Article XIX, Section 5

International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
April 1983
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Designation of Participants to Provide Currency

Review of Rules for Designation and Method of Calculating Designation Amounts*

The Executive Directors approve the summary and conclusions set out [below] on the understanding that if during the first year after a participant receives an allocation for the first time, designation would bring the participant close to the acceptance limit, the staff will take steps to moderate the rate at which the limit is approached.

Decision No. 6209-(79/124) S

July 24, 1979

Summary and Conclusions

1. The designation system has a key role in guaranteeing the usability of the SDR. However, provided that the SDR is regarded as an attractive reserve asset, participants may make less use of their SDR holdings in transactions with designation and may rely more on transactions and operations by agreement between participants, as well as payments to the Fund. The volume of transactions with designation would then depend mainly on the extent to which the Fund transfers SDRs to purchasing members that use the SDRs to obtain foreign exchange in transactions with designation.

2. The general structure of the more important provisions relating to designation is as follows:

(a) The major principles of designation are contained in Article XIX, Section 5. A participant whose balance of payments

6. Over more than nine years of actual experience, the designation mechanism has functioned satisfactorily. Actual designations have borne out the general emphasis that was expected to result from the “excess holdings” principle. About four fifths of total designation has been directed to participants whose holdings of SDRs were below their allocations as a result of prior uses. At the same time, a wide range of both developed and less developed countries has been called upon to provide currency in the designation process.

7. The major volume of transactions with designation over the last two and a half years has resulted from transfers of SDRs to participants making purchases from the General Resources Account; these participants have generally used the SDRs in transactions with designation, although a not insignificant proportion has been retained by the recipients, mainly to meet the reconstitution obligation or to make payments to the Fund.

8. In the future, the attractiveness of the SDR, and the increasing scope for transactions and operations by agreement, may reduce the use of SDRs from participants’ own holdings in transactions with designation. However, with the Fund receiving approximately SDR 5 billion as a result of quota increases under the Seventh Review, there is likely to be a continuing volume of transactions with designation as a result of transfers of SDRs by the Fund to members making purchases, as a way of channeling SDRs back into participants’ reserves.

9. In the light of the generally satisfactory experience with the designation system, the staff does not feel it necessary to propose any changes in the present principles and procedures for designation.

See also Decision No. 6273-(79/158) G/S, September 14, 1979, on pages 88–89.

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