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Yuan SDR inclusion delayed to 2016

The IMF confirmed that it would delay a review of the yuan’s inclusion in its special drawing rights currency basket to September 2016, despite China’s latest move to relax control of the yuan exchange rate.

The IMF said the postponement was made to avoid changes to the basket at the end of the calendar year.

“The extension would also allow users sufficient lead time to adjust in the event that a decision were to be taken to add a new currency to the SDR basket,” the IMF said in a statement.

The organisation added that the extension of the current basket did not prejudge the outcome of the review of the SDR valuation methods to be discussed at the end of the year.

China’s central bank let the yuan weaken about 3% since August 12 by allowing market demand more influence in setting the exchange rate. The move was in line with the IMF request that China should marketise its currency in order to get it accepted into the SDR basket.

If the yuan is not included into the basket next year, China will have to wait another five years for the next review.

China wants to internationalise its currency, but the yuan faces operational hurdles on its way to SDR inclusion, according to Aidan Yao, emerging market economist with Axa IM.

As examples he cited determination of a representative foreign exchange rate; choosing suitable interest rates for the SDR portfolio and finding hedging instruments for exposure to the currency.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.