IMF to Identify Holdings of China’s Yuan in Reserves Surveys

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Washington: The International Monetary Fund on Friday said it would separately identify China’s yuan currency in its official foreign exchange reserves database starting October 1, a move prompted by the yuan’s new status in the Fund’s reserve currency basket.

The move will aid China’s effort to secure a bigger role for its currency, also known as the renminbi, by revealing quarterly reserve holdings of yuan among the 188 IMF member countries.

Last November, the IMF agreed to include the yuan in its Special Drawing Rights basket after determining that it is “freely usable.”

Friday’s move means the renminbi will join the other currencies that are separately identified in the IMF’s quarterly survey of foreign exchange reserves: the US dollar, euro, yen, pound sterling, Swiss franc, Australian dollar and Canadian dollar. All other currencies are lumped together.

“IMF member countries will be able to record as official reserves their holdings of RMB-denominated external assets that are readily available for meeting balance of payments financing needs,” the Fund said in a statement.

The change will be effective in time for the fourth quarter survey to be published in March 2017, the IMF said.