Selected Decisions and Selected Documents of the IMF, Thirty- Eighth Issue -- The Fundís Financing RoleóReform Proposals on Liquidity and Emergency AssistanceóPrecautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL) Arrangements

Prepared by the Legal Department of the IMF
As updated as of February 29, 2016

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ARTICLE V, SECTION 3(a), (b), AND (c)
Use of Fund Resources

THE FUND’S FINANCING ROLE—REFORM PROPOSALS ON LIQUIDITY AND EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE—PRECAUTIONARY AND LIQUIDITY LINE (PLL) ARRANGEMENTS

  • 1. The Fund decides that resources in the credit tranches may be made available under a Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL) arrangement, in accordance with the terms and conditions specified in this Decision.

  • 2. (a) A PLL arrangement shall be approved upon request in cases where the Fund assesses that the member (i) has sound economic fundamentals and institutional policy frameworks, (ii) is implementing—and has a track record of implementing—sound policies, and (iii) remains committed to maintaining such policies in the future, all of which give confidence that the member will take the policy measures needed to reduce any remaining vulnerabilities and will respond appropriately to the balance of payments difficulties that it is encountering or might encounter.

    (b) (i) In addition to requiring a generally positive assessment of the member’s policies by the Executive Board in the context of the most recent Article IV consultations, a member’s qualification for a PLL arrangement shall be assessed in the following areas (with the member being expected to perform strongly in most of these areas and not to substantially underperform in any of them): (i) external position and market access, (ii) fiscal policy, (iii) monetary policy, (iv) financial sector soundness and supervision, and (v) data adequacy.

    (b)(ii) With respect to arrangements to be approved after May 21, 2014, in assessing these five qualification areas specified in paragraph 2(b)(i), the Fund will in particular take into account the following nine criteria: (1) a sustainable external position; (2) a capital account position dominated by private flows; (3) a track record of steady sovereign access to international capital markets at favorable terms; (4) a reserve position that is relatively comfortable when the PLL is requested on a precautionary basis; (5) sound public finances, including a sustainable public debt position; (6) low and stable inflation, in the context of a sound monetary and exchange rate policy framework; (7) sound financial system and the absence of solvency problems that may threaten systemic stability; (8) effective financial sector supervision; and (9) data transparency and integrity. These nine criteria are specifically linked to the five qualification areas specified in paragraph 2(b)(i) as follows: (i) external position and market access, linked to qualification criteria (1)-(4); (ii) fiscal policy, linked to qualification criterion (5); (iii) monetary policy, linked to qualification criterion (6); (iv) financial sector soundness and supervision, linked to qualification criteria (7)-(8); and (v) data adequacy, linked to qualification criterion (9).

    (c) Notwithstanding paragraph 2(b) above, the Fund shall not approve a PLL arrangement for a member facing any of the following circumstances: (i) sustained inability to access international capital markets, (ii) the need to undertake a large macroeconomic or structural policy adjustment (unless such adjustment has credibly been launched before approval), (iii) a public debt position that is not sustainable in the medium term with a high probability, or (iv) widespread bank insolvencies.

  • 3. (a) The Fund may approve a member’s request for a PLL arrangement (i) with a duration of one to two years, or (ii) with a duration of six months in circumstances where the member has an actual or potential short-term balance of payments need such that it can generally be expected to make credible progress in addressing its vulnerabilities during the six-month period of the arrangement.

    (b) PLL arrangements with a duration of one to two years shall have conditionality that includes indicative targets, as well as the standard performance criteria related to trade and exchange restrictions, bilateral payments arrangements, multiple currency practices and non-accumulation of external debt payments arrears as specified in paragraphs 3(d) and 3(b)(ii), respectively, of Attachment A of Decision No. 10464-(93/130), adopted September 13, 1993 as amended. The conditionality under these PLL arrangements may also include other performance criteria, prior actions and structural benchmarks where warranted under the Guidelines on Conditionality set forth in Decision No. 12864-(02/102), adopted September 25, 2002, as amended. PLL arrangements with a duration of one to two years shall provide for six-monthly reviews by the Executive Board to assess whether the member’s PLL-supported program remains on track to achieve its objectives based on relevant factors such as the member’s observance of performance criteria, indicative targets and structural benchmarks, as applicable; its continued adherence to the PLL qualification standard set forth in paragraphs 2(a) and 2(b) of this Decision; and its policy understandings for the future. Such reviews would be scheduled with the objective of completion by the Executive Board immediately prior to the lapse of each six-month period referred to above.

    (c) The conditionality under PLL arrangements with a six-month duration shall include the standard performance criteria specified in paragraph 3(b) above and may also include prior actions where warranted under the Guidelines on Conditionality, but shall not include reviews or other forms of ex post conditionality.

  • 4. (a) Subject to paragraphs 4(b) and 4(c) of this Decision, access to Fund resources under the PLL instrument shall be subject to a cumulative cap of 1000 percent of quota, net of scheduled repurchases, which shall apply to all PLL arrangements regardless of duration.

    (b) In addition to the PLL instrument access cap specified in paragraph 4(a) above, access under PLL arrangements with a duration of one to two years shall be subject to an annual access limit of 500 percent of quota (net of scheduled repurchases) applicable at the time of approval of such arrangements, and shall be subject to the following additional considerations:

    • (i) For one-year PLL arrangements approved for members not having an actual balance of payment need at the time of approval of the arrangement, the entire amount of approved access shall be available upon approval of the arrangement and shall remain available throughout the arrangement period, subject to completion of a six-monthly review as specified in paragraph 3(b) of this Decision. For PLL arrangements with a duration of one to two years approved for members not having an actual balance of payment need at the time of approval of the arrangement, purchases shall be phased, with an initial amount not in excess of 500 percent of quota being available upon approval of the arrangement and the remaining amount being made available at the beginning of the second year of arrangement, subject to completion of the relevant six-monthly reviews specified in paragraph 3(b) of this Decision.

    • (ii) For PLL arrangements with a duration of one to two years approved for members that are facing an actual balance of payments need at the time of approval of the arrangement, purchases shall be phased, with an initial amount being available upon approval of the arrangement and the remaining amounts being made available at semi-annual intervals, subject to completion of the relevant six-monthly reviews specified in paragraph 3(b) of this Decision.

    (c) In addition to the PLL instrument access cap specified in paragraph 4(a) above, the following access limits and additional considerations shall apply to six-month PLL arrangements:

    • (i) A per arrangement limit of 250 percent of quota, net of scheduled repurchases, shall normally apply to six-month PLL arrangements, with the entire amount of approved access being available to the member upon approval of the arrangement and remaining available throughout the arrangement period.

    • (ii) A per arrangement limit of 500 percent of quota, net of scheduled repurchases, shall apply to six-month PLL arrangements in exceptional circumstances where a member is experiencing or has the potential to experience short-term balance of payments needs that exceed the 250 percent of quota limit specified in paragraph 4(c)(i) above due to the impact of exogenous shocks, including heightened regional or global stress conditions. Accordingly, the Fund may in these circumstances, and on a case-by-case basis, approve a new six-month PLL arrangement or augment access under an existing six-month PLL arrangement up to this higher limit, with the entire amount of approved access being available to the member upon approval of the arrangement or, in the case of augmentations, upon completion of an ad hoc review under paragraph 4(d) below, and remaining available throughout the arrangement period.

    • (iii) Total access to Fund resources under all six-month PLL arrangements shall in no event exceed a cumulative six-month PLL arrangement access limit of 500 percent of quota, net of scheduled repurchases.

    (d) Subject to the PLL instrument access cap specified in paragraph 4(a) above and, for six-month PLL arrangements, subject to the limits specified in paragraph 4(c) above, the Fund will stand ready to consider a member’s request to make additional amounts available under any PLL arrangement. The Fund will also stand ready to rephase access under PLL arrangements with a duration of one to two years. Such augmentation or rephasing of access shall be considered in the context of a scheduled or ad hoc review in which the Fund assesses the member’s actual or potential need for Fund resources and the extent to which the PLL-supported program remains on track to achieve its objectives based on the factors specified for six-monthly reviews in paragraph 3(b) of this Decision.

  • 5. (a) A PLL arrangement will expire upon the earlier of: (i) the expiration of the approved term of the arrangement, (ii) the purchase by a member of the entire amount of approved access under the PLL arrangement, or (iii) the cancellation of the PLL arrangement by the member.

    (b) Upon the expiration of a PLL arrangement, the Fund may on a case-by-case basis approve additional PLL arrangements with a duration of one to two years for the member in accordance with the terms of this Decision, including the provisions on qualification and use of prior actions where warranted.

    (c) Following the expiration of a six-month PLL arrangement, the Fund may on a case-by-case basis approve additional six-month PLL arrangements for the member in accordance with the terms of this Decision, including the provisions on qualification and use of prior actions where warranted, if either (i) at least two years have elapsed since the approval of the most recent six-month PLL arrangement, or (ii) the member’s balance of payments need is longer than originally anticipated due to the impact of exogenous shocks, including heightened regional or global stress conditions, provided that not more than one additional six-month PLL arrangement may be approved under the circumstances specified in this clause (ii).

  • 6. The following procedures and arrangements for consultations with the Executive Board will apply following a member’s expression of interest in any PLL arrangement:

    • (a) Staff will conduct a confidential preliminary assessment of the qualification criteria set forth in paragraph 2 of this Decision.

    • (b) Once management decides that access to Fund resources under this Decision may be appropriate, it will consult with the Executive Board promptly in an informal meeting. For this purpose, Executive Directors will be provided with a concise note setting out the basis on which approval could be recommended under this Decision, including a preliminary assessment of the member’s qualification for the PLL, an initial discussion of the key policy areas where policy actions might be sought and an assessment of the member’s actual or potential need for Fund resources and repayment capacity.

  • 7. A member may make one or more purchases up to the amount available under a PLL arrangement, subject to the provisions of this Decision. The Fund shall not challenge a representation of need by a member for a purchase requested under a PLL arrangement.

  • 8. Phasing and performance clauses shall be omitted in any PLL arrangement in the first credit tranche. They will be included in other PLL arrangements where specified under the terms of this Decision, but will apply only to purchases outside the first credit tranche.

  • 9. In requesting a PLL arrangement, the member shall submit a concise written communication outlining its policy goals and strategies for at least the duration of the arrangement as well as measures aimed at addressing its remaining vulnerabilities, together with a quantified macroeconomic framework. Where PLL arrangements with a duration of one to two years are requested, such a framework shall be underpinned by a streamlined set of indicative targets, and where warranted, structural benchmarks and performance criteria. For six-month PLL arrangements, the member shall commit to undergo a safeguards assessment, provide staff with access to its central bank’s most recently completed external audit reports and authorize its external auditors to hold discussions with Fund staff. The timing and modalities for the safeguards assessment for members with a six-month PLL arrangement would be determined on a case-by-case basis, but normally the safeguards assessment would need to be completed before Executive Board approval for the member of any subsequent arrangement to which the Fund’s safeguards assessments policy applies.

  • 10. In order to carry out the purposes of this Decision, the Fund will be prepared to grant a waiver of the limitation of 200 percent of quota in Article V, Section 3(b)(iii), whenever necessary to permit purchases under this Decision or to permit other purchases that would raise the Fund’s holdings of the purchasing member’s currency above that limitation because of purchases outstanding under this Decision.

  • 11. All arrangements under Decision No. 14715-(10/83), adopted August 30, 2010 on Precautionary Credit Line Arrangements, that are in force on the effective date of this Decision shall be renamed Arrangements under the Precautionary and Liquidity Line, and shall be subject to the terms of this Decision.

  • 12. The term “PCL” in Decision No. 14064-(08/18), adopted February 22, 2008, as amended, on access policy and limits in the credit tranches, is revised to read “PLL”; and the terms “Precautionary Credit Line” and “PCL” in Decision No. 14745-(10/96), adopted September 28, 2010 on Article IV consultation cycles, are revised to read “Precautionary and Liquidity Line” and “PLL,” respectively.

  • 13. Decision No. 7925-(85/38), adopted March 8, 1985, as amended, on the relationship between performance criteria and phasing under GRA arrangements, shall not apply to PLL arrangements.

  • 14. Decision No. 14715-(10/83), adopted August 30, 2010 on Precautionary Credit Line Arrangements is hereby repealed. (SM/11/284, Sup. 3, 11/22/11)

Decision No. 15017-(11/112),

November 21, 2011,

as amended by Decision Nos. 15594-(14/46), May 21, 2014, and

15942-(16/14), February 17, 2016

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