Featured statistic: SDR 4,306.3 million

Date 11 November 2009

In August and September 2009 the Netherlands received allocations of special drawing rights (SDRs) for an amount of SDR 4,306.3 million. The counterpart in euro was EUR 4,688.6 million. Special drawing rights form part of a country’s official reserves. They are a kind of token, created by the IMF, which can be used by IMF members to finance shortfalls in their external positions.

Earlier allocations of special drawing rights to the Netherlands took place in the period 1970-1971 for an amount of SDR 236.5 million and in the period 1979-1981 for SDR 293.9 million. The allocation in August 2009 is part of a general allocation of SDRs for SDR 161.2 billion to all IMF members in order to help counter the worldwide financial crisis by the large-scale provision of liquid assets.

Another aim is to prevent new imbalances that could emerge if countries pursued restrictive economic policies geared to building up official reserves. The allocation in September for a total amount of SDR 21.5 billion particularly benefits countries that had not received earlier allocations because they were not yet IMF members. The recent allocations have expanded the value of outstanding special drawing rights by close on a factor of 10. This also reflects the huge expansion in international payments over the past 40 years.

Chart Allocation of Special Drawing Rights to the Netherlands