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International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde and some two dozen officials on the fund’s executive board will gather Monday at headquarters in Washington for one of the most-anticipated decisions outside of actually approving loans for nations in crisis.

The question inside the 12th-floor, oval boardroom: whether to grant China’s yuan status as a reserve currency by adding it to the fund’s Special Drawing Rights basket. The SDR, created in 1969, gives IMF member countries who hold it the right to obtain any of the currencies in the basket -- currently the dollar, euro, yen and pound -- to meet balance-of-payments...

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