Venezuela withdraws $460 mn from IMF

The IMF website showed Venezuela exchanged part of its Special Drawing Rights -- an international reserve asset created by the IMF -- account at the Fund for greenbacks (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski) (AFP/File)

Washington (AFP) - With its cash reserves in sharp decline, Venezuela withdrew $460 million from the International Monetary Fund last month in its third such operation this year.

The IMF website showed Friday that Venezuela exchanged part of its Special Drawing Rights -- an international reserve asset created by the IMF -- account at the Fund for greenbacks.

Some countries often buy SDRs to comply with their obligations at the IMF, and in other cases sell them for hard currency to raise their reserve level at home, the Fund said.

Venezuela depends almost exclusively on oil exports and has taken a big hit from a drop in crude prices. Its hard currency reserves have fallen 25 percent over the past year to $15.4 billion.

Venezuela's three SDR-selling transactions this year at the IMF have netted it more than $2.3 billion.

Until this year, Venezuela had not withdrawn assets from the IMF since 2006.

The value of the SDR is determined by a basket of four currencies: the yen, the dollar, the pound sterling and the euro.

The IMF does not have access to complete data on the Venezuelan economy since 2006, as Caracas rejects assessment visits by the IMF.

The fall in oil prices is the latest headache for Venezuela, and worsens an economy hit by recession, shortages of basic goods and high inflation.

This has taken a huge toll on the approval rating of President Nicolas Maduro as legislative elections approach on December 6.