Argentina’s Central Bank relaxes foreign-exchange restrictions

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Argentina’s central bank moved one step closer to allowing the free flow of foreign currency when it removed a limit on how much of their savings individuals and companies can convert into dollars.

latin-american-economyPolicy makers, in a statement on August 8, also said they will cut the amount of paperwork companies must submit to justify dollar purchases and reduce the categories of foreign exchange transactions that must be reported to the government to 70 from 315. The central bank previously limited conversions to dollars to $5 million per month.

There are no limits on dollars bought to pay for imports. Since taking office in December, President Mauricio Macri has lifted a currency peg and let the peso float as he seeks to unwind restrictions put in place by his predecessors. A few curbs have remained, limiting short-term portfolio investments from abroad.

“The central bank is driving these changes with the certainty that cutting bureaucracy in the foreign-exchange market will help the development of the finance sector and benefit all production activities connected in any way to international markets,” the central bank statement said.

At a July press conference, central bank president Federico Sturzenegger also said policy makers may work with other government agents to remove or modify a law that mandates that grain exporters repatriate their export proceeds. The government already increased that period to a year, which was as short as 10 days for some products under former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

(The following article was written by Carolina Millan and published in Bloomberg on 9 August, 2016)

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