IMF says will list Australian and Canadian dollars as reserves

Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:26pm EDT
 
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NEW YORK, April 12 (Reuters) - The Australian and Canadian dollars will be listed as separate reserve currencies in the International Monetary Fund's quarterly foreign exchange report from the third quarter, the IMF said on Friday.

The proposal to separately identify the two currencies in the quarterly report is based on a survey by the Statistics Department of the IMF, said Ismaila Dieng, an IMF spokesman.

The survey found several countries are already holding Australian and Canadian dollars, and listing them separately would allow for better analysis, Dieng said.

That the IMF was considering listing the currencies as separate items alongside the U.S. dollar, euro, Japanese yen, British pound and Swiss franc rather than in the combined "other" total, has been widely expected for several months. .

"We heard last year they were considering the Australian and Canadian dollars as reserve currencies," said Michael Woolfolk, senior currency strategist at BNY Mellon in New York. "Given the fact they are identified as reserve currencies may account for their special treatment."

The Australian and Canadian dollars have been in demand since the global financial crisis as relatively safe havens. The Aussie in particular was highly desired given its yield.

The Australian dollar has gained 48 percent against the U.S. dollar since the end of 2008, while the Canadian dollar is up 20 percent.

The move by the IMF is part of a wider review to provide more transparency in global financial data. It is also a reflection of a growing trend by central banks around the world to diversify their holdings beyond the U.S. dollar, the euro and the yen.