Monday, November 23, 2015

Argentina’s New President Promises To Change Currency Controls


Argentina voted for deep change on Sunday, electing Mauricio Macri to be president, setting the stage for economic liberalization, a warming of relations with the U.S. and political echoes across Latin America.

Macri won 51.4 percent of the vote against 48.6 percent for the ruling party's Daniel Scioli, the National Electoral Council said, with more than 99 percent of ballots counted.

Argentine candidate Mauricio Macri would lift currency controls gradually and continue to manage the exchange rate through central bank intervention if elected president, so it does not hurt the purchasing power of Argentines, Perfil newspaper reported, citing an unidentified member of Macri's team.

Macri, seen as the more market friendly candidate in Sunday's presidential run-off election, is leading in opinion polls by 6 to 8 percentage points over the ruling Peronist party's Daniel Scioli.

Although Macri had promised to lift currency controls and let the peso float freely, his team is now considering allowing individuals to buy as much as $50,000 per month while maintaining restrictions on companies, the newspaper reported on Saturday.

Macri's team would seek to avoid a sudden devaluation of the peso, Perfil says. Among the headaches facing Argentina's next president are central bank reserves at a nine year low.

To preserve scarce dollars, the central bank currently picks and chooses which imports are allowed. Controls on the currency have flustered faith in the peso and triggered a thriving black market.


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Posted By Jacquelyn McMullen at 12:00 PM
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