- International Monetary Fund
- Published Date:
- December 1994
The definitions of terms and concepts used in this report are consistent with those currently used by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the International Monetary Fund (IMF/Fund), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank and generally by the financial community at large. Where a term is used by one of the organisations in a particular or restricted sense this is indicated in the definition.
Interest which has accumulated but which is not legally due before a specified payment date.
(Of banks): branches, subsidiaries and joint ventures.
The balance of payments is presented in two formats in the Balance of Payments Statistics Yearbook, viz the detailed and the aggregated presentations. The former shows the balance of payments components according to the standard classification recommended in the Fund’ Balance of Payments Manual (see Chapter I, Attachment I) and the latter according to certain analytic concepts. The aggregated presentation identifies, inter alia, exceptional financing (see also Exceptional financing below).
Negotiable certificate issued by a US bank in respect of stock issued by a foreign corporation. The securities are held in a custodial account.
Repayment of principal during a given accounting period.
Buying (or borrowing) in one market and selling (or lending) in the same or another market to take advantage of inefficiencies or price differences.
Amount of principal and/or interest due but not paid as at the reporting date.
(IMF) The balance of payments is a statistical statement that systematically summarises, for a specific period of time, the economic transactions of an economy with the rest of the world. Transactions consist of those involving goods, services and income, those involving financial claims and liabilities vis-à-vis the rest of the world, and those (such as gifts) classified as transfers.
Established in 1930 by intergovernmental convention, the Bank for International Settlements promotes cooperation among central banks. In this capacity it carries out four main functions: it holds and manages deposits from a large number of central banks throughout the world; it serves as a forum for international monetary cooperation; it assists as agent or trustee in the execution of various international financial agreements; and it carries out research and issues publications on monetary and economic subjects.
(IMF) All units that engage in financial intermediation as their principal activity and have liabilities in the form of deposits or financial instruments (such as short-term certificates of deposit) that are close substitutes for deposits.
An informal association of export credit agencies whose members exchange information and seek to establish common standards, for instance on the appropriate downpayment and repayment periods for various kinds of exports. The 50 members meet twice a year. They also maintain informal credit ratings of the borrowing countries.
A loan obtained by the purchaser of goods and services from a source in the exporting country, with the supplier being paid in cash; also known as financial credit (see Trade-related credit).
(World Bank, OECD) The annulment of undisbursed portions of loans or credits. Also, the annulment of a commitment to provide a grant or a loan (see Commitment).
(IMF) In the fourth edition of the Fund’s Balance of Payments Manual (and for the purpose of this report) the capital account of the balance of payments comprises all transactions in an economy’s foreign financial assets and liabilities, together with some specified changes of other kinds (e.g. monetisation of gold) that may affect its assets and liabilities and the counterparts to those changes. In the fifth edition of the Manual the capital account covers capital transfers and acquisition or disposal of non-produced non-financial items (e.g. patents). Capital transfer consists of the transfer - without a quid pro quo - of ownership of a fixed asset or the forgiveness of debt. The financial account covers transactions in financial assets and liabilities.
The market for buying and selling long-term loanable funds, in the form of bonds, mortgages and similar instruments. Unlike the money market, where short-term funds are traded, the capital market tends to centre on well organised institutions such as the stock exchange. However, there is no clearcut distinction between the two other than that capital markets are generally used by businesses, financial institutions and governments to buy capital goods whereas money market loans generally meet a temporary need for working capital.
The conversion of accrued or future interest payments, by agreement with the creditor, into a financial liability.
Negotiable and non-negotiable receipt for a time deposit, with maturities ranging from 7 days to 7 years or longer, usually paying a fixed rate of interest.
(Of banks): financial assets (balance-sheet items only).
A firm obligation to furnish resources of a given amount on specified financial terms and conditions. In OECD terminology, the term refers to government grants and loans, with a firm obligation expressed in an agreement or equivalent contract to furnish funds of a specified amount on specified terms and conditions and for specified purposes.
The date on which the commitment is made.
The difference between the nominal value of the loan and the discounted present value of the debt service, expressed as a percentage of the nominal value of the loan (see also Grant element).
Loans with a grant element of 25% or more (see also Grant element).
(Of banks): refers to a balance sheet grouping of assets and liabilities of a parent company and subsidiaries, after elimination of all unrealised profits on intra-group trading and of all intra-group balances.
Used of a liability which may or may not be incurred, depending on a future event (contingency).
