Thursday, July 30, 2009

Russia calls for revision of SDR currency basket

YEKATERINBURG, Russia (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) should expand the basket of Special Drawing Rights to include the Chinese yuan, commodity currencies and gold, a senior Kremlin official said on Tuesday.
The SDR is an international reserve asset allocated to member countries with its exchange rate determined by a basket of currencies, at the moment including dollar, euro, yen and sterling. A review of the basket is due in November 2010.
“The rouble, yuan deserve to be included in the SDR basket,” Kremlin economy aide Arkady Dvorkovich told a news conference ahead of the first summit of Brazil, Russia, India and China, known as BRIC, in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg.
“It is important that the composition of the basket also reflects the role of commodities in the global economy,” Dvorkovich said, naming Australian and Canadian dollars as possible candidates.
“We also think that gold has a potential as a possible participant. The price of gold has a negative correlation to the dollar. Therefore it is beneficial to tie these two instruments into one so that investors feel safer,” he said.
Dvorkovich said he doubted Russia would complete its transition to an inflation-targeting regime which implies a freely floating exchange rate for the rouble next year when the IMF basket’s review takes place, as announced by the central bank.
Dvorkovich said BRIC leaders will discuss new reserve currencies at the summit but called for caution in the currency debate, saying it was in no-one’s interest to ruin the dollar.
Russia rattled financial markets last week when a central bank official said Moscow will cut the share of U.S. Treasuries in its forex reserves in favour of IMF bonds and bank deposits.

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