'Use IMF bonds cash to fight crisis'

WASHINGTON: Any money raised by the sale of bonds to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should be used to help developing countries, China said.

The BRIC nations, made up of Brazil, Russia, India and China, have called on the IMF to issue the debt instrument as a temporary measure to increase its resources.

The four countries are interested in buying the bonds, the institution's managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said at the IMF spring meeting on Saturday.

"Now we're discussing with different creditors the way to implement it and the amount that we put in it," he said.

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During the G20 summit, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said China was willing to pledge up to $40 billion to the IMF.

While making no mention of China's promise, Central Bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said the IMF should use its increased resources to support developing countries in their effort to cope with the financial crisis and maintain economic development.

He added that developed countries should assume the main responsibility for stabilizing the financial markets and reigniting economic growth.

China has already played an active role in stabilizing global finance and economic growth, Zhou said. Since last year, China has signed bilateral agreements on currency swaps worth 650 billion yuan ($ 95 billion) with South Korea, Malaysia,Belarus, Indonesia and Argentina as well as China's Hong Kong.

China will continue its pro-active fiscal policy and its moderately loose monetary policy to maintain momentum in the country's stable, relatively fast growth, Zhou said.

Brazil's Finance Minister Guido Mantega was quoted by Dow Jones as saying that the bond should have a relatively short maturity of around one year, should yield more than US Treasury notes, should qualify as government reserves and should be tradable on the secondary market.

Mantega said emerging markets that need the money most should benefit from the new securities the IMF is considering issuing.

Also on Saturday, Zhou stressed the IMF should push for reforms of special drawing rights - an international reserve asset created by the IMF to supplement reserves of member countries.

The World Bank and IMF spring conference began on Friday with a meeting of the Group of 7 wealthy nations - the US, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada - and was followed with a dinner meeting of the Group of 20 countries, which include the seven wealthy nations plus the major emerging markets such as China, Russia and Brazil. The conference ended yesterday.

Zhang Ran and Bloomberg contributed to the story

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