Any amount for which there is a specific obligation of repayment. It includes loans and other transfer agreements which give rise to specific obligations to repay over a period of time, usually with interest. It may subsume a grant commitment, but only where reference is made to “tied aid credits” as defined by the OECD Arrangement on officially supported export credits.
A party providing money or resources and to whom payment is owed under a specific agreement.
The country in which the lender is resident.
Statistical system operated by the OECD.
Asset and liability positions vis-à-vis banks and non-banks located in a country other than the country of residence of the reporting bank (also referred to as “external” positions).
A transaction between residents of different economies.
The unit of account in which indebtedness is expressed in the loan contract.
The currency in which payment is due according to the loan agreement.
The unit of account in which amounts are reported to other compilers by the agency producing the data.
A swap involving the exchange of cash flows and principal in one currency for those in another with an agreement to reverse the swap of any unamortised principal at a future date.
The medium of exchange in which an individual transfer occurs. It may be currency (e.g. US dollar, pound sterling), goods or services. The medium of exchange of one transaction (e.g. disbursement)does not necessarily determine the medium of exchange of another (e.g. repayment).
(IMF) The current account of the balance of payments covers all transactions (other than those in financial items) that involve economic values and occur between residents and non-resident entities. Also covered are offsets to current economic values provided or acquired without a quid pro quo. Included are: goods, services, income and current transfers.
(IMF) The balance on goods, services, income and current transfers is commonly referred to as the “current” balance or “current account” balance.
The repurchase by a debtor country of all or a part of its external debt, usually at a discount. The debtor country reduces its obligations while the creditor receives some payment.
The purchase by a non-profit organisation such as non-governmental organisation (NGO) of the external debt of a country at a discount in the secondary market which the NGO then exchanges for local currency to be used for philanthropic purposes.
The repayment in kind by a debtor country of all or part of its external debt. Typically the lender takes a specific, earmarked percentage of the receipts from the exports of a particular commodity or group of commodities.
The exchange of debt for another liability.
A transaction in which debt (usually of a sovereign country) is exchanged for equity participation in one of the country’s firms. Typically, there will be clauses in the agreement to prevent the repatriation of capital before some specified future date.
The extinction of a debt, in whole or in part, by agreement between debtor and creditor.
An agreement to exchange a liability for funds which are used for projects that improve the environment.
Cancellation of unpaid principal (whether or not already due) and of interest payments already due and, for the OECD, a reduction in the interest rate.
Any action by a creditor that officially alters the terms established for repayment. Debt reorganisation can take several forms, including forgiveness, rescheduling, rephasing and refinancing.
Refers to payments in respect of both principal and interest.
- Actual debt service is the set of repayments actually made to satisfy a debt, including principal interest and late fees.
- Scheduled debt service is the set of repayments which is contractually required to be made through the life of the debt, including principal and interest.
The ratio of debt service payments made by or due from a country to the value of that country’s export earnings.
The process of working out a satisfactory method whereby the debtor country can repay external debt, including restructuring, adjustment, and the provision of new money.
The country in which the debtor is resident.
Statistical system operated by the World Bank for monitoring the debt of developing countries.
The failure to meet any obligation or term under a credit agreement or contract. A payment which is overdue or in arrears is technically “in default”, since by virtue of non-payment the borrower has failed to abide by the terms and conditions of the credit. In practice the point at which a loan or credit is considered “in default” will vary.
(IMF) Financial institutions other than monetary authorities that have liabilities in the form of deposits payable on demand and transferable by cheque or otherwise to make payments.
See Aggregated presentation.
Originally established in 1960 as the Development Assistance Group under the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation and continued under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development as the DAC. The objective of the DAC is the expansion of the volume of resources made available to the developing countries and the improvement of their effectiveness. It periodically reviews both the amount and the nature of its members’ contributions to aid programmes, both bilateral and multilateral. The DAC does not disburse assistance funds directly but is concerned with promoting increased and more effective assistance efforts by its members.
The amount that has been disbursed from a loan but has not yet been repaid or forgiven.
The actual international transfer of financial resources. A disbursement may be recorded at one of several stages: provision of goods and services; placing of funds at the disposal of the recipient in an earmarked fund or account; withdrawal of funds by the recipient from an earmarked fund or account; or payment by the lender of invoices on behalf of the borrower. The term “utilised” may apply when the credit extended is in a form other than currency. Disbursements may be recorded gross (the actual amount disbursed) or net (less repayment of principal).
