Russia gets $18bn in IMF's record giveaway

Russia gets $18bn in IMF's record giveaway
The IMF coronacrisis SDR distribution handed Russian an extra $18bn as its share of the distribution of a total of $650bn in SDRs to all members. That will take Russia's total reserves to around $619bn -- its highest level ever.
By bne IntelliNews August 25, 2021

Russia has received $18bn worth of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) in the latest $650bn (456bn SDRs) transfer of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF had earlier approved the record-high transfer to member states as part of the stimulus against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

In the latest issue Russia has a 2.71% share versus the largest share, of the US, at 17.4%. The new round of support will more than triple the number of SDRs in circulation to 660bn. Last time SDRs worth $250bn were issued in 2009 after the global financial crisis.

Analysts told RBC business portal that Russia could now exchange the SDRs into hard currency, or get currency financing from the IMF secured by SDRs, as well as transfer the SDRs as financial support to other states. Notably, this could also include Belarus, which did not receive SDRs distributed by the IMF due to sanctions.

Currently SDRs account for $7bn out of close to $600bn of gross international reserves (GIR) of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR).


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