The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This study examines the determinants of the currency composition of foreign exchange reserves for both industrial and developing countries. During the period from 1976-85, our empirical results indicate that the currency composition of reserves has been influenced by each country’s exchange rate arrangements, its trade flows with reserve currency countries, and the currency of denomination of its debt-service payments. The evidence is consistent with the view that managing the currency composition of a country’s net foreign asset position is done more cheaply by altering the currency of denomination of assets and liabilities that are not held as reserve assets.