The yuan, also known as the renminbi, will join the US dollar, euro, Japanese yen and British pound next year in the basket of currencies the IMF uses as an international reserve asset.

The move by the IMF executive board, representing the institution's 188 member nations, solidifies China's ambition to see the yuan achieve global status as one of the world's top currencies.

China, the world's second-largest economy, asked last year for the yuan to be added to the Special Drawing Rights basket, but until recently it was considered too tightly controlled to qualify. The yuan already had met the IMF's criteria for being widely used.

IMF members can use the Special Drawing Rights basket to obtain currencies to meet balance-of-payments needs. The Fund also issues its crisis loans, crucial to struggling economies like Greece -- valued in SDRs.

The yuan's entry into the basket takes effect on October 1, 2016.

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