IMF's Financial Resources and Liquidity Position
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IMF's Financial Resources and
Liquidity Position,
2000 – February 2002

(In billions of SDRs unless otherwise indicated; end-of-period) Explanatory Note
Liquidity Home

          Feb. 2002
      2000 2001 SDRs US$

I. Total resources 215.2 217.1 217.4 270
    Members' currencies 206.3 209.0 209.4 260
    SDR holdings 2.4 1.5 1.4 2
    Gold holdings 5.9 5.9 5.9 7
    Other assets 0.6 0.7 0.8 1
    Available under GAB/NAB activation - - - -
II. Less: Non-usable resources 105.5 114.7 116.5 145
III. Equals: Usable resources 109.7 102.5 100.9 125
    Less: Amounts committed under arrangements 17.1 21.6 24.2 30
    Less: Minimum working balances 15.1 15.5 15.5 19
IV. Net uncommitted usable resources 77.6 65.4 61.2 76
    [Allowance for use of reserve positions] [11.8-14.2] [14.2-17.1] [14.6-17.5] [18-22]
V. Balances available under the GAB/NAB 34.0 34.0 34.0 42
VI. Liquid liabilities 47.4 56.9 58.3 72
    Reserve tranche positions 47.4 56.9 58.3 72
    Outstanding borrowing (GAB/NAB) - - - -
VII. Liquidity ratio (in percent) 163.7 114.9 105.0  
    (IV. divided by VI.)        
  Memorandum item: US$ per SDR 1.30291 1.25673 1.24163  

  Note: Details may not add due to rounding.

The IMF's Financial Resources and Liquidity Position:
Explanatory Note
  1. Total resources
    The IMF's total resources are comprised of its holdings of members' currencies, its holdings of SDRs, its holdings of gold, and "other assets" (such as buildings and receivables). The IMF holds 103.4 million fine ounces of gold, valued on its balance sheet at SDR 5.9 billion on the basis of an average historical acquisition cost. As mandated by the IMF's Articles of Agreement, gold acquired prior to 1978 is valued at SDR 35 per ounce, the "official" price used at that time in dealings among central banks. Gold acquired since 1978 (13 million ounces) is valued at the market price in effect at the time of acquisition.

  2. Non-usable resources
    Resources that are considered non-usable to finance the IMF's ongoing operations and transactions are (i) its gold holdings, (ii) the currencies of members that are using IMF resources and are therefore, by definition, in a weak balance of payments or reserve position, (iii) the currencies of other members with relatively weak external positions, and (iv) the "other assets" noted above. The use of IMF credit by a member increases the IMF's non-usable resources and reduces its usable resources by equivalent amounts.

  3. Usable resources
    These consist of (i) holdings of the currencies of members considered by the Executive Board to have a sufficiently strong balance of payments and reserve position for their currencies to be used in transactions, (ii) holdings of SDRs, and (iii) any unused amounts under credit lines already activated (such as under the GAB/NAB). Amounts committed under arrangements, which reflect undrawn balances committed under operative stand-by and extended arrangements, other than precautionary arrangements, are deducted from the total of usable resources, as are one-half of the amounts committed under precautionary arrangements. Minimum working balances required for the IMF to be able to make payments that must be made in specified currencies are also deducted. The Executive Board has decided that such balances be set at 10 percent of the quotas of members deemed sufficiently strong for their currencies to be used.

  4. Net uncommitted usable resources (resources available to meet reserve tranche purchases and new commitments)
    Currently usable resources minus resources already committed under existing arrangements and working balances as described above. This amount represents the resources available to meet requests for use of reserve positions in the IMF and new requests for use of IMF resources.

  5. Balances available under the General Arrangements to Borrow (GAB) and the New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB)
    The IMF has two borrowing arrangements--the New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB) and the General Arrangements to Borrow (GAB)--that can be activated when supplementary resources are needed to forestall or cope with an impairment of the international monetary system. The NAB, established in November 1998, total SDR 34 billion with 25 members and institutions. The GAB, established in 1962, enable the Fund to borrow a total of SDR 17 billion, from 11 members or their central banks. An additional SDR 1.5 billion is available under an associated arrangement with Saudi Arabia. The NAB do not replace the GAB, and the total available to the Fund under the NAB and GAB combined is SDR 34 billion. However, the NAB are the facility of first and principal recourse, unless a GAB participant requests the use of IMF resources, in which case a proposal for calls may be made under either of the arrangements.

  6. Liquid liabilities
    The IMF's liquid liabilities consist of (i) reserve tranche positions of members, which a member acquires when the IMF uses the member's currency in its operations and through reserve assets paid by the member in connection with quota payments, and (ii) the amount of any outstanding borrowing by the IMF, e.g., under the GAB/NAB. Both reserve tranche positions and outstanding lending under the GAB/NAB (together called reserve positions of members in the IMF) are part of members' international reserves. The IMF cannot challenge a request by a member to draw on its reserve position in the IMF when developments in its balance of payments or its reserve position make this necessary and the IMF must be in a position to meet such requests. The vast bulk of liquid liabilities reflects credit extended by the IMF.

  7. Liquidity ratio
    The liquidity ratio is a measure of the IMF's liquidity position, represented by the ratio of its net uncommitted usable resources to its liquid liabilities. The Fund does not formally apportion its available net uncommitted resources between the amounts that might be needed to meet encashment of members' reserve positions and resources to meet new commitments. However, the first claim on the Fund's resources is to meet requests to liquidate members' positions in the Fund--hence the importance of the liquidity ratio. It is difficult to project members' propensity to use their reserve positions at any particular time, though the likelihood that all the Fund's liquid liabilities would be encashed during a short period of time is relatively small. However, it is incumbent on the Fund to be in a position to meet any request for an encashment of reserve positions. For that purpose, the Fund needs to maintain an amount of usable resources that bears a reasonable relation to its liquid liabilities. While this ratio is neither a fixed nor minimum ratio, historically it has not fallen below 25-30 percent of liquid liabilities for any length of time, thereby maintaining the Fund's capacity to meet members' requests. Application of this range to the Fund's outstanding liquid liabilities is illustrated, in square brackets, in the table.