders. This new use of SDRs, which adds to seven already authorized prescribed SDR operations, is subject to a cumulative limit of SDR 15 billion to minimize liquidity risks. The Executive Board also established a strong expectation that contributors channeling SDRs to prescribed holders under such capital contributions have Voluntary Trading Arrangements (VTAs) in place to ensure sufficient liquidity and equitable distribution of potential SDR exchanges into currencies. A review of the proposed use is expected to be conducted when cumulative hybrid capital contributions surpass SDR 10 billion or two years after the authorization, whichever comes first.

Georgia: Technical Assistance Report-Report on Stress Testing the Central Bank Balance Sheet and Developing Hedging Markets
May 10, 2024

This CD engagement covered two distinct areas to help the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) deliver on its price stability mandate, it: 1) provided a forward-looking analysis of the NBG’s balance sheet to assess its policy solvency and to help institutionalize such a process, and 2) outlined a strategy to develop hedging instruments in interest rate and foreign exchange (FX) markets to support monetary policy transmission. With virtually no interest-bearing liabilities, the NBG balance sheet is robust. Under the adverse shock, it improves on account of FX revaluation gains. Higher inflation also helps, since the need for a higher policy rate generates larger domestic interest income. Institutionalizing this analysis allows for early warning of the need to reduce dividend payments (or for re-capitalization) thereby supporting operational independence. Georgia has made good progress on many of the enabling conditions for developing hedging markets, but several structural factors provide challenges. A supportive regulatory environment is in place, market infrastructure is robust, and there is a range of instruments available to serve as the underlying instrument for derivatives. However, there is a lack of heterogeneity of financial risk profile and appetite amongst participants. Recommendations include setting up a standardized FX forward trading platform, pushing for upgrades of banks’ treasury management systems, supporting the targeted education and training efforts of the Georgian Financial Markets Treasuries Association, revising the current FX forward index to be more informative by publishing outright transacted rates; and publishing Overnight Indexed Swap benchmarks.

Principality of Andorra: Technical Assistance Report-Report on External Sector Statistics Mission (March 21–April 1, 2022)
March 13, 2024

A technical assistance (TA) mission on external sector statistics (ESS) was conducted for the Andorran Statistics Department (ASD) in the Principality of Andorra in March and April 2022. The mission focused on initiating the compilation of international investment position (IIP) and in producing balance of payments statistics regularly with an improved coverage and quality. The mission also assisted the ASD in developing the new direct reporting system, which will be used as one of the main source data for compiling balance of payments statistics and IIP annually.

Principality of Andorra: 2023 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Principality of Andorra
March 6, 2024

After a remarkable recovery, the Andorra economy continues to grow slightly above potential despite significant external headwinds. Headline inflation is elevated amidst persistent core inflation and a tight labor market. The banking sector remains profitable, well-capitalized, and liquid.

Kyrgyz Republic: 2023 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Kyrgyz Republic
March 4, 2024

The new trade and labor migration patterns that emerged since the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine have provided an unexpected boost to growth. Tax revenue increased considerably since 2021, public debt declined below 50 percent of GDP by end-2022, and inflation while still elevated has decelerated into the single digits in 2023. The authorities should take advantage of these generally favorable macroeconomic conditions to strengthen their policy framework and advance structural reforms on multiple fronts to build resilience, support higher and more inclusive growth, and mitigate the risks from heightened global uncertainty.

Republic of Kazakhstan: 2023 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Republic of Kazakhstan
February 7, 2024

Growth is estimated to have reached 4.8 percent in 2023 and is projected to slow to 3.1 percent in 2024. Inflation declined to 9.8 percent in 2023, still well above the National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK)’s target of 5 percent. Risks to the outlook are tilted to the downside. The state’s footprint in the economy remains large and structural reform implementation has been slow in recent years. Despite strong buffers, the economy needs to be better prepared for future shocks in both the short term (e.g., from war spillovers, inflation, and global economic and financial conditions) and the medium term (e.g., from geo-economic fragmentation, climate events, and global decarbonization).

Tracker on the Use of Allocated SDRs

7 Things You Need to Know about the SDR

7 Things you need to know about the SDR
Let’s start from the beginning – What is an SDR? Is it money? Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) are an asset, though not money in the classic sense because they can’t be used to buy things. The value of an SDR is based on a basket of the world’s five leading currencies – the US dollar, euro, yuan, yen and the UK pound. The SDR is an accounting unit for IMF transactions with member countries – and a stable asset in countries’ international reserves.
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IMF

Q&A

Q. How many SDRs have been allocated so far?
The Fund has allocated a total of SDR 660.7 billion (equivalent to about US$935.7 billion), including four general allocations and a one-time special allocation. Specifically:
  • SDR 9.3 billion was allocated in yearly installments in 1970–72.
  • SDR 12.1 billion was allocated in yearly installments in 1979–81.
  • SDR 161.2 billion was allocated on August 28, 2009
  • A special one-time allocation of SDR 21.5 billion took effect on September 9, 2009 to correct for the fact that members that had joined the IMF after 1981 had never received an allocation (the Fourth Amendment special allocation)
  • SDR 456.5 billion (equivalent to about US$650 billion) was allocated on August 23, 2021, by far the largest allocation to date
  • In addition, new members to the Fund receive an SDR allocation upon their participation in the SDR Department
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