Argentina Eases Some FX Curbs as Black-Market Peso Slumps

Argentina is loosening some currency restrictions for foreign tourists and importers as the peso’s unofficial exchange rates extended a month-long slump, Bloomberg reported. Importers of strategic sectors in the economy will have more access to dollars, the government said in a statement Thursday, as it seeks to avoid shortages of imported goods. Meanwhile, foreign tourists who are not residents in Argentina will be able to exchange as much as $5,000 for pesos at a more lucrative exchange rate than the official one, a measure aimed to shore up the local currency. Argentina’s black-market exchange rate weakened further on Thursday to 337 pesos per dollar, according to the website, marking a 30% drop so far in the month. A parallel rate derived from buying securities locally and selling them abroad, known locally as the blue-chip swap, weakened as much as 6.8% on Thursday to nearly 334 pesos per dollar in Buenos Aires. Political infighting and a lack of a clear policy direction following the abrupt resignation of former Economy Minister Martin Guzman on July 2 are fueling Argentina’s latest currency rout. Read more.