Major changes have taken place in the international financial markets during the past few years. Not only has the volume of international transactions increased sharply, but a plethora of financial instruments has appeared, some of which are now commonplace but barely existed a decade ago.1 For balance of payments compilers, this process of innovation has given rise to problems of how to classify and value transactions in these instruments appropriately and how to surmount the increasing difficulties in collecting data on such transactions. The purpose of this paper is to examine the implications of these developments for the recording and classification of these financial instruments in light of the guidelines recommended in the IMF's current Balance of Payments Manual (BPM).

Author: Vicente Galbis