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IMF issues world's RMB-identified forex reserves for first time

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-04-01 10:32

WASHINGTON - The International Monetary Fund on Friday released data about the world's holdings of the Chinese currency, the renminbi (RMB), denominated foreign exchange reserves for the first time.

By the end of December 2016, forex reserves which were identified in the renminbi reached $84.51 billion, accounting for 1.07 percent of the world's total forex reserves, according to the data on the currency composition of official foreign exchange reserves (COFER), which was released by the IMF quarterly.

It's the first time for the IMF to release the data about the renminbi-identified forex reserves. Previously, the currencies identified in COFER were the US dollar, pound sterling, Japanese yen, Swiss francs, Canadian dollar, Australian dollar and euro.

The IMF announced in last March that it would separately identify the renminbi in its quarterly survey of the COFER from Oct 1, 2016, and would publish the first data with the separate identification of renminbi-denominated reserves at the end of March 2017.

This move recognized the continuing internationalization of the renminbi, facilitated by China's reforms to promote a more market-based economy, said the IMF last March.

By the end of 2016, the US dollar-denominated forex reserves reached $5,052.94 billion by the end of 2016, accounting for 63.96 percent of the world's total; the euro-denominated forex reserves ranked the second, with their share at 19.74 percent, according to the COFER data.

The COFER lists the currency composition of holdings of foreign exchange reserves across 146 reporters which consist of IMF member countries, non-member countries or economies and other foreign exchanges reserve holding entities.

The IMF published the COFER data quarterly and its members voluntarily participate in the COFER survey.

The COFER data for individual countries are kept confidential given the sensitive nature of the data.

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