The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday announced that its executive board has approved the distribution of 1.75 billion special drawing rights ( SDRs), or 2.7 billion U.S. dollars, in remaining windfall gold sales profits as part of a strategy to bolster its concessional lending for low-income member countries. The resources are in addition to 700 million SDRs (1.1 billion dollars) approved for a similar but separate operation in February 2012 to support low-income countries, the Washington-based global lender said in a statement. With the latest decision, the IMF has approved the distribution of the entire windfall profits in the context of strategies to support concessional lending to low-income members, which currently is at a zero interest rate. "This is a major step towards putting our important concessional lending operations for low-income members on a sustainable footing," said IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde prior to the annual meetings of the IMF and its sister agency the World Bank, scheduled for next month in Tokyo, Japan. The IMF sold 403.3 metric tons of gold in 2009-2010 as part of a plan to ensure the long-term financing of its day-to-day operations through the creation of an endowment using anticipated profits of some 4.4 billion SDRs (6.8 billion dollars).