Exchange rate prevailing on the final working day of a given period.
(IMF) As an alternative to, or in conjunction with, the use of reserve assets, Fund credit and loans, and liabilities constituting foreign authorities’ reserves, to deal with payments imbalances, exceptional financing denotes any other arrangements made by the authorities of an economy to finance balance of payments needs.
A loan for the purpose of trade which is not represented by a negotiable instrument. Frequently these loans bear interest at a rate subsidised by the government of the creditor country as a means of promoting exports (see Trade-related credit).
An agency in a creditor country which provides loans to finance the export of goods (official export credits) or provides insurance or guarantees on loans from the private sector of the creditor country (guaranteed export credits).
Defined by members of the IWGEDS as follows: “Gross external debt is the amount, at any given time, of disbursed and outstanding contractual liabilities of residents of a country to non-residents to repay principal, with or without interest, or to pay interest, with or without principal”.
Countries with favourable tax rules and other regulations attracting companies whose main business (originally primarily shipping but increasingly production or services) is outside the country.
(IMF) Direct investment reflects a lasting interest of a resident entity in one economy (direct investor)in an entity resident in another economy (direct investment enterprise). A lasting interest is established if the direct investor holds 10% or more of the voting power of the direct investment enterprise. Direct investment covers all transactions in financial assets and liabilities between direct investors and direct investment enterprises.
To renounce a legally binding claim or to grant relief from all or part of a debt under statutory authority.
(see Use of Fund credit and loans)
An annual publication of the OECD showing the sources of official development financing to individual developing countries and territories. Included in this publication are detailed data on the geographical distribution of net and gross disbursements, commitments, terms and the sectoral allocation of commitments.
A legally binding document which obligates a specific value of funds available for disbursement, in cash or in kind, for which no repayment requirement exists. Also, the funds disbursed. (See also Technical cooperation grants and grant-like flow).
The measure of concessionality of a loan, calculated as the difference between the face value of the future service payments to be made by the borrower and the grant equivalent, and expressed as a percentage of the face value of the loan. By convention, a 10% discount rate is used (see also Concessionality level).
The present value of a loan, using, by convention, a 10% discount rate, of the future debt service payments to be made by the borrower. The grant equivalent is the grant element expressed as a percentage of the face value of the loan.
In OECD terminology, this describes loans for which the original commitment stipulates that service payments are to be made to an account in the borrowing country and to be used in the borrowing country to the benefit of that donor country. These transactions are treated as grants in the OECD/DAC statistics because their repayment does not require a flow of foreign currency across the exchanges and the proceeds are used for development purposes. They are, nevertheless, counted as external debt, since the creditor is non-resident.
The measure of the total domestic and foreign output claimed by residents of an economy, less the domestic output claimed by non-residents. GNP does not include deductions for depreciation.
A legally binding agreement by a lender to pay any part or all of the amount due on a loan instrument in the event of non-payment by the borrower.
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) was set up as an intergovernmental financial institution in 1946 as a result of the Bretton Woods Accord. It is the original agency of the World Bank group and is commonly referred to as the World Bank (see also World Bank).
The International Development Association, which was established in 1960, supplements the activities of the World Bank. It provides low-income developing countries with long-term loans on highly concessional terms: typically a 10-year grace period, a 40-year repayment period and only a small servicing charge.
An export credit which carries a guarantee, issued by an export credit agency, protecting the creditor against political or transfer risks in the debtor country which may prevent the remittance of debt service payments (see also Export credit agency).
A specialised agency of the United Nations which encourages monetary cooperation; establishes international standards for exchange rate policy; promotes stable exchange rates among its member nations; and extends loans and credits to members in temporary payments difficulties.
Asset and liability positions of banks vis-à-vis other banks.
(IMF) A statistical statement, as at a given date, of the stock of external financial claims and liabilities. The position at the end of a period reflects financial transactions, valuation changes and other adjustments occurring during the period which affect the level of assets and liabilities.
The additional interest that may be levied on obligations overdue beyond a specified time; in some Paris Club agreements late interest charges have been specifically excluded from the debt consolidation.
An amount owed (i.e. payable) by an individual or entity for items or services received, expenses incurred, assets acquired, construction performed and amounts received but not yet earned.
An understanding or statement of the willingness to provide credit up to a ceiling over a specified period of time.
