IMF says no firm date for yuan SDR review despite report of delay

The logo of the International Monetary Fund.
The logo of the International Monetary Fund.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - The International Monetary Fund's Beijing office told Reuters no date had been set for reviewing whether to include the Chinese yuan in its reserve currency basket, responding to a report in local media that the review would be delayed.

The Chinese government has set its sights on securing a place for the yuan in the basket alongside the U.S. dollar, the euro, the British pound and Japanese yen as part of its goal of raising the international profile of the currency.

China Business News, a respected domestic finance newspaper, said on its website that the IMF was pushing back its plan to make a decision from Nov. 4 to Nov. 30.

The IMF official in Beijing, however, said he did not know where that information could have come from.

"We will certainly convene a meeting sometime in November, but we do not have a specific set date yet," the official surnamed Mr Li said.

Every five years the IMF reviews the composition of the foreign currencies included in its Special Drawing Rights currency basket, intended to serve as a source of global financial stability and liquidity in case of financial crisis.

Many believe the Chinese yuan is set for inclusion this year, thanks to Beijing's concerted lobbying effort and its reforms to the country's foreign exchange market and exchange rate mechanism.

A negative outcome from the meeting might add further depreciation pressure on the yuan, complicating Beijing's attempts to hold the currency stable without draining its foreign exchange reserves too rapidly. Currency markets did not appear to react strongly to the report, and trading volume was average.

The spot market was changing hands at 6.3360 per dollar at market close, practically flat with the previous day's trade.

The offshore yuan softened by 0.9 per cent at time of reporting to 6.3501.