Selected Decisions and Selected Documents of the IMF, Thirty- Eighth Issue -- Selection of Currencies by the Fund

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

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ARTICLE V, SECTION 3(d) AND (f)
Media of Payment

SELECTION OF CURRENCIES BY THE FUND

This decision sets forth guidelines for the selection of currencies in purchases under Article V, Section 3(d), in repurchases under Article V, Section 7(i), and in transfers of SDRs by the Fund under Article V, Section 6(b) pursuant to decisions adopted prior to the date of this decision.

  • 1. Normally, the Fund will select a member’s currency for use in the operations and transactions of the General Resources Account in amounts that result in a net reduction of the Fund’s holdings of the currency only if the member’s balance of payments and gross reserve position is judged to be sufficiently strong. Accordingly this will not preclude the possibility that the Fund will make net reductions in its holdings of the currency of a member with a strong reserve position even though it has a moderate balance of payments deficit.

  • 2.

    • (a) Under procedures to be adopted, the currency of a member with outstanding purchases subject to the guidelines on early repurchase, whose balance of payments and gross reserve position is judged sufficiently strong for the purposes of operational budgets and designation plans, normally will be sold by the Fund under ­Article V, Section 3(d) only if the member and the Fund agree.

    • (b) If the outstanding purchases of a member judged ­sufficiently strong are not subject to the guidelines on early repurchase, and the member agrees with the Fund that its currency shall be sold, the amounts of its currency to be sold shall be calculated in accordance with the procedures set out in the Annex to this decision.

  • 3. If the currency of a member whose balance of payments and gross reserve position is not judged sufficiently strong in accordance with paragraph 1 above can be accepted in repurchase under Article V, Section 7(i), the Fund, at the request of the member, will give special emphasis to the use of that currency for repurchases.

  • 4. The guidelines in this decision will be applied in a manner that will allow the Fund to retain the flexibility necessary to ensure that (i) the use of currencies can be adapted to the needs and circumstances of members and of the Fund, and (ii) the transactions and operations of the Fund can be executed expeditiously and in a manner that pays due regard to the convenience of members. Considerations that are relevant under (i) may include the need for members to purchase certain currencies in order to stabilize exchange markets, the effects of the use or receipt of currencies on the Fund’s financial position, the Fund’s liquidity, and the fact that in respect of the issuer of a reserve currency the ratio of its Fund position to its gold and foreign exchange holdings may not provide an appropriate measure of the amounts of the currency that might be used by the Fund. Considerations under (ii) may include the need to avoid the use of an excessive number of currencies in single transactions and operations. (SM/81/37, Sup. 1, 3/4/81)

Decision No. 6774-(81/35),

March 5, 1981

ANNEX

Sales of Currencies of Members Indebted to the Fund

  • a. There are some members indebted to the Fund that are judged sufficiently strong but to whose outstanding purchases the guidelines on early repurchase do not apply. It was agreed that the Fund would not insist on its right to sell the currency of such a member and such sales would take place only if there was agreement between the member and the Fund. In such cases the Managing Director, is authorized, under procedures agreed by the Executive Board, to approach any of these members in a particularly strong position with a view to the member reducing its indebtedness to the Fund in amounts calculated in accordance with the guidelines. In order to facilitate sales of such members’ currencies, the rule of attribution is changed to give a member with outstanding indebtedness under excluded facilities financed by borrowing (other than the GAB) the option to apply the consequent reduction in the Fund’s holdings of its currency to an enlargement of its reserve tranche position rather than to the discharge of its outstanding obligations to the Fund.

  • b. The Fund will calculate the amounts of the currencies of the members referred to in (a) above, included for sales in an operational budget, in accordance with the guidelines on early repurchase. In addition, if any other debtor member whose outstanding purchases were neither under excluded facilities financed by borrowings nor subject to the guidelines on early repurchase agreed with the Fund on the sale of its currency, the Fund would calculate the amounts to be sold in the same manner. However, at the request of the member, the calculated amounts would be reduced for the first two successive budget periods. The calculation of the amount of sales of a debtor member’s currency for any quarterly period would no longer be made in accordance with the guidelines on early repurchase, or would be reduced from the calculated amount, when sales of the currency equal the outstanding indebtedness of the member to the Fund.

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