A legally binding document which obligates a specific value of funds available for disbursement. The funds disbursed are to be repaid (with or without interest and late fees) in accordance with the terms of a promissory note or repayment schedule.
The legal evidence of an agreement to lend once certain preconditions have been met.
The London interbank offer rate for deposits, such as the 6-month dollar LIBOR or 6-month Deutschemark LIBOR. This rate is used for convenience to measure the approximate cost to banks of funds which they obtain in the interbank markets, and it is commonly the basis on which their lending margins are fixed. Thus, an original loan agreement or a rescheduling agreement may set the interest rate to the borrower at 6-month dollar LIBOR plus 1.5%, with semi-annual adjustments for changes in the LIBOR rate.
Debt that has an original or extended maturity of more than one year.
Amounts of money that willing buyers pay to acquire something from willing sellers.
The period from commitment or disbursement to final repayment of the loan.
The time remaining until the final repayment of the loan.
In the terminology of the BIS, the breakdown of claims or liabilities according to their residual maturity (also known as “maturity profile” or “maturity distribution”).
(Of banks): country of residence of the head office.
A process through which privately owned (including foreign-owned) enterprises are taken over by the state. The state normally assumes, together with the assets of the enterprise, any outstanding debt, including external debt.
“It must be administered with the promotion of the economic development and welfare of the developing countries as its main objective. Second, it must be concessional in character with a grant element of at least 25 per cent”.
Loans with a maturity of over one year meeting the criteria set out in the definition of official development assistance which are provided by governments or official agencies and for which repayment is required in convertible currencies or in kind.
International organisations, regional development banks and inter governmental agencies, governments and their agencies (including central banks).
A non-monetary financial intermediary controlled by the public sector. It primarily engages in making long-term loans that are beyond the capacity of other financial institutions.
Export credits which are extended by specialised agencies or institutions of the official sector (and whose terms can therefore be influenced by the government).
A financial centre where many of the financial institutions present have little connection with the country’s financial system and are usually resident for tax purposes.
Successor to the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation, established in 1961. With the reconstruction of Europe accomplished (the aim of the OEEC), the objectives of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development are to promote economic growth through the expansion of world trade and to aid the economic expansion of the developing countries. Its headquarters are in Paris, France.
Transactions by the official sector of the creditor country whose main objective is other than the borrowing country’s economic development, or, if they are mainly for development, whose grant element is below the 25% threshold that would make them eligible to be recorded as ODA.
The forum in which debt relief has been provided since 1956 by the governments belonging to the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD. The members of the DAC are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Commission. Participation in the Club is open to any official creditors that wish to take part. The Chairman of the Club and its small secretariat are provided by the French Treasury, which also arranges the venue for its meetings in Paris.
(IMF) Investment in long-term debt securities and equity securities, other than direct investment and the acquisition of reserve assets. In the fifth edition of the Balance of Payments Manual, this category also covers short-term financial instruments, including derivatives.
The partial or full repayment or repurchase by the borrower of outstanding loan principal and interest in advance of maturity. This may be at a discount from the current outstanding principal.
The amount of principal disbursed and not repaid.
The repayment stream of principal by due date and instalment amount.
Bondholders (of bonds that are either publicly issued or privately placed), private banks and other private financial institutions, and manufacturers, exporters and other suppliers of goods which have extended credits.
The external obligation of a private debtor whose repayment is not guaranteed by a public (borrowing country) or official (creditor country) entity.
A written promise to repay a loan, either with or without interest. The note specifies the terms of the repayment of principal and payment of interest, and may include the amount of principal instalments, the rate of interest, the calculation of interest the due dates and the maturity date.
The setting aside of sums (provisions) to meet an eventuality, which in the debt context would usually be the possibility of default.
The external obligation of a public debtor, and as the national government, a political subdivision (or an agency of either) and autonomous public bodies such as public enterprises.
The external obligation of a private debtor whose repayment is guaranteed by a public entity in the borrowing country.
The extension of a new credit, the proceeds of which are to be used to make payments due under a previously existing credit.
An umbrella term for any changes in existing loan contracts agreed between creditors and debtors.
Another umbrella term with the same meaning as renegotiate.
A revision of the terms of repayment to extend the maturity date whereby the creditor and the debtor establish a revised repayment schedule for principal and interest, and where the identity of the creditor and the debtor remains the same.
In BIS terminology, deposit-taking institutions and some non-deposit taking financial institutions which have international assets and liabilities of some size and provide statistical information to the authorities in the country where the banking office is located or to the authorities in the country where the parent bank is located.
A unilateral disclaiming of a liability by a debtor.
A scheme of debt renegotiation in which some percentage of debt service payments falling due during a defined period (and possibly including amounts in arrears) will be subject to new repayment terms. Effectively the amounts involved form the outstanding amount of a new loan with terms defined at the time of the rescheduling. The rescheduled amounts may include both principal and capitalised interest. Rescheduling debt is one means of providing a debtor with a period of reduced debt service, so as to allow economic recovery.
(IMF) All assets that are readily available to and controlled by a country’s monetary authority for direct financing of payments imbalances, for directly regulating the magnitude of such imbalances through intervention in the exchange markets to influence the exchange rate or for other purposes.
(IMF) An institutional unit is a resident when it has its centre of economic interest within a country’s territory. The centre of interest is where there is a dwelling, place of production or other premises from which the unit engages and intends to continue engaging, indefinitely or for a long time, in economic activities; resident units are households and individuals, corporations and quasi-corporations, non profit-institutions and government (fifth edition of the Balance of Payments Manual).
Breaking down of external debt according to classifications of various kinds.
Debt that has an original maturity of one year or less, or with no stated maturity.
A commitment to lend up to a specified amount for a specific period, to be used only in a certain contingency.
Amounts of financial credits and liabilities outstanding at a particular point in time.
A financing arrangement under which the supplier (or exporter) extends credit to the buyer in the importing country.
There are two basic types of technical cooperation:
- free standing technical cooperation (FTC), which is the provision of resources aimed at the transfer of technical and managerial skills or of technology for the purpose of building up general national capacity without reference to the implementation of any specific investment projects; and
- investment-related technical cooperation (IRTC), which denotes the provision of technical services required for the implementation of specific investment projects.
Loans or grants or associated financing packages available to certain borrowers, containing a certain minimum concessional element, currently 50% for least developed countries and 35% for other eligible (low-income) countries, which are tied to the procurement of goods and services from the donor country.
The sum of official development assistance (ODA) and other official flows (OOF). Represents the total (gross or net) disbursements by the official sector of the creditor country to the recipient country.
In the terminologies of the BIS and the OECD this term is equivalent to trade credit. In the terminology of the IMF trade credits consist of claims and liabilities arising from the direct extension of credit by suppliers and buyers for goods and services transactions, and advance payment for work in progress.
A particular set of disbursements under a loan with its own specific terms as opposed to general terms governing the whole loan.
A provision which commits the debtor government to guarantee the immediate and unrestricted transfer of foreign exchange in all cases provided the private sector pays the local currency counterpart for servicing its debt.
Amounts committed but not yet utilised. In BIS terminology, this refers to open lines of credit which are legally binding on lending banks.
(IMF) Transactions in which one transactor provides an economic value to another transactor but does not receive a quid pro quo on which, according to the conventions and rules of the balance of payments system, economic value is placed. The value that is lacking is represented by an entry in the balance of payments statistics that is referred to as an unrequited transfer.
Liabilities to the International Monetary Fund resulting from the use of the IMF General Resource Account (e.g. drawings under credit tranches, use of the compensatory and contingency financing facilities) and outstanding loans under the Structural Adjustment Facility, the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility and the Trust Fund.
An intergovernmental financial institution with the status of a specialised agency of the United Nations. The World Bank assists economic development by lending to public entities domiciled or public present in any of its member countries. Its funds are obtained from three sources: payment made by members on account of their capital subscriptions; borrowing in capital markets worldwide; and net earnings. Loans are usually restricted to maturities of not more than 20 years and carry an interest rate based on that at which the World Bank itself can borrow.
The removal from the creditor’s books of disbursed and outstanding debt and/or of interest arrears.
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Colombo 3 Tel. (1) 574240, 573551-2
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Libreria del Este
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Subscription to OECD periodicals may also be placed through main subscription agencies.
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Les commandes provenant de pays où I’OCDE n’a pas encore désigné de distributeur devraient être adressèes à : OCDE, Service des Publications, 2, me Andrè-Pascal, 75775 Paris Cedex 16, France.
OECD PUBLICATIONS, 2 rue Andrè-Pascal, 75775 PARIS CEDEX 16
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(43 94 01 1) ISBN 92-64-14258-4 - No. 46919 1994