Common Definitions

Central Bank
A central bank is the public financial corporation which is a monetary authority, that is, which issues banknotes and sometimes coins and may hold all or part of the international reserves of the country. The central bank also has liabilities in the form of demand or reserve deposits of other depository corporations and often government deposits.


International Reserves
also known as Official Reserves
Reserve assets consist of those external assets that are readily available to and controlled by a country’s authorities for direct financing of international payments imbalances, for indirect regulation of the magnitude of such imbalances through intervention in foreign exchange markets to affect their currency’s exchange rate, and for other purposes.

The category of reserve assets defined in the IMF Balance of Payments Manuel, Fifth Edition comprises monetary gold, special drawing rights (SDRs), reserve position in the IMF, foreign exchange assets (consisting of currency, and deposits and securities), and other claims.


Strategic Development Sovereign Wealth Fund (SDSWF)
It is a sovereign wealth fund that can be utilized to promote national economic or development goals.


Sovereign Wealth Enterprise
A sovereign investment vehicle that is owned and controlled by a sovereign wealth fund.


Sovereign Wealth Fund
A sovereign wealth fund (SWF) is a state-owned investment fund or entity that is commonly established from balance of payments surpluses, official foreign currency operations, the proceeds of privatizations, governmental transfer payments, fiscal surpluses, and/or receipts resulting from resource exports. The definition of sovereign wealth fund exclude, among other things, foreign currency reserve assets held by monetary authorities for the traditional balance of payments or monetary policy purposes, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the traditional sense, government-employee pension funds (funded by employee/employer contributions), or assets managed for the benefit of individuals.


Special Drawing Rights
SDRs are international reserve assets created by international Monetary Fund to supplement other reserve assets that periodically have been allocated to IMF members in proportion to their respective quotas. SDRs are not considered liabilities of the Fund, and IMF members to whom SDRs are allocated do not incur actual (unconditional) liabilities to repay SDR allocations.

The fund determines the value of SDRs daily by summing, in USA dollars, the values of a weighted basket of currencies. The weight and baskets are subject to revision from time to time. SDRs can be used to acquire other member’s currencies (foreign exchange), to settle financial obligations, and to extend loans.