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The Argentine peso suffers devaluation pressure again

Argentina’s Minister of Economy, Martín Guzmán, announced the agreement with foreign creditors on August 31 in Buenos Aires.POOL / Reuters

The Argentine peso is experiencing its umpteenth distressing situation. The “supercap” established last week on the foreign exchange market has stopped the bleeding of currencies suffered by the central bank, but it has aggravated the anxiety of entrepreneurs, savers and speculators. The dollar blue (or free, or illegal, depending on who defines it) exceeds 140 pesos, compared to 130 at the beginning of this month or, put in comparison, the 37 pesos of two years ago. The official change, which importers and exporters must adhere to, is at 75 pesos. The difference between the official and the real is widening day by day. Banks have not sold dollars for four days.

Argentine citizens can purchase up to $ 200 per month. But the eagerness to buy (acquiring dollars is the best way to protect savings against inflation, or to earn a small bonus by paying dollars at the official price and clandestinely reselling them at the real price) was leaving the country without reserves. Since Wednesday, September 16, to the already existing 30% tax on the sale of dollars, which raised the price of the official exchange (75) above 100, another surcharge of 35% discounted at the end of the tax year was added. about earnings. But the effectiveness of this new deterrent exercise is still unknown: banks have not sold US notes for four days.

One of the conditions that the Alberto Fernández government established last week was that recipients of state subsidies would not have the right to acquire the 200 dollars a month. And that is the problem that banks suffer now: they say that it takes them too long to check whether or not a customer receives a subsidy and, therefore, they have interrupted sales. No one knows when they will resume.

The government’s decision, conveyed by the Central Bank, also affects companies, which can only access 40% of the dollars they need to pay their debts in US currency. After reaching an agreement with the creditors of public debt in dollars, the government has forced the companies, in practice, to renegotiate their own private debt to adhere to the limitations in the access to the greenback.

This situation has led to a new increase in country risk above 1,300 points, a drop in the price of public bonds (they fell 3.5% on Monday) and a slight stock market depression.