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Reviews of the Fund's Sovereign ARREARS Policies and Perimeter

May 18, 2022
This paper undertakes a comprehensive review of the Fund’s sovereign arrears policies. Staff assesses that the Fund’s Lending into Arrears to Private Creditors (LIA) policy (established in 1989 and last reviewed in 2002) remains broadly appropriate, while recommending some improvements given the experience gained over the last 20 years. Staff also sees merit in codifying the existing practice guiding the Fund in preemptive debt restructurings into a Fund policy, together with an amendment focusing on debt transparency. Given limited experience with the application of the LIOA policy (established in 2015), staff does not propose any amendments but only one restatement confirming current practice. Given recent developments in the international creditor community, staff proposes refining the Fund’s arrears policies with respect to multilateral creditors. Finally, recent developments raise questions about the perimeter between official bilateral and private claims, with significant implications for the Fund’s arrears policies.

Review of the Method of Valuation of the SDR

May 17, 2022
This paper provides the basis for the quinquennial review by the Executive Board of the method of valuation of the Special Drawing Right (SDR). The review covers the composition and weighting of the SDR currency basket, and the financial instruments used to determine the SDR interest rate. In the five-year period for this review (2017‒21), developments in key variables relevant for the SDR valuation suggest that there have been no major changes in the roles of currencies in the world economy. The countries and the currency union (euro area) whose currencies are currently included in the SDR basket remain the five largest exporters and their currencies continue to account for the majority of international financial transactions. Moreover, staff analysis finds that the COVID-19 pandemic and recent fintech developments have no systematic or material impact on the SDR valuation. The paper proposes to maintain the current composition of the SDR currency and interest rate baskets, as well as the method for determining the currency weights and currency amounts in the basket. In line with the Board-approved methodology, the paper proposes updated weights for the currencies in the SDR basket. These maintain the same ranking of the initial weights set in the 2015 review, with slightly higher weights for the U.S. dollar and the Chinese renminbi and, accordingly, somewhat lower weights for the British pound, the euro, and the Japanese yen. The paper also proposes to make explicit the treatment of data gaps in the SDR valuation framework. Findings from a survey of SDR department participants and prescribed holders are used to follow up on operational issues raised in earlier valuation reviews. The new SDR valuation and interest rate baskets are proposed to come into effect on August 1, 2022 for a period of five years.

Blog: Healing the Pandemic’s Economic Scars Demands Prompt Action

May 17, 2022
Challenges facing emerging market workers and students everywhere could turn to long-term damage